i’m guessing their world is kind of like being on a hallucinogen

Ralph’s made a pile of 11″ by 17″ paper for the kids to draw on. It’s allowed them to expand their art to the edges of the paper. Nels draws elaborate botanical gardens and tall, thin houses with many vertical-lined fixtures; Sophie illustrates mermaid families, dragons, and some kind of a spiky weapon hurling above us all like a vicious sun.

Yesterday one of her many mermaid family drawings had been amended. Above the four of us it now read: “Chart of mean People” and then below that, “X’s are mean”). Ralph and I had two big X’s drawn through our faces. I’m not sure what we’d done to offend, but I do like our daughter was ready with an infographic regarding the character of our family.

We were a topless mermaid family, of course. My breasts looked like two adjoined capital “Y”s. Ralph sported an arrow over his right shoulder pointing to “nipls” (just in case you weren’t sure what those two milk-dud sized dots on his chest were); he was also annotated “(with a sweet stash)”, the “w” in the word “stash” (which meant mustache, of course) sporting it’s own mustache like a tilde.

Last night my mom took Sophie to pick up her van at the shop. While they waited they shopped at the Dollar Tree and my mother bought Sophie a tube of plastic lizards. My kids love plastic animals, Sophie most of all – especially dragons and reptiles. By that evening in the bath the kids had named the lizards:


In the bath with my daughter I spent several minutes committing each lizard’s color and name to memory; this morning while putting away clothes I noticed she’d put each of the eight to bed in these wee baskets, each with their own pillow (cut from fabric scraps).

Very, very sweet. Until one of the lizards offends my daughter and she writes up a blistering exposé.

definitely, definitely breaking a blogging rule

If you think this list is in response to the recent Facebook “Post 25 things about yourself” inter-meme, you’re correct; but this is the second twenty-five I’ve come up with. Being my FB friend is fun – if by “fun” I mean you will soon defriend me in response to my crass sense of humor or my verbosity.


1. My family lived in a bus until I was eight. It had planets painted on it. And parents inside, usually smoking weed or whatever.

2. I will leave the house with no makeup or my hair untouched after a shower; but I hate finding out I’ve left the house without earrings. Despite this I only have four pair of earrings. I guess what I’m saying is, my birthday is coming up, and I really like earrings.

3. I find elevators creepy; I guess I’ve seen too many movies where something horrible happens just as they’re opening or closing.

4. I love the smell of grilled onions but loathe eating them and avoid it if at all possible.

5. People who act distant or superior irritate me. When I was younger, I’d make them a sexual conquest (usually, but not always, successfully). Now I try to feel compassion; it’s a self-defense response.

6. I can’t remember a time in my life people didn’t regularly corner me or lay out some life scenario and ask for my feedback or advice.

7. At night when I’m hovering around sleep I rub my feet back and forth on one another. Actually, this feels very personal to admit to for some reason.

8. Besides my children, I am not always demonstrative (physically or verbally) toward people I love, but I love them very, very fiercely. I think about them a lot during my day.

9. I get emails out of the blue often, from people who read my blog(s).

10. Despite being a relatively tidy housekeeper, I truly do not judge people with messier houses, although most of my girlfriends apologize for their house when I enter it. WTF? I think I should start giving them side-eye and saying, “Yeah. You need to clean this shit UP.”

11. I try to be completely honest. If I think ahead and realize something I want to say isn’t helpful, I will stay silent. This means I’m quiet around my mother a lot in response to stuff she tells me. She probably thinks I’m not listening or don’t care, which is a shame.

12. I am an alcoholic.

13. Things I do not own: a credit card, a cell phone, a bought-new car, a house, a television set, and a microwave. I’ve never owned the first four.

14. I gambled once at a casino. BORRRRING. Don’t need to do that again.

15. I am not dumb but I can’t follow “caper” movies. I’m like the guy Jerry Seinfeld joked about, whispering in the theater, “Wait, why’d they kill that guy? I thought he was with them. What? He wasn’t with them? Oh, then it’s a good thing they killed him.”

16. I believe Jesus Christ was here on earth and was the son of God. I didn’t believe this until adulthood. I am not very devout, but I love making Jesus Christ jokes a LOT. Maybe that counts for something.

17. The personal vice I’m most often guilty of is Projection. Followed closely by a devastating addiction to sailor porn. Just kidding about one of those.

18. I love teaching and I love writing, and I hate that when I do both things I hear myself sounding like an arrogant know-it-all.

19. I love spicy food. LOVE IT! (I am currently eating burritos slathered in Tapatio.)

20. I love my brother more than he loves me, and I’m okay with that.

21. I love watching movies (and a few television shows). If you conjure up the following you will probably have most of “me”: Blue Velvet, “Strangers With Candy”, Anchorman, “The Office” (BBC), American Psycho, “Deadwood”, and “The Wire”. I’ve cried tears of joy at some point during all of those.

22. I think my dad’s persona and style of parenting was just perfect for me.

23. My kids think I make the best food, ever. This #23 was added at my daughter’s request.

24. I am a compulsive hand-washer and I always worry I might smell bad. P.S. please do not take this opportunity to email me and say the latter is true, I’m not sure I could handle hearing that now.

25. I am not scared of crazy, loud, weird, retarded, or old people. However if someone is mean to me in any way at all it will make me want to cry.


Hmm. Maybe it’s possible to know too much about someone.

these eggs have the curious taste of triumph

I find our pets (currently: two cats, two chickens) immensely amusing; I’m aware that I can only do so in part because A. they’re healthy and B. I feel good about the care we’re giving them. Most of my time with them I’m laughing at their sheer joy of living, their ease of life; companions in our world, benefiting from my husband’s income and the TLC the family bestows on them.

So this morning when my daughter came in from egg-gathering and reported that our laying hen had a “block of wood” in her eye my heart sank. I thought, These are Ralph’s chickens! Why am I going to have to deal with this? It was a grievous injury indeed – closer to a “block” then a splinter, the piece of wood had pierced the fowl’s lower eyelid and was barbed like a fish hook, set deep in the flesh (I know – ew!). My daughter and I attempted to remove the item but it was impossible.

An “emergency” call-in and afternoon trip out to the doctor (I hope the chicken likes listening to Abba as much as my kids do) and a half hour later the heroic vet had removed the wood and told us by a small miracle the eye itself had not been damaged. So – that’s great news.

The real amazing part of the story was my daughter, who not only daily takes it upon herself to check on the fowl and bring in eggs, but who this morning discovered the injury and assisted me in our attempts to remedy the situation. She was calm and assertive with the distressed bird; I told her later this is a most important quality for caring for pets. “It’s okay, girl…” she said softly as she carefully but firmly tugged on the wood splinter (a job I did not envy; I was the chickn-holder for this venture). At one point I urged her in a particular operation and she said in a perfectly adult tone, “Mom, I’m not a chicken expert.” (It turned out the “experts” needed two people, ten minutes, and doctors’ tools to complete the job.)

I am just so immensely proud of her. She takes after her dad in the Chickn Care department.

Sophie & Sophie
Sophie. & Sophie.

"games, must we?"

I’ve been working my way through Hitchcock films and have decided I want to live in a Hitchcockian universe. Especially delicious was my recent viewing of Dial M For Murder. Ray Milland!* I loved him so very much as a villain, maybe more than I’ve liked any villain. (– note, all trailers are a bit spoiler-ish and I wouldn’t watch them if you haven’t already seen the films):

Dial M was recommended by a moviephile I met after I told him I’d recently viewed – and re-viewed, and loved – North by Northwest (below trailer is a re-vamp on movie trailer styling, me likey):

Up next for me (I’ve already seen it, but want to again):

I just want to live in a world where, say, I’m recovering from gallavanting around on clandestine capers and I have beautiful slacks and shirts and patent leather shoes delivered to me in boxes and I whip them on and slip out the window to catch a cab and rescue my love and not only that, but later on I’ve had the foresight such that I can pull out of my impeccable pockets not only a matchbook and handkerchief with my monogram but also a tiny, useful pencil for dispatching secret messages in a pinch. And yeah, I’m Cary Grant. But also somehow, I get to make out with Cary Grant too. Look, it all works in my mind, see?

* And, um, OMG. I like Ray Milland, and I like Rosey Grier, and until now I had no idea they put their considerable combined prowess together for:

Words simply cannot express.

virillius maximus

I forgot to mention, Ralph won the toga contest last night. There were around thirty entrants! The toga itself was made absolutely last minute: I (genius-like) tore a queen-size sheet in half and stitched the short ends together to create the length needed. Each contestant was interviewed onstage and then “runway’d” down the stage to show off.

Beside him you see the female counterpart who tied him for first. She’s doing the “looking good” version of the toga; Ralph had a different take since he not only cracked wise (the contestants interviewed prior to Ralph claimed spending a mere five or ten minutes on the toga… when asked Ralph cocked his head in mock seriousness and said, “Seven… seven or eight hours?”) but he also pointed to his bare nipple during the clap-off to garner more applause.

Yeah, so. I didn’t really marry an introvert or anything.