Monday, March 31, 2008

Six words

As seen on: pretty much my whole link list over there --->

Originally started by the ultra cool Smith Magazine. The history: Legend has it that Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response? “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Last year, SMITH Magazine re-ignited the recountre by asking our readers for their own six-word memoirs. They sent in short life stories in droves, from the bittersweet (“Cursed with cancer, blessed with friends”) and poignant (“I still make coffee for two”) to the inspirational (“Business school? Bah! Pop music? Hurrah”) and hilarious (“I like big butts, can’t lie”).

Here are the rules: 1) Write your own six word memoir; 2) Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like; 3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere; 4) Tag at least five more blogs with links; and 5) Don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

OK, here's mine:
Often above average but never remarkable

Umph... urph... fighting the urge to write a bazillion-word explanation of that because I think it makes me sound conceited, which I'm really really not... grrrph... blergh.

How about:
Desiring controlled life, must give up

Many choices available, blessing and burden

If you haven't done this already and want to do it, consider yourself tagged.

Mine are more like headlines than sentences, but that's not a surprise since succinctness is not my strong suit. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever met succinctness. Is it even a word?

You are fortunate that I have never left a message on your answering machine. I am so ridiculous leaving messages. Here's a real recap of one I left last week:

"Hi, Helen, it's Barbra. I was just calling because I was thinking about that sauteed shrimp and mushroom dish you made when we were at your house for dinner last week? I think you said it was pretty simple and I was wondering if you could give me the recipe. My brother and his wife are here and we are going to ... oh, blah blah blah you don't need to know all the details but basically I am making a lot of dinners and need a new idea and I do have some shrimp and mushrooms in the refrigerator. So, what do you do? Do you sautee them with some wine or just some olive oil? Do you use any seasoning? I'm here at home and I should be here all afternoon since Mrs. Wagner is bringing Big Girl home from school today. Sometimes she can't because her daughter has Brownies but it turns out that they're not meeting today so she'll be dropping her off and I don't have to go anywhere this afternoon. So give me a call when you can and let me know just what I need to put in the pan with the shrimp and mushrooms. Uh, is that everything? Was there anything else I needed to talk to you about as well? Hmmmmm... let me think.... No, I can't thing of anything else right now but I'm sure something will come to me as soon as I hang up the phone. Maybe when you call back with the recipe I'll have remembered it. Okay, talk to you later bye."

(I always say the goodbye sentence really fast because I am so embarrassed that the message is so long and somehow I think this will redeem me.)

Ugh. I am not exaggerating about that message! I really do leave messages just like that. I need to take a class or something. The worst thing of all about that message is that it turns out that her husband was the one who listened to it! {{Mortified}} Because when she called back, she said, "Chris told me you needed a recipe from me?"

Oh no!!!

I just saw that I have 105 posts! I am overdue for my 100 Things Post!

(Not to mention how overdue I am for an "About Me..." post)

Some of those posts are from another blog I had, not actually the "NotJustBarbra" blog, and I just stuck them on here in case anyone wanted to go looking around in some archives... so maybe I can get a grace period on the 100 Things? Because I think it will take me a little time to pull that together... from scratch...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tweeting again

Last week, I was practicing some Motets for the church choir.

I have an acoustic gig tonight, so today I'm practicing "Breakdown" (Tom Petty), "The Boxer" (Simon & Garfunkel), "You Were Meant For Me" (Jewel), "I'm A Believer" (The Monkees), "Building A Mystery" (Sarah McLachlan), "Suddenly I See" (KT Tunstall). (Tonight I'll also be singing some Corinne Bailey Rae, Dixie Chicks, Lisa Loeb, Sheryl Crow, Linda Ronstadt, Shawn Colvin, Stevie Nicks... and backup on lots of other songs by the likes of The Beatles, James Taylor, Van Morrison...)

I'm noticing that it's fun to post these updates on what I'm singing. I could start a new version of Twitter! Instead of "What are you doing right now?" it could be "What are you listening to right now?"

Sometimes, thankfully, my answer would be "silence."

What's your answer? Chirp!

thanks, Dad

Many of you did not think it was that weird that my Dad sends an email with a new photo of Mt. St. Helens every day. (By the way, it was really pretty on Monday! And today the camera is covered with snow and icicles... yes that photo was in an email too.)

Okay, then, I give you this:

He gave something to my Mom, asking her to give it to me when she got here. It is:

"The Pocket Guide to
Emergency and Pandemic Flu Preparedness."

So whaddaya think about that one, Internets?

This little pamphlet includes the following sections:

"Your Home Emergency Kit Should Include" (very helpful)

"Shelter in Place" (what to do if the authorities tell you to remain in your home or work in the event of a radiation, chemical, or biological emergency (as opposed to "Evacuate"), such as turning off the heating/cooling system, closing the fireplace damper, staying out of the basement, sealing off doors, vents, and windows with duct tape, oh, and "stay calm" (yeah right). Scary but helpful.)

"In the Event of a Power Outage" & "In the Event of an Earthquake" (pretty well-known info at this point)

"West Nile Virus" (wear insect repellent, wear long sleeved clothing, drain standing water, repair tears in door & window screens) okay.

"In the Event of a Biological Emergency" (Public Health Officials will tell you what to do),
"In the Event of a Chemical Emergency" (you will be told to "Shelter in Place" or "Evacuate"),
and "In the Event of a Radiological Emergency" (Self-Decontamination: remove your clothes and seal them in a plastic bag. Take a shower and wash with plenty of soap and lukewarm water.)
(The Radiological Emergency instructions are news to me.)

"Pandemic Flu"
(This section just pointed out the differences between normal ("seasonal") flu and pandemic flu. In pandemic flu, symptoms would be more serious, hospitals may be overwhelmed, there would be more deaths, new vaccines would need to be developed which would take several months, existing antiviral drugs may not be effective, there could be closings of schools, businesses, and public events, and there would be a big impact on the US and world economy.

So basically, that section just says, "we're screwed."


Thanks, Dad, for sending this to me. Oh, and is this supposed to be my birthday card/gift?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Fashion by Middle

She's got style...
what kind of style I'm not sure,
but style...

The boots have even been worn with the tutu: (new ballet outfit from the Easter Bunny)

I'm pretty amused by the boots. Until recently, she has not been a 'boots kind of girl.' Normally she lives in flip-flops.

Speaking of which, her old ones are very worn out and she's been waiting impatiently for new ones to be available at the store. (Because, you see, her mom is so unfairly picky about the flip-flops. They have to be good for her five-year-old feet, with an appropriate rubber sole. Sheesh, mom!)

Well, the day has arrived! Drumroll, please....

Her new flip-flops!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

well, hello there!

hai, I'z back!

The Hubby and I had a lovely few days away, and now we're back.

I've removed Easter from the ol' blog here, and am getting some posts going.

I leave you (for now) with some of the scenery we were enjoying on our "retreat."

(I did not take these photos. They belong to the retreat location. I was completely unplugged for the whole visit!)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

It's My Birthday!

Happy Birthday to me!

I am 35 years old today. I still look the same as I did in high school, except with a bigger butt and more sunspots on my face. My 35-years-old resolution? Be better about sunscreen. Oh, and stop worrying about how old you are and just enjoy the ride!

I don't know what I would have expected my life to be like by the time I turned 35. That seemed too old to even contemplate when I was younger.

I do know that I have three great kids and I am married to my best friend. I'm so glad that I am here.

So, what am I doing for my birthday? Well, today my mom is making some cute cupcakes ... that's a great way to feel like a kid again! Tonight I am singing at Easter Vigil mass - three hours. Not what I would choose for my birthday...

Tomorrow night The Hubby is taking me out to dinner at a fondue place. Mmmm, cheese and chocolate. He knows me well.

And I bought myself this bag:

I am a sucker for a good floral print!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Off to the airport

You guys! I am so excited!

My Mom comes to town today!

You know who's even more excited than I am?

My kids!

I wish that my kids could see her every day. She does too; she's jealous of her friends who get to take care of a grandchild once a week. She is so wonderful with them. She puts them first, stopping what she's doing to play with them or read to them whenever they ask. She always has a million ideas for play or craft projects. All three kids soak her up when we're with her, and cry for days when she leaves.

I know it's my own fault for insisting that we live here, instead of living near family. I truly love where we live: the climate, the culture, the people, the school, the jobs... but there are trade-offs, all of which involve the family members we miss so terribly. It's tough.

But on days like today, I can just celebrate! Because Grandma is coming, and she's staying for eleven whole days!

(And during that time, The Hubby and I are getting out of dodge for a couple of days! Woot!)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Right now I am practicing Scarlatti's "Exultate Deo" and Palestrina's "Ecce Vidimus Eum." I have rehearsal tonight and had better know them! Did you know that this weekend is Easter? Get to work, barbra!

I hope to write later!

Edited to Add:
Okay, I had to pause to clean Play-Doh out of the window screens. Then it was time to go pick up Big Girl from Brownies. Much drama and hissyfits from Big Girl. Now I'm trying to practice again, but need to get dinner together also.

Hmm. Is it any wonder I haven't practiced these enough?

something in the air?

This afternoon was a strange one.

My Big Girl came home from school in a MOOD. She let me have it about every little thing she could think of. She discovered that she left her stuffed unicorn (which she had smuggled into her backpack this morning, btw) in the carpool car, and after yelling at me about it (odd, since if she had listened to me it would have stayed home in the first place), broke down into sobs.

Then, at gymnastics class, there was a girl (about third grade) in the waiting area yelling and crying that she didn't understand the homework she was working on, and a little girl in the class crying because she had to try running up to the springboard more than once before she got it right.

I thought to myself, "huh. what do you know. must be something in the air today." It just struck me as kind of amusing, actually, that these girls were losing their shit on the same day, when things are usually smooth 'n' happy at the gymnastics place. And I mean, frustration with one's own mistakes and limitations happens to everyone and I do sympathize but I know things will get better for these girls, and probably pretty soon.

But then my bemused attitude about it changed. Because something really ugly happened.

The homework girl came back from an attempt to "cool off outside" and really laid into her babysitter (an adult woman). She was sobbing and hysterically screaming "why don't you understand me when I say that I don't understand this homework?" OVER and OVER and OVER and the poor babysitter was doing a great job of remaining calm and saying "I am trying to explain it to you if you will just sit down and listen a bit" but boy, was she ever being screamed at. I was impressed with her calm approach, letting this child's anger bubble over but reiterating quietly that she is ready to work on the assignment with her whenever she is ready to listen.

But the screaming and yelling and sobbing would not subside. So the babysitter suggested that they skip gymnastics for the day and just go home, I assume because the babysitter had decided that the girl was in no shape for gymnastics class today. Then the girl only yelled at her more. And then we heard (because there was no way not to hear it) this: "Why are you the meanest babysitter in the world? Why do you never think about anybody else but only yourself? I am going to tell my mom to FIRE YOU!!!!"

Ugh. This poor babysitter. It's hard enough dealing with your own child acting this way, when you just deal with it and don't have to answer to anybody else's opinion about it. But this woman was going to have to explain it all to the mom, and then you know the child was going to tell the mom her own version of events, and who knows how the babysitter will come out in the mom's eyes? Even though she handled this in the best way, she really did.

They left, and everyone in the waiting area had to kind of shake the whole thing out of our heads. As you can tell, it's still rattling around in mine.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It's Easter Week!

Big Girl set out the Easter decorations this year!

We don't have very many Easter decorations. Just a smattering, and we put all of it in the living room since it's the first room you walk into.

Here, for you to take a gander:

(This is the front door)

Nice job, Big Girl!

And as a bonus, here are the little pots with mini roses that Middle Girl picked out for the girls' teachers. We don't make a habit of Easter gifts for teachers, but these were pretty cute and won me over.

Monday, March 17, 2008

no, no! you're too young!

Texting, already?

Don't worry, we don't have any underage texters around here. Or of-age ones, really. But there was something about the way he was lounging, legs at a jaunty angle, absorbed in playing with Daddy's cell phone that really gave The Hubby and I a hearty chuckle.



Sigh. I miss that show. How long must I wait?

What A Cat!

This is our cat.

He is a great cat!

But we often say that he thinks he's a dog.

See what I mean?

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Erin Go Bragh!

Well, ...I have conflicting emotions about St. Paddy's Day...

I am some-portion-Irish. My mom's mom's maiden name was Bailey. I look Irish. I have pale skin and dark hair. (Yes, that's Irish. It's not red hair and green eyes, but it is Irish.) I have always wanted red hair and green eyes. So, so badly. I tried dyeing my hair red a few times (orange, auburn), but my hair is so dark it doesn't really change that much. I thought about green colored contacts for my hazel eyes, but decided not to bother.

I have always been attracted to red-headed boys. In 7th grade, my best friend said to me, "what is it with you and the redheads?" because every. guy. I had a crush on had red hair. Oooooh baby there was this senior when I was a freshman in high school, who was starting point guard on the basketball team (his name was Ned... something...) and I loved admiring him from afar. My first boyfriend had strawberry blonde hair. My husband has red hair, but not on the top of his head... TMI? He is half Irish and half Italian. His skin is definitely Irish.

Being some-portion-Irish didn't factor into my life growing up, other than this attraction to redheads. Both sides of my family had been in the States for a very long time. We didn't have any customs from the "Old Country." We are definitely American. In school, when we were supposed to share our traditions or our ancestry or whatnot, and people brought in empanadas, sushi, or baguettes, I didn't have anything to contribute. My mom doesn't know how to make corned beef.

But St. Patrick's Day was a time for me to proclaim, "I am Irish and proud of it! (Even though I may not know anything about it.)" I loved it.

Then, I came to realize (in college or so) that St. Patrick's Day for many Americans is an excuse to get shitfaced.

So now I have conflicting emotions. Because I like to get loaded, plastered, shitfaced, I really do. I like an excuse to drink and be ridiculous. But I think it's pretty insulting to "celebrate" the patron saint of Ireland by pouring green alcohol down your gullet and bowing to the porcelain idol.

So I am in a conundrum. Do I act like an American and raise a glass (or seven) of whiskey, or do I act like an Irish citizen and treat this as a serious religious holiday?

Because I'm proud to be some-portion-Irish, I really, really am. And I want to enjoy being proud!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

brain fried

Thought I would try MomBabe's instructions for sprucing up the ol' blog real quick, then maybe write a post.

Her instructions are really great, and very generous.

It worked (as you can see!),


my brain ish vurrry tiarrrhhhed. Musshht reeehhhhsstt.

Friday, March 14, 2008

pay attention to me!

This morning, as I was getting all of the family and houseguests fed and out the door to their several different locations, my son came up to me saying:

"Mommy, I did something upstairs! I took all of my pajamas, and socks, and underwear, and shirts, and shorts, and..."

and I'm sorry, but that is where my brain tuned this little guy out as I was rushing through the kitchen.

After ten minutes or so, I heard a noise upstairs.

It was the washing machine on the spin cycle.

Apparently, he was telling me that he loaded all of his dirty clothes into our front-loading washer and pushed the buttons to start the machine!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

when the kids are too quiet... can't be good.

Some of the things I found today:

The good...

I call this the Hats for Basketballs series. Love it!
Reminds me of another movie quote: "Hats for bats. Keep bats warm." (Major League, one of my guilty pleasures.)

The bad...
Someone's been up to no good in here. This is our "garage thing." Sad to say, I have to call it a "garage thing" instead of a "garage." It might have fit the Model A...

The ugly...
Do you see it? Do you see the squashed berries from the hedge and the little berry-colored footprints on the concrete back patio?

Maybe I read a few too many blogs today. Watch your children much?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I made dinner

My-brother-the-food-snob and his wife are staying at our house right now, and The Hubby is out of town on business. So I have been making some dinners (normally Hubs and I share this duty, with Hubs taking on the "making" more often than I do).

Tonight I tried making up a new recipe. I think it worked out reasonably well, but needs further tweaking.

It's a marinade for chicken that I call "Mimosa Chicken."
It's made of:

Orange Juice (I squeezed some fresh, since yesterday my friend dropped off a bunch of oranges from her tree) **

White wine (I used Pinot Grigio and a splash of Chardonnay - I think I'd stick to Pinot Grigio)

A little Dijon Mustard

A little garlic salt

Strawberries (I sliced one, and prepped the slices by microwaving them with a bit of sugar and a splash of water, hoping this would prompt them to ooze out some strawberry flavor)

I marinated the chicken in that for about two hours, then I cooked the chicken in a pan on the stove.

And it was good, but the marinade flavor was subtler than I was hoping for.

My-brother-the-food-snob's suggestions for tweaking are:
** put Orange Zest in with it
Add a splash of lemon juice (??)
Just use regular salt instead of garlic salt
Dijon Mustard is probably not necessary (I'm not sure I agree with this)

I'd like to figure out how to make a sauce out of this for topping the cooked chicken.

Anybody ideas out there, oh wise Interwebs?

Oh, and P.S.
It would be nice if I weren't doing BOTH the cooking AND the dishes afterwards. Hubby and I are very good about splitting up these jobs. I miss him!!

Nursing my babies

Sarcastic Mom started this, and I guess it was supposed to be yesterday, but I am late to the game again. But this seems like a good excuse to write about this, so I will!

I nursed three babies.

When I was pregnant with my first, I didn't really think about what I would do. I didn't have a "birth plan," or a "feeding plan." I just figured, sure, I'll breastfeed. That's the way women's bodies are built, so that's what I'll do. But I also registered for bottles and figured, "maybe I'll do both." I didn't read about it, didn't take a class about it, didn't have any friends with kids. My mom had nursed both of her babies, but I didn't talk with her about it.


When my Big Girl was born, nobody asked me if I wanted to try nursing her immediately after the birth. I was being sewn up from the episiotomy/tear (L4, thankyouverymuch), and that took an alarmingly long time. I was on the oxygen mask and so tired. I didn't know to care about it.

After a while, after being moved to my recovery room, a nurse showed up to tell me to nurse the baby. She had to show me what to do, but we couldn't get latched, and it HURT, and the baby just wanted to sleep, and oh who am I kidding it's all a haze. I remember a lactation consultant coming the next day and after much trial and tribulation she finally got the baby latched on. But then I couldn't do it again without her.

At home, my milk came in. And I cried and cried from the pain. And I cried and cried from the pain of the poorly latched nursing baby. And there were bad days and bad nights and bad days and I was LOSING MY MIND.

Then my mom came into town to help me. And she said, "tell yourself you'll do it for six months. or three months. You can make it three months. Then, if it's still horrible, give yourself permission to stop breastfeeding."

My mom is a genius. I cried with relief. Even though I could barely make it through one latching attempt, the thought that I could stop in a few months gave me such an emotional boost, I cannot tell you.

So the next couple of months contained more crying in pain, and nursings that took 30 minutes to achieve latch-on, so that by the time the two sides were done it was time to start over again, and mastitis, and antibiotics, and lo and behold, it suddenly one day was easier!

And then it was EASY. It took just a few minutes. My baby could latch herself on and go to town. I didn't pump, because she didn't like bottles, so there was no clean-up and no money spent on formula.

I nursed my first baby for 12.5 months, and weaning just took a week or two.

In short, I became a true believer in breastfeeding.

But I'm not a fanatic. With all three babies, I had the hospital staff take the baby for 8 hours during the night, doing one formula feed, so that I could get some sleep. And I gave my babies pacifiers, because otherwise they would have been attached to my sore, raw nipples 24 hours a day. And despite the fact that each child had two formula feedings in their life and a couple months of pacifiers, I was able to nurse them all. Some people make you think you won't be able to nurse if you do those things. Those people need to chill.

I was so shocked that it was hard to learn. And it was hard to learn all over again with each subsequent baby. The biologist in me is frustrated to no end that this makes no sense, survival-of-the-species-wise. I guess it proves that humans evolved to be a tribal species, needing females around to teach the new mothers.

My second baby was a big one, 8.5 pounds. The pediatrician in the hospital told me to give her formula after every feeding since I was only making colostrum. She said the baby would still be hungry. Good thing it was not my first baby and I knew that this was hogwash. An 8.5-pound baby does not need to supplement! So I just said, "okay," and then when the nurse came back I told her about the advice and she and I had a chuckle about what bad advice that was. This was the nurse who told me I had flat nipples and gave me some nipple shields to help prep them for latch-on. What a Godsend! How I wished someone had told me about this for the first baby! Middle Girl was a great nurser, and even took bottles of pumped milk so I could go to choir rehearsal one night a week. She was happy with the milk however it came. But I still got mastitis.

I nursed Middle Girl for 16 months.

My third baby was a terrible nurser. He also would NOT stay awake for about the first two weeks of his life. So in the hospital, with my other two kids safely taken care of by my mom at home, I didn't worry about it. I tried nursing him, but when he just fell asleep, I too went to sleep and then told the nurses that he ate. Hey, I was tired and I wanted to rest, knowing I wouldn't get any at home. But the problem was, he didn't get any better at home. We tried, but he was determined to sleep. At his two-week checkup, he had lost too much of his birth weight (which was 8 lbs. 12 oz., by the way), so I had to wake up and smell the coffee. We had to really teach this kid how to nurse. So I poured a little formula on the nipples and used cold washcloths to wake him up and let him know there was food coming, if he'd just work for it a little. Hubby and I had to hold his tongue down to teach him how to do it (he had it GLUED to the roof of his mouth), and I had to hold everything in the right placed while Hubby was in charge of KEEPING BABY AWAKE. It was hard, but we got him to figure it out after a while. In one week, he gained plenty of weight and no one was worried anymore. I was glad that I had 2+ years of nursing under my belt, so I knew I could do it if I just remained calm and lived through the initial pain and difficulty.

I nursed The Boy for 18 months. It was hard to stop, knowing that it was all over!

My mom's advice is what saved me. And I give this advice to all of my friends who are having their first baby and want to try breastfeeding. And they have all told me that it helped them.

Tell yourself you'll do it for six months. or three months. You can make it three months. Then, if it's still horrible, give yourself permission to stop breastfeeding.

Most women find that it gets easy by two or three months. And those that don't, don't deserve to beat themselves up about it. And those that don't feel relief from this advice, who still feel like they just can't do it, should stop. And they should not feel guilty about it.

Thanks, Mom!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Little Town

Reason #57 Why I Love My Little Town:

(57 is a fun number to pull out of one's ass, isn't it? And I don't even like ketchup. Or catsup.)

Last night after dinner the kids and I walked to the Library. (Did I mention that my brother and his wife are staying with us and The Hubby is out of town and I am being Super Mom for a few days? Yeeeaaa me)

Inside Our Local Library

Big Girl did her homework and the other two did puzzles and computer games and we all looked at books.

On the walk home, at about 8 pm, we passed by a man out working on his car. "Evenin'," he said, "what are you up to tonight?"

"We're heading home from the Library. What about you?"

"Just filling up our cars with vegetable oil! Have a nice night!"

Things are good in our little town.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

That Movie Meme

Only one of the quotes was unsolved! Bonus #3 is from "A Mighty Wind." It's part of the sublime faux-documentary trifecta "Waiting for Guffman" (community theater), "Best in Show" (dog shows), and "A Mighty Wind" (folk music) by Christopher Guest and his troupe. These movies are chock full of great quotes. The music in "A Mighty Wind" is so funny that we own the soundtrack and enjoy it often.

I was musing in the car today about whether you could do this meme with song lyrics. I think Badger would be the one to try it out, don't you?

I wan't going to do this, because I clearly don't have enough readers (yet?), but I've just been having so much fun with it at everyone else's place that I decided to go ahead and find some quotes!

Rules, no googling, yada yada yada.

Here we go! Some quotes from a few of my favorite movies:

#1: Snappy snapped this one up! It's "Good Will Hunting." I love this movie, and particularly this part!
Every day I come by your house and I pick you up. And we go out. We have a few drinks, and a few laughs, and it's great. But you know what the best part of my day is? For about ten seconds, from when I pull up to the curb and when I get to your door, cause I think, maybe I'll get up there and I'll knock on the door and you won't be there. No goodbye. No see you later. No nothing. You just left. I don't know much, but I know that.

#2: secrethandshake and I like the same movies! For now, I'll just put her down for "Dead Poets Society," but she figured out lots more too!
N: So what are you going to do? Charlie?
C: Damn it Neil, the name is Nuwanda.
Excrement! That's what I think of Mr. J. Evans Pritchard! We're not laying pipe! We're talking about poetry. How can you describe poetry like American Bandstand? "I like Byron, I give him a 42 but I can't dance to it!"

#3: I couldn't believe this one sat here so long. I know this movie by heart. Erin (who stopped by from Jen's place) knows it's "Say Anything." Yes, I am another woman in love with John Cusack. But I love him more than you do.
She's gone. She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen.
Hey my brother, can I borrow a copy of your "Hey Soul Classics"?
J-Man: No, my brother, you have to go buy your own.
I got a question. If you guys know so much about women, how come you're here at like the Gas 'n' Sip on a Saturday night completely alone drinking beers with no women anywhere?
J: By choice, man.

#4: Jen of Jenontheedge and Eco Women: Protectors of the Planet! knows that this is what Harry says to Sally on New Year's Eve at the end of "When Harry Met Sally." The last sentence is just perfect.
I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

#5: MomBabe, if "Singin' in the Rain" is your favorite movie, you might just be my new best friend! I think it is one of the best movies ever made, despite that weird long "Gotta Dance" section near the end...
By the way, MomBabe has the prettiest blogs! I obviously need her help with design and decor... Fleeting Moments and The Bingham Diaries
She can't act, she can't sing, she can't dance. A triple threat.

#6: Blackbird and secrethandshake got "Hairspray." This is from the 2007 musical version, which is a new favorite of the *WHOLE* family.
First the hair, now this?
But, all the kids are battin' up their hair now, hon.
You're no help.
It's ratting, daddy. And our first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy does it!
I don't believe that.
What do you mean you don't believe that? How else would it look that way?
I believe that it is naturally stiff.

#7: Blackbird and secrethandshake also know this one from "Shakespeare in Love." A beautiful quote.
I will have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love. Love above all. No... not the artful postures of love, not playful and poetical games of love for the amusement of an evening, but love that... over-throws life. Unbiddable, ungovernable - like a riot in the heart, and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture. Love - like there has never been in a play.

#8: Poppy Buxom, good one! It's from "Clueless," my favorite adaptation of Jane Austen's "Emma." She even identified the teacher as Wallace Shawn (also seen in another of my favorites, "The Princess Bride").
So like, right now for example. The Haitians need to come to America. But some people are all, "What about the strain on our resources?" Well it's like when I had this garden party for my father's birthday, right? I put R.S.V.P. 'cause it was a sit-down dinner. But some people came that like did not R.S.V.P. I was like totally buggin'. I had to haul ass to the kitchen, redistribute the food, and squish in extra place settings. But by the end of the day it was, like, the more the merrier. And so if the government could just get to the kitchen, rearrange some things, we could certainly party with the Haitians. And in conclusion may I please remind you it does not say R.S.V.P. on the Statue of Liberty. Thank you very much.

#9: Erin and I must be the same age. Because she knows this one, too! It's from "Swingers." The funniest part is when they are playing the NHL videogame, because I watched The Hubby and his roommate play this game all through senior year of college! Takes me back every time!
They're gonna give daddy the Rainman suite, you dig that?
Do you think we'll get there by midnight?
Baby, we're going to be up five hundy by midnight!
Vegas baby! Vegas!

#10: Guider got "Strictly Ballroom!" This is a hilarious Aussie film (redundant, right?) that I have loved for a long time -- and now, if you've gotten into the Dance shows on TV, it's even more fun to watch!
Look, a beginner has no right to approach an Open Amateur.
Yeah, well an Open Amateur has no right to dance non-Federation steps, but you did, didn't you?
But that's different.
*How* is it different? You're just like the rest of them! You think you're different, but you're not, because you're just, you're just really scared! You're really scared to give someone new a go, because you think, you know, they might just be better than you are! Well, you're just pathetic, and you're gutless. You're a gutless wonder! Vivir con miedo, es como vivir a medias!


Bonus #1: Tuvaluans K and Oldest (hi, guys!) know that this is from "Back to the Future." In fact, it is the very last line.
Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads.

Bonus #2: Elizabeth M. knows these classic lines from "This Is Spinal Tap." Seriously, folks, see it (again). Awesome. Someday I will have to write a post about the time I saw Spinal Tap play live at the Warfield in San Francisco. So Meta!!!
It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black.
It's very pretty.
Yeah, I've been fooling around with it for a few months.
It's a bit of a departure from what you normally play.
It's part of a trilogy, a musical trilogy I'm working on in D minor which is the saddest of all keys, I find. People weep instantly when they hear it, and I don't know why.
It's very nice.
You know, just simple lines intertwining, you know, very much like - I'm really influenced by Mozart and Bach, and it's sort of in between those, really. It's like a Mach piece, really. It's sort of...
What do you call this?
Well, this piece is called "Lick My Love Pump".

Bonus #3:
And they had no hole in the center of the record.
It would teeter crazily on the little spindle.
No, you had to provide it yourself. They were still good records. Good product.
If you punched a hole in them, you'd have a good time.

Bonus #4: Blackbird and secrethandshake have good taste in movies, like this one: "School of Rock." Ladies, we should get together for movie night!
Look the first thing you do when you start a band is talk about your influences. That's how you figure out what kind of band you want to be. So who do you like? Blondie?
Christina Aguilera
Who? No. Come on. What? You, Shortstop.
Puff Daddy
Wrong. Billy?
Liza Minnelli?
Katie, what was that thing you were playing today, the big thing?
Ok. This is a bass guitar. And it's the exact same thing but instead of playing it like this you tip it on the side... cello, you got a bass.

Friday, March 7, 2008

"mama, the airplanes are kissing!"

That's my son. He's all boy, but such a sweet and cuddly boy.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Dear Women's Club by my house,

Why is this sign affixed to your building? It is not "December 1st" anymore.
But more puzzling, why did you move this sign - from a pvc contraption on your front lawn to this spot on the exterior wall of the building - in January?

I just need to know what was going through the person's head who climbed up the ladder and nailed it to the building. I need to know because your building is on the way from my house to the nearest major street, and I look at this sign several times a day, and I just can't keep wondering in silence.

Because it is eating my brain.

should I just go back to bed?


yesterday afternoon I went to the dentist for the first time in 2.5 years (because it's really hard to find someone to watch the kids for me when my husband has a gross project at work (thank God that's over)) and they found "at least two" cavities so I will have to get fillings, which fills me with dread and gloom.

my dental insurance won't pay for full mouth x-rays because I had some at my old dentist in April 2005 and you can only get them once every three years. But since the new dentist did "check-up x-rays" yesterday, they can't do full mouth for another year. Which means that the dentist needs me to come back in so he can poke around for 45 minutes looking for more cavities since there's no complete set of x-rays unless I can get the old ones from the old dentist.

the old dentist apparently "archived my chart" in 2007 which means they sent it "off to storage" and would charge me an arm and a leg to retrieve it.


my insurance company just told me that the guy who hit me has changed his story and his insurance company now says I am at fault. Which is rubbish and, forgive me, horseshit. And even though the photos of my car's damage show that I was stopped at the time I was hit (my insurance guy told me that), since "guy who hit me" says otherwise, I might have to pay my deductible. What a fucking load. So apparently you can hit someone, then just tell your insurance company a completely bogus story and wtf I am so pissed. Now I have to call the other guy's insurance company and give them a statement because apparently not calling them is akin to admitting I'm at fault. I've never heard this before and it all sounds like crap. Whee, that'll be a fun phone call for me to make oh, about 10 minutes from now. Wish me luck.

I am so shitted about this I cannot even think coherently, let alone think. I mean, write.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

a new skill

The Boy would like to show you the latest thing Middle Girl taught him:

Since he is three, he likes that he knows another way to show it:

This means "bowling spare." I have no idea how or why he came up with that. But he is adamant about it.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Girl Power!

This is not a "New Favorite" (tm blackbird), it's one I've loved for a couple of years and go back and watch from time to time.

She is the shit!

Pass it on!


Dudes, thanks for appreciating my dad's volcano-watching hobby -- it's the type of "quirk" (he has many) that drives my mom nuts but just makes me smile and love him even more.

When writing that post, I tried to find some pictures of our trip there in the eighties. I couldn't find them, so they must be at my parents' house (a 16-hour drive away). I wish I had been able to post some -- not just for the moonscape that was the Mt. St. Helens area at that time, but also for cute li'l me in my 1980's get-up.

Anyway, in honor of Dad, here's the link: VolcanoCam
It's completely obstructed by clouds right now (8:30 am PST on March 3). Poor Dad.

In honor of my cousin T, here's the Astronomy Picture of the Day (he also sends this out to family members, but not every day). It's something in the DNA, I'm tellin' ya.

Sand Dunes Thawing on Mars