Showing posts from June, 2010

From 4K Straight to Juvie

Lately I have been getting some fairly ominous reports from Kindercare about my daughter's behavior. Apparently I am raising a hoodlum. Doesn't listen. Socks kids that refuse to follow her orders (or get off the swing, or whatever the case may be). General unruliness. Her dad's thinking is that she is fine, it's nothing to worry about. Of course, my husband could be on fire and would only be mildly concerned. It's his midwestern upbringing. My thinking tends to be a bit more "worst case scenario" in nature: in eight years I'll be visiting her in juvie. In twelve years I'll be begging some dour-faced judge for leniency on her behalf. Then she'll run off to Vegas to marry some guy whose given name is something like Leper. And then she'll celebrate the occasion by getting a tattoo on her neck. My mom calls this "slippery slope thinking" and tells me that it's a common problem for moms. I don't want to compare my daughter to a

Summer Goals - how goes it?

I thought I should revisit my summer goals and see how I'm doing. Okay, let's review: 1. See a live concert. Not yet. I'm still working on that one. I started by looking up the tour schedules for some of my favorite bands. As luck would have it, they are primarily touring Europe. My other half doesn't seem to think I need to fly to Belgium to see Gossip or to jet to Norway to see Caribou . To hell with him - what does he know? He can't keep me under his thumb, man. 2. Purchase and prepare a vegetable that is unfamiliar to me. Not yet. I came perilously close to procuring a massive kohlrabi at the farmers' market last week, but I chickened out at the last minute. So far, snap peas are about as exotic as I've gotten. 3. Work on leaving the dogs uncrated while we're not home. Yes! We made the leap of faith and all three dogs are now crate-free during the day. The only mishap we've had so far was that someone pulled a few alphabet letters of

Tunes to sweat by

So, now that we've tackled the topic of assisted suicide, let's talk about something else very important, shall we? Namely, my workout playlist. I created this playlist fairly recently. Prior to that, I would listen to my iPod in shuffle mode at the gym and then just click the wheel if the song wasn't what I wanted. However, it really does throw a wrench in your workout when you are thumping away on the treadmill and Andrea Bocelli comes on. Andrea Bocelli truly make me swoon - don't get me wrong. He just doesn't pump out the beats, ya'll. Also, I listen to my iPod on the bike trail (safety be damned!) and it's harder to click past "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" (A's song, not mine) when I'm riding. Hence, the need for an exercise-specific playlist. I feel like my playlist could be a lot better. So, I'm taking suggestions. I'm going to post the list in its entirety here. There are a few selections that I should real

The Suicide Tourist

I'll be the first to admit, a lot of what I watch on TV is total poop. For a college-educated, NPR-listening, liberal-leaning, theater-loving, wine-sipping type like myself, it's almost a bit surprising how low I'll sink (not "Jersey Shore" low - more like "Cops" low). My mom got me hooked on "Operation Repo" and now I cannot look away when it is on. (I've you've seen it and have caught a glimpse of Sonia , you know why.) Pawn Stars? I'm on it like white on rice. Dr. Phil? I'm there. However, every so often I catch a documentary or program that sticks with me for days. I felt that way after watching " The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till " a couple years ago. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. I love documentaries. The older I get, the more non-fiction appeals to me. Last night, I happened to catch " The Suicide Tourist " on PBS. This was apparently not the original airing, but it

"And they shall take up serpents . . . "

Like most five-year-old girls, my daughter signed a contract that requires her to adore the following: Kittens The color pink The color purple Glitter Puppies Unicorns Rainbows She is uber-girlie, seldom agrees to wear anything but a dress, and generally follows the five-year-old girl agreement to the letter. Maybe it's sort of like the contract requiring the gay menfolk to have a flair for interior design and to love Cher (my cousin tells me there was a recent special addendum demanding allegiance to Lady Gaga). One aspect of my daughter's personality that bucks the stereotype, though? The girl loves her some snakes. I mean, she is totally down with them and completely fearless. There is a herpetology club in our area, and they do a lot of educational outreach at various events. The club was at the wildlife sanctuary yesterday, so we headed over there after lunch. I find it amusing that I can actually use it as leverage with A. As in, "Keep it up and you're not


The day has finally come: I've run out of topics. Nah! I've just been a bit distracted. This business of being a grown-up, mom, wife, volunteer, and career person does get a bit taxing at times. A couple of issues have been weighing me down a bit lately. One is the oil spill. Or, as Paula Poundstone said: "There is no oil spill in the Gulf. It's a gush. Milk spills from a glass, but if it's coming out of the cow, uncontrollably, it's a gush." I've always believed that it's important not to look away from the darker things in life. I don't want to gloss over the negative, to trick myself into believing it isn't so. So, I look at the photos of the oiled birds, the dead turtles, the devastated ocean. And my heart breaks. The birds get most of the attention, but so many animals are dying. A lot of them aren't cute and fuzzy, but they are vital to our planet nonetheless. My friend Cindy does reptile rescue. Last year, she took in a

Little Miss Extrovert

The kid and I headed out of town for the weekend. We were attending a dog festival on Sunday (the rescue for which we volunteer had a booth) and decided to make a weekend out of it. She and I have attended this festival every year, starting when she was five weeks old. We got a hotel on Priceline and hit the road. We attended a farmers' market and a "safety fair" where she got to climb on a fire truck and whatnot. We also met one of my mom friends for lunch. Her daughter was born May 2, 2005 and mine was born May 3rd of that year. My friend added a son after that and is now pregnant with a daughter. I get tired just thinking about it. Lately A keeps pretending that she has a baby sister named Lily. She tells me that she helps Lily get out of the car and stuff, since Lily is just a baby. It tears at my heart a little, because I think the sibling relationship is one of the most important in one's life. However, I am 40, we are still paying on an adoption loan,

School Year #1

Schoooooool's out for summer! Schoooooool's out forever! My daughter just finished her first year of school. She attended four-year-old Kindergarten, which is held for half-days. I think it was an excellent way for her to transition into her full-time gig in the fall. The main focus of 4K is to teach the kids self-control, teamwork, sharing, and how to handle expectations. Oh, and how to do classroom jobs. Thank goodness she finally landed the coveted line leader position for the last two weeks of school. All year she suffered through jobs like "chair checker" and "book straightener" just so that she could ascend to the zenith of all titles. Seriously, I was ready to slip Mrs. M a twenty if it meant my kid got to be line leader. In 4K, each student's performance is evaluated on a number system, 1 through 4. 1 means the kid doesn't know jack about that particular topic/skill and 4 indicates mastery. My daughter received mostly 4s with a few 3s tossed

18 years ago today . . .

. . . I asked a Marine to dance. I picked him because he was shy and didn't seem full of himself. He was tall, thin, and dark-haired. I liked his brown eyes and the fact that his front teeth were every so slightly too large (I figured a visible flaw might prevent him from having a tremendous ego). I was immediately smitten. All these years later, we are still together. His hair is gray now. When I reminded him yesterday that today marks the 18th year, he said, "Okay, you've got two more then." He was kidding, of course (I think). We are fortunate in that we get along and seldom argue. Here is an example of a near-argument we had recently. We were on a road trip and he was driving. I had just been driving moments before, however, and my iPod was still plugged in to the car stereo. He has an iPod as well. I thought he would switch them, but he left mine in. We listened to a few songs and then he clicked "next" when Arcade Fire came on. "Keep


Once again, a bird has made an unwise real estate decision and set up housekeeping right next to our home (a home full of dogs and loud people). A wee bird has constructed a nest in the bushes right in front of the house, right at eye level. I know very little about birds and she won't allow me to photograph her, so I don't know what type of feathered friend she is. She's a tiny little thing. I know she's not a robin, one of the few birds I am capable of recognizing easily. When a robin built a nest right outside the guest room window last year, she would dive bomb us when we attempted to check out the nest. This bird just flies up to a branch and yells at us from there. Perhaps a bird-savvy person will be able to tell me what kind of eggs these are. I thought blue eggs were always robins' eggs. But perhaps I have been mistaken all these years? Or perhaps robins are known for foisting off their children on their neighbors? There is one blue egg, one speck

Festibul Season has Begun

I definitely made the most of the three-day weekend: a girls' night out, two festibuls, gardening, and a cook-out. Oh, and I painted our mailbox post. The only negative outcome from the weekend is that even basic activities seem to leave me sore these days. Seriously, my left bicep hurts (not sure why - may have something to do with hauling sod around and then installing it in the back yard). Also: my back, my right calf, and my left forearm (which got a bit of sun on Saturday). This aging shit is for the birds. One other dark cloud from the weekend: Kaiser was adopted and returned the same day. Kaiser is my foster Boxer. He's around 4-5 years old and just as sweet and easygoing as can be. A family applied to adopt him and so we took him to his new home on Saturday (on our way to Festibul #1). That was at around 10 a.m. They called at 2:30 to complain about him and say they wanted to return him. We weren't back from the festibul yet but I called as soon as I got home. They