Monday, February 28, 2011

musical monday: clothing edition

Sounds fascinating, yes? Indeed.

"Pardon Me (I Didn't Knit That for You")

"Row by row, stitch by stitch/I was scratchin' an itch"


And, something I posted a very long while back:

"How Would We Look Without Zippers" by the JC Penney Company

"How would we look without rickrack/Where would we be with no chalk/Think of the world with no buttons/And think how the neighbors would talk" -- fun stuff


Related (image-wise), but on a sombre note:

"All I Need" by Radiohead

"I'm the next act/Waiting in the wings"

Sunday, February 27, 2011

bigger than a bread box

I bought Pic a helium-filled, butterfly-shaped balloon today. It has kind of a stained-glass look to it. From the backseat of the car, on the drive home, Pic told me, "I'm going to name her Rainbow Rainbow because she has a lot of colors and patterns on her. Actually, I'm going to name her Rainbow Pattern."

Suddenly, I thought about Pic one day giving birth, gazing at her newborn child and announcing, "I'm going to name the baby Goopy Wrinkle because she's covered in some goop and she's wrinkly."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

ex-squeeze me? baking powder?

(Oh, yes, I did use that as my title.)

I am a compulsive reader. I'll read, um, stuff I have absolutely zero interest in. Take, for instance, the article I just read about an upcoming remake of The Bodyguard.

A few things. First: okay, so I didn't really read the article. I started to, but I couldn't get very far before I quit, and I'll explain in just a moment. But, before that, second: Why? Seriously, why do a remake of this movie? I think I've already admitted to having no taste when it comes to movies, but I really, really disliked this movie. If I could have those minutes back, I'd take 'em. (That goes for the time I watched Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Indecent Proposal. Oh, and Bio-Dome, Cabin Boy, Happy Gilmore, and oh-so-many more. Oh, this list could get a lot more depressing really quickly. Must. stop. now.)

Why did I quit reading in the third paragraph? The writer actually wrote, actually wrote, that the movie "spawned one of the biggest ballads of all time, 'I Will Always Love You.'" I'll just step back a moment and let that sink in.

And, then, I'll offer this:

"Dolly Parton - I will always love you"
I include this version because I still think it's funny that this is a madam singing this to the sheriff with whom she's having a secret love affair and that so many people choose this as their wedding song. (I've talked about this here before.) In case you still haven't listened to the lyrics, she's leaving him.

Parton wrote this song, but not for the movie. (This information I got from Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business, which I own and which I enjoyed. How much am I freaking people out with how high-brow I obviously am?)


And, yes, I should probably stop clicking on the linked articles on the Yahoo! homepage.

Also, yes, I have watched Wayne's World many, many times and I don't regret that at all. Ha!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

quip quote: writing is fun!

Of course, you'd never know it based on this quote...

Composition is, for the most part, an effort of slow diligence and steady perseverance, to which the mind is dragged by necessity or resolution, and from which the attention is every moment starting to more delightful amusements.

-- Samuel Johnson

"Diligence" is a word I've used so very much lately.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

a bit of lit: on the power of the word

From The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead (which is really a misnomer of The Book of Going Forth By Day) -- translated by R O Faulkner:

"As for whoever knows this book, he shall go out into the day, he shall walk on earth among the living and he shall never suffer destruction. A matter a million times true." -- from Spell 68

"As for him who knows this book on earth, he shall come out into the day, he shall walk on earth among the living, and his name shall not perish for ever." -- from Spell 70


It's quiet here. My fingers are so cold that they hurt a bit. It makes typing and writing difficult. Ah, well.

Cardo went to bed many hours ago. Pic shuffled off to sleep two hours ago? An hour?

I've been sitting here, using up all of my ink because I'm not good at asking for anything. Rather than bother anyone, put anyone else out, I leave myself to my own devices. In this case, that entailed printing about a page every three to five minutes. Otherwise, the ink would peter out by the bottom of the page, the last few lines fuzzy and faint.

I napped earlier. I hadn't really intended to, but I was wrapped up in a quilt, my glasses resting on a corner of the couch, my book in my hand. I had meant to join Kinsey in her quest for answers about an ex's activities, but the next thing I knew I was dreaming about my older sister and her family visiting and turning the heat up to 80. I had already read a bit of Odysseus's travails and Bernard Marx's too. (I'm only reading Brave New World for the first time in my life. It's interesting and going pretty quickly. The babies in bottles thing freaks me out, but it's not as freaky to me as The Handmaid's Tale, for instance. I really need to read that again. I will be reading some more Atwood in the very near future here.) Next up, I have a bit more reading to do, hence the printing.

Things around these bloggy parts are a bit perfunctory at the moment. A casa, I'm keeping things as clean as possible and doing the minimum in cooking. I'm constantly wondering about my own mental state and how much I can handle. It'd be more if I didn't drag myself down all of the time for not being able to live up to my own impossible standards. How do you let go?

I both have a lot going on right now and, really, not that much. A lot is being held off for another few months. I'm at the dreaming and scheming stage for a few things. I live a bit in the clouds, thudding back to the earth for a bunch of hours a week, then up I go again.

I am at the point right now where I don't think I'll sleep tonight. I slept seven-and-a-half hours last night, which is more than I had planned, and then there was the two-hour nap. I'm on sleep overload right now.

Pic and I took turns napping today. While I slept, she set up a mystery for me, complete with "mysteries" (read: clues). (Think: scavenger hunt with treasure map, but certainly don't call them such.) The solution to the mystery? A step stool whose compartments were filled with toiletries, the computer mouse, the mouse pad and the National Geographic collection of disks.

I snapped at Pic yesterday. We're not connecting well lately, entirely because I'm mainly elsewhere, my thoughts far away, my mental processes filled with work. I'm tired of telling her to wait for me. I'm tired of justifying to her, all the while justifying things for myself. I never thought I'd become so different on a child entering my life. I'm grateful for what's keeping me busy, but resentful of my decision at the same time. I don't split myself that well, never have. I'm ready for Pic and me to begin something new and exciting right. freaking. now. Not months from now. These moments together, snatched away from other obligations, aren't fulfilling.

I know there's a lot going on here. A lot I'm not really ready to deal with. Except I am. I just don't want to do the work. I'm wallowing. I'm tired. I'm lucky to have these problems. I am grateful for all I have. (As Janelle Monae is singing through my speakers right now, "Whether I'm high or low, I've got to tip on the tight-rope.")

Monday, February 21, 2011

musical monday: "don't write yourself off yet"

"Jimmy Eat World - The Middle"

I heard this in the car the other day and it was the first time I've ever really listened to the music. Overall, I like the song. It's a little You against Them (who are all the same, apparently) but I like the self-confidence vibe.

The video? Umm...okay. I won't get into it a lot here, but a lot of my self-esteem problems come from body image issues, which I feel is the case for a lot of people (mind you, I haven't conducted any studies). With the exception of maybe one person, all of these people seem to have bodies that would fit "our" current ideal.


And, why is the highest rated comment, "In Soviet Russia, world eats Jimmy"? I'm definitely missing something here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

psa and stuff

Tomorrow: Half-Off Sale at Savers. (On clothing, shoes and housewares, I believe. I'll be looking for table lamps, because, geez, Walter Wick books can be tricky in wan* light. I'll also be looking for things to wear to my paycheck-earning-place. Not that I need more clothes, but I'm thinking I want to purge some of what I have and get some new stuff. Let's see if I make it home with more than one or two tops. Now, if only books were also on sale. Ah, well. (Do I hear Cardo rejoicing about that book thing? Yes.)) [Update, after the sale: two tops, two books.]


We had fabulous, fabulous garlic fries at 5th St yesterday. I'll be thinking about those all week and ordering some more come next Saturday.


I love the name of the NPR program "Tiny Desk Concerts." I always imagine tiny people performing on a corner of my desk. I've only listened to one, featuring Adele, and I keep singing the last song of that set.


We bought a (used) piece of exercise equipment on Saturday. (Garlic fries first, then exercise. This is where my priorities stand.) Now I have even less reason to be very, very lazy. And even more reason to listen to my shorter saved podcasts. A little Stuff You Missed in History Class, anyone?


I might have decided that I'll be reading (some version of) the Bible this summer. Sometimes I marvel at how unChristian some Christians seem to be, but really I'm pretty ignorant on the subject. I feel I need to first read the text (or, the Word in the Book) to get a basic understanding. I really tried to be Christian for a large chunk of my life, but it just wasn't happening. (And, now, I've probably freaked people out. I think that most people who know me well know I'm not religious and that I'm trying to figure this issue out for myself. I am in the "freedom of religion" camp. That's it on that for now.)


I'm working on being less (negatively) judgmental. (See the above and feel free to judge me.) The older I get, the more I realize how limited my own experiences are. Instead of being instantly annoyed whenever someone says or does something I find offensive or hurtful, I'm going to try to understand that the person might just be going through a difficult time. Or, they just don't care about the same things that I do and I have to accept that about others.


* I looked up "wan" because I'm compulsive like that and the example fragment my dictionary gave me is, "the wan dawn light."

Friday, February 18, 2011

from the mouth of the babe

The other day, I was finishing up a bath, the water having already slipped down the drain, when Pic came into the bathroom. She told me, "I was thinking, 'Oh, Mamma's taking a little settle in the bath. I might join in.'"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

a bit of lit

Oh, the things I think about when I can't sleep. Several weeks ago, I was trying to come up with blog category titles when Insomnia was visiting.

I'm a bit compulsive about jotting down or underlining bits of text that stand out to me, but what to do with these words? I haven't kept my own great lines copybook regularly in about a decade. So, I thought I'd just note striking lines/phrases/whatnot here.

And, when I refer to 'lit,' I'm not necessarily only talking Literature as in Belonging-to-the-Canon,-Demanding-Pompous-Capital-Letters kind of lit. More like 'written words,' except that 'a bit of lit' has a kind of fun ring to it (especially when it's going on four in the morning and my mind refuses to chill) that 'stuff I've read' doesn't.


From Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone: "In cases where you don't see your way clearly, hold your tongue."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

on life-learning

A bit ago, Pic and a friend were having a conversation. Her friend was asking where she goes to school. Pic responded that she learns everywhere, that she's homeschooled and that, basically, her school is everywhere (O Homeschooling, why do I still call you that?).

Her friend asked her, "But who is your teacher?"

"Everyone," Pic responded.

"But who teaches you? Your mom? Your dad? A babysitter?"

"Um, everyone is my teacher."

I just quietly drove on, letting them conduct their conversation, learning from one another, thinking of a quote I see almost daily: "Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one" (attributed to Malcolm Forbes).

on the finer points of reading

I was sitting next to Pic earlier this evening when she pointed to the word "fire." She told me, "This says 'fire.'" When I asked her how she knew it, she told me, "It has an "f" and stuff."

Indeed. We're oh-so-cavalier when it comes to reading and stuff.


Monday, February 14, 2011

a query from the clueless

Sometimes I think it's a wonder I get by. How do I know so little? Today, and for the last several days, I've been wondering about soda.

I stopped drinking soda in high school and then drank it for a few months when I was twenty-one and for about a month when I was pregnant (ginger ale...didn't work for the nausea). I haven't had it since then. I stopped drinking it as a reaction to a seemingly inconsequential remark from the person performing my physical to ensure I wouldn't die playing tennis or swimming in high school (or something). The person wasn't remarking on my body, wasn't telling me to lose weight, wasn't even telling me to change my diet*. She just said something about soda, something I can't even remember now, and I stopped drinking it. (I've never done this with any other consumable. Usually, when I tell myself I can't have something, five minutes later I'm craving it and ten minutes later I'm consuming it.)

So, my questions about soda. What's so bad about it? I think there's something about unnatural amounts of sugar (especially in the form of various corn syrups) and empty calories. But are all sodas considered equal? Are all sodas equally bad? What is the difference between soda and those fruit-juice-and-sparkling-water-combinations I keep seeing suggested for those trying to get away from soda?

This past weekend, we bought some Hansen's soda for a gathering and I compared the ingredients of one of those to a cola. The former seemed positively benign compared to the latter. I was tempted, but why even start? Why spend the money and calories on soda when there's ice cream?

Any answers for me?


* I use the term "diet" as in the variety of foods/foodstuffs I consume. I don't mean it as in "lemonade diet" or some such thing. Also, I swear, I once worked with someone who was on some kind of lemonade diet. It was something like water, lemon juice, paprika or pepper flakes or some red spice, and sugar? It didn't sound good (or healthy).

musical monday: "here's my hand, so take it"

"Pete's Dragon (Candle On The Water)"
(This plays very quietly for me; you might need to turn your volume up.)

Thursday, February 10, 2011


In a fit of midnight madness, Pic and I made gingerbread cookie dough about a month ago, I guess. Cardo had been asleep on the couch for a while and I was finishing up some gifty-stuff (perhaps it was more than a month ago...) and I decided that if I didn't make the dough right then (two a.m. to be more exact) I wouldn't get to it. So, Pic and I started up the project because who needs sleep really? This dough needs refrigeration, but we were heading out of town later that day, so I stashed the dough in the freezer.

Several weeks later.... We finally got some more cold weather. I actually saw snowflakes a few days ago. (Where are they now? Chissa.) I transferred the dough to the refrigerator and the day after, Pic and I went at it. The recipe is from The Ultimate Cookie Book (this link has no real information, but there's the cover anyhow). A few notes: the dough was seriously sticky, we added plenty more flour to coat our surface and the dough, I ended up popping the dough back in the freezer for fifteen minutes which helped incredibly, and apparently gingerbread cookie dough puffs up (after I had assured Pic that would could place the cookies close to one another because they wouldn't bake into one another).

So, ten points for anyone who can distinguish the cats from the moons from the hearts.

Oh, and there's Pic's gingerlady and my bell-bottom-clad gingerguy, too. I swear.

I ate some of these, although I was thinking I might not like gingerbread cookies when I pulled them out of the oven. Why was I thinking this? I'm not sure. But they are tasty and warmly spicy.

At the moment, I'm contemplating how many brownies I can eat before I'm disgustingly sick. More on the brownies later.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

'all through the forest/they sing out in chorus'

Why does stuff like this get stuck in my head?

"Adventures of the Gummi Bears"


Monday, February 7, 2011

life learning

Last Friday, we had a homeschool park day. (Yes, yes, we're so very often outside of our home doing our learning.) At one point, a man toting a metal detector started sweeping through the park. He was like a mother duck with a line of ducklings following with all of the kids trailing behind him. Y'know, something like this:

(from Google Images)

We thought the kids might bother the guy, but he didn't seem to mind the entourage. At one point, they were all gathered around in a circle, kneeling, faces close the grass and dirt. They had found thirty-five cents and a nail. The parents stayed in the table area, watching the kids listen to an explanation of the metal detecting process. Shortly thereafter, the prospector left and the kids picked back up with their various pursuits.


On Saturday, I went out to lunch with a friend (so nice!) and Cardo and Pic went to Sierra Trading Post Outlet. There were a couple of other young kids there and they were asking Pic what school she goes to. Cardo says she responded, "I homeschool. The whole world is my school." I am hoping she still has this same attitude in ten, twenty, thirty years, and so on. I hope we all do.

musical monday: 'as the book of reason burns'

There was a time in my life when I was obsessed with this album. I listened to it pretty much nonstop. Okay, so not quite, but it felt like it. I've finally found this song here in on the interweb, which I had thought would fail me in my quest to find it.

"Show of Hands - Time Passes"

Saturday, February 5, 2011

on gift-giving

Cardo and I were sitting on the couch last night watching the Groundhog-Day Stargate SG-1 (the actual episode title is "Window of Opportunity," I believe) when he turned to me and said, "We've been thinking about what to do for Pic's birthday, but I haven't even figured out what to get you for Valentine's Day yet."

I looked back at him and replied, "Are we doing that now?"

"I don't know," he shrugged.

"Do you want something for a Valentine's Day gift?"


"Neither do I."

So, that's settled. We've never exchanged Valentine's Day gifts, so I'm guessing he just feels obliged to get me something because TV and such tells him he should. I don't know.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

computer bugs

Pic has been using the computer since she was four. It started very slowly. Just some PBS Kids at first. She still mainly uses the computer for that. She also was interested in Sprout for a very small period of time. Right now, she likes to switch between PBS Kids and an online dress up games site. I don't worry about the PBS Kids site, but the other has ads and plenty of available links. So, I explained to Pic that we only click on certain parts of the screen and I explained why. (I question just about everything, and I don't like arbitrary or unexplained rules.)

When I asked Pic the other day to explain to me why we don't click on the links or ads, she told me, "Because we don't want the computer to get influenza."

Indeed, we don't.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Today, Pic and I were getting ready to head out on a walk. I had gotten the wagon out of the trunk when I realized I had some car grease on my hand.

Pic asked, "What's grease, again?"

"Sludgy oil stuff from the car," I responded, oh so eloquently.

"Like that blobby?"


"Jumbo with the Hat?"


"Y'know, like the cookie. Jumbo with the Hat. That's his name."

"Oh, you mean Jabba the Hutt."

Fun times.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

welcome february, o shortest of months

I've often read blog posts about how February seems to extend out into eternity. These posts were written by people who experience snowy, dark winters.

Here we are at the beginning of February, and, instead of feeling like it'll trudge along forever trying to meet the horizon, I feel like it's going to zip right by like it can't wait to meet up with March.

In my tiny world, so much is going on this month that I'm already thinking that the next time I come up for air, it'll be March. I'll not rush it (as if I could rush time).

There's so much to look forward to this month: the birthday of a certain small one, the birth of someone even smaller (one would hope), intellectual and strategic challenges, making food at home. What more? Snow? I think many other parts of the country have taken over the snow thing for now, but we can't possibly be quit of it here. Walks will be taken. Books will be read. Then, the lion of March will pounce on tiny, little February and we'll move into spring. And, there I go rushing and anticipating.

So, here's to February, O shortest of months.

from the mouth of the babe; or, 10Xs sugar bacon...mmm

Pic just informed me that Cardo is making bacon for her. When I was trying to confirm what she said, she told me, "Well, he's not making it, like with powdered sugar and stuff, he's just cooking it. I don't know how you make bacon."


We've had a lot of conversations recently about meat being animals and I've been repeatedly asked why people can't just make bacon and such without killing any animals. She'll still eat poultry (our bacon is turkey bacon) and she'd probably eat red meat if she liked the taste. She's curious about the concept, but doesn't seem too concerned about it.