Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Loopty "Loo"

So, I've not pooped in two full days and I was due. I get situated for a little stay with my magazine and content for Colin to self-manage and come and go if he can stand the stench. 

He interrupts: 
Colin:  Mom, I have to poop. 
Me:  Well, I'm already pooping. 
Colin:  Can you get off?
Me:  Can you go to the other bathroom? 
Colin:  I need your help to wipe.
Me:  By the time you're finished I'll be finished. 
Colin:  Mom (dancing) I have to poop right now. 
Me:  Okay, I'm moving. Give me a second....

I do necessary cleaning to "move" to the other potty. Colin settles, I settle again on the other potty and we're content. Then I hear...

Colin:  I'm dooooonnnnneee!
Me:  I'm noooooootttttt!
Colin:  Are you coming Mom?
Me:  Be right there. 

I do the necessary cleaning to "move" again and to wipe the other bottom. I do, I sit again on a very warm seat and finish my job. I tell you, a good poop is hard to beat even if you're interrupted three times. 

Here we go loopty "loo", here we go loopty ly, Here we go loopty "loo", all on a Tuesday night


Sunday, October 26, 2008


Granny and Colin's handy-work. Is there better patience in the world than that of a grandmother's? I think not. Colin said, "The purple one with two candy corns is the one with noculars." (binoculars) Brilliant!

Holloween Time

Granny and Pop were here this week so we went to Disneyland. They have it all dressed up for Halloween Time. Very cute. 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Comma

On my way to the church to drop of Colin at school I pass by this spot that has had me thinking lately. I know, seriously dangerous, me thinking but it's happened and I thought (there I go again) I would share it or at least write it so that I can stop this infernal thinking as it were. Be patient with me, I promise not to do this too often. 

I must begin with a moment out of a movie that was originally a play written by Margaret Edson called "Wit". Emma Thompson then stared in an HBO film production of it and I have to first say that if you haven't seen it, you absolutely MUST. It is in my top 10 movies of all time and shall be there forever. It is one of the few that grace my shelf. It is also one I watch at least once a year just to bathe in its perfection. Need I say it? Strong, weak in no way. 

I'm going to painstakingly type out the scene for you because I happen to have a script of the play so you can read all the words. For it is the words themselves associating with this picture that has me thinking in the first place. 

There are two characters in the scene. Vivian Bearing, PhD who has been diagnosed with stage four cancer and her professor, E.M. Ashford, D.Phil. In this scene Vivian is a student of E.M. and she's remembering a conversation with her professor about a paper she's written on the poem Death Be Not Proud by John Donne. Vivian ultimately becomes a professor of seventeenth-century poetry. She becomes an expert on Donne but in this scene she hasn't grasped even the simplest idea of it all. 

Enter Prof EM Ashford. The scene is 28 years ago. Vivan suddenly turns twenty-two, eager and intimidated.

V:  Professor Ashford?

EM: Do it again. Your essay on Holy Sonnet Six, Miss Bearing, is a melodrama, with a veneer of scholarship unworthy of you - to say nothing of Donne. Do it again. 

V:  I, ah...

EM: You must begin with the text Miss Bearing, not with a feeling. 
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mightly and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe.
You have entirely missed the point of the poem,  because, I must tell you, you have used an edition of the text that is unauthentically punctuated. In the Garner edition -- 

V:  That edition was checked out of the library --

EM: Miss Bearing!

V:  Sorry.

EM: You take this too lightly, Miss Bearing. This is Metaphysical Poetry, not The Modern Novel. The standards of scholarship and critical reading which one would apply to any other text are simply insufficient. The effort must be total for the results to be meaningful. Do you think the punctuation of the last line of this sonnet is merely an insignificant detail? 

The sonnet begins with a valiant struggle with death, calling on all the forces of intellect and drama to vanquish the enemy. But it is ultimately about overcoming the seemingly insuperable barriers separating life, death, and eternal life. 

In the edition you chose, this profoundly simple meaning is sacrificed to hysterical punctuation. 

And Death - captial D - shall be no more - simicolon!
Death - captial D - comma - thou shalt die - exclamation point!

If you go in for this sort of thing, I suggest you take up Shakespeare. Garner's editions of the Holy Sonnets returns to the Westmoreland manuscript source of 1610 - not for the sentimental reasons, I assure you, but because Helen Garnder is a scholar. It reads: 

And death shall be no more, comma, death thou shalt die. 

Nothing but a breath - a comma - separates life from life everlasting. It is very simple really. With the original punctuation restored, death is no longer something to act out on a stage, with exclamation points. It's a comma, a pause. 

This way, the uncompromising way, one learns something from this poem, wouldn't you say? Life, death. Soul, God. Past, present, Not insuperable barriers, not semicolons, Just a comma. 

V:  Life, death....I see. It's a metaphysical conceit. It's wit! I'll go back to the library and rewrite the paper --

EM: It is not wit, Miss Bearing. It is truth. The paper's not the point. 

V:  Isn't it?

EM: Vivan. You're a bright young woman. Use your intelligence. Don't go back to the library. Go out. Enjoy yourself with your friends. Hmmm? 

So, as I drive Colin to school every morning I pass this scene and I think of this scene from the play and movie. I see a living illustration of the pause, the comma between death and life. And again I see the heroics of the firemen. 

Death Be Not Proud
by John Donne

DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more, death, thou shalt die.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Crayons and Monkeys

Colin:  Mom, I need a crayon. 
Me:  For what? 
Colin:  To stick in my ear.
Me:  What? 
Colin:  To stick in my ear. 
Me:  You can't stick a crayon in your ear. 
Colin:  Curious George did. 
Me:  Well, "Curious George does things you can't do."
Colin:  But I want to. 
Me:  You can't stick anything in your ear except your elbow. 
Colin:  Then can I have some paper and colors? 
Me:  To color with?
Colin:  Yes
Me:  If I find you with a crayon in your ear I'll take away your Game Boy for a week.
Colin:  A week? 
Me:  That's seven days.
Colin:  That's a lot of days. 
Me:  You can't stick anything in your ear, espcially a crayon and I mean it. 
Colin:  thinking... then hangs his head, pouts for a second, and abandons his idea. 

What the crap is Curious George teaching my kid??!!!


It was a beautiful Sunday October afternoon and I was just sittin' on the couch reading "The Story Of Edgar Sawtelle" JD was lying on the couch watching football, Colin was sitting playing with his Game-boy when we all heard a crash. I looked up and JD looked at me and I said, "What was that?" He said, "Sounds like something just fell off the washer." Ummm...you could say that. 
Under the washer, down the door, down the wall, on the ceiling, out into the hallway, on the carpet of the guest room, on the door knob, under the dryer....it didn't end.

What a mess! There was detergent EVERYWHERE!!!! It took me the better part of an hour to clean this up. And are you thinking what I was thinking? I was thinking, "Thank you God the basket was there." 
The salvaged detergent. 

At the price of this stuff, I saved every drop I could. That's probably why it took so long to clean up. UGGG!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pulling and Plucking while Puling

I've said, "I'm going to grow old gracefully." I'm not even sure what that means but it sounds like something you should say, so I do. However, lately, I've been plucking and pulling hairs out of my head like a mad woman and I'm not sure this is graceful. I'm pretty sure this falls under disgraceful. I used to couldn't find a gray hair. I had to really look and the light had to catch it just right but the time of that luxury has passed. Now, I don't have to "look" they just scream, "See me? Here I am." And then I go to pull it out but my eyes are going and the light is bad and I pull a brown hair out instead and the gray one continues to sneer at me with great satisfaction. I sneer back with contempt and pull hairs until I find it. And the plucking? What the crap? I used to only pluck my brows once in a while but now, I can't keep up. I've resorted to carrying around tweezers in my purse because the only time I can really see the little buggers is in daylight using the car's vanity mirror. Vanity for sure. And let's not even mention the three little whiskers on my chinny chin chin that will not give up. They keep coming back like a reoccurring zit during PMS. I'm just waiting for the hair to show up in my ears. This will be a very very very disgraceful day, I promise!

I'm going to grow old DISGRACEFULLY. I'm resigned. 

pule (pul) v.i.  puled, puling, to whine

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hidden Ingredient

Remember the Friendship Bread attempt gone bad? Well, I finally gave up on trying to get something good out of that mess. However, recently I bought some zucchini and decided I would make a zucchini cake. It truly is the oldest recipe in my collection. Got it from my Mom. Been making this cake for 25 years. You can also put apples or carrots in this cake and I'm telling you, it's fail-proof. Colin really liked the friendship bread even though to me it always tasted wrong, so I called this cake "friendship bread" and didn't mention that it had a vegetable in it. He ate the whole cake almost by himself. So, for all you mommies who like to hide the good stuff in the food so your kids will eat it unknowingly.... (Seinfeld Cookbook)
...this might be a recipe you would like. Like I said, it's fail-proof. 

Apple or Carrot or Zucchini Cake (Bread)
2 C sugar (if using apples only put in 1 1/2 C)
2 C grated apples or carrots or zucchini
2 eggs
3/4 C oil (1 C if you like it more moist)
2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp (heaping) cinnamon
1 C chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Mix ingredients with mixer about 3 minutes dump into greased and floured bunt pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Cool and dump onto cake plate. Slice and serve. It's wonderful. You can also add cream-cheese frosting to the carrot version for more of a dessert. 

Weight Watchers  - a slice has 5 points w/o nuts and 6 points w/ nuts. 

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fighting Spiders

I don't usually brag on my son's coloring, drawing, or writing abilities because in a word, they're not that good. He's a boy, he's in a hurry, he's about getting it done so he can go play with cars, heros, trains, swords, and other boys. But the other day he handed me this. I took notice because first of all, it had more than one color, second, it had different texture (dots, lines, movement). It looked like he actually cared about this. So I said, "Colin, this is really good. What do you call this piece of art?" He looked at it and then said, "It's 'Fighting Spiders'." I praised him some more and then he said, "See the two spiders Mommy? One of them is blue and purple and the other is red and yellow and the black marks is the FIGHT!" (fight said ferociously). I was impressed and decided that I would frame this one. I also decided that maybe each of his pieces have a meaning and I should be less critical and more attentive and appreciative. 


Sunday, October 12, 2008


Not even gonna waste my time writing a review but simply going to warn you NOT to go. Complete utter waste of time and can't find a redeeming thing about this movie, especially for children. Dark, gloomy, weird, sad sad little film. Do not be deceived by this cute little poster.

Weak, strong in NO way!

One funny thing that happened. At the very beginning when the lion roars for MGM, a little girl was opening the door to the theater at the same time. She see nothing but blackness and hears lion roaring. It made her cry and she refused to come in for fear of a lion on the lose. I shouldn't laugh, but that was really funny. She sat in the lap of her Daddy the entire movie. The movie scared her too. On two different occasions she asked to go home. Poor kid, my guess is her dreams were not pleasant last night. 

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Underwood Farms Harvest Festival

Welcome to the Pumpkin Patch
Most of Colin's class
The Pumpkin Train
Watching the Bees work in their hive
Watching the bees work at the flowers
Riding the Pony (Arizona)

Colin's preschool class went to Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark on a field trip. JD and I went as staff / parent and to just get in on the fun. And fun it was. What a wonderful place to be all day. We went to a little lecture on how pumpkins are grown, the different kinds of pumpkins and a display of all the kinds we would find there. Then we rode a wagon and got a tour of the place. Then we picked our pumpkins. Harder than you expect -- so many to choose from. After that we all had some lunch and then we did other activities: pony rides, watching the bees work, bounce house, train rides, and more. Glorious day!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


We have heros among us and they run around in big red trucks, sometimes yellow and save lives and put out fires. Firemen are awesome! That's really all there is to it. The EMTs always have my highest esteem and anyone willing to run into a flame for my safety is nothing but a hero. I admire them. I support them. I get out of their way when they are coming down the street and as they pass I always pray for them and whomever they are racing to save. Racing, knowing they might not make it through the day, but they go anyway. 

But it when the hero takes off his mask and hangs with the kids, they become the most hero-like. Only a human, no different than the rest of us, save their every day bravery, shows a kid how fun it might be to be a fireman someday, how to avoid being caught in a fire, what to do when a fire happens, and what it feels like to hold a fire-hose powerfully alive with water....

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Beverly Hills Chihuahua - Review

We went to see Beverly Hills Chihuahua yesterday. I was actually excited because it's Disney and I expect movie-making perfection from Disney even when it potentially could be ridiculous. My expectations for really liking the movie were reasonable in that I don't really have an affinity for dogs. I've never had a dog as a pet because I'm allergic to them. But there have been some of the best movies ever about dogs: Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Incredible Journey, K-9, Turner and Hooch, My Dog Skip -- I loved them all so I was open to this movie. I can also appreciate a good dog, especially one that has a job such as K-9 police dogs, sight dogs, sheep dogs, drug dogs, search and rescue dogs, etc. And I can appreciate a loved family dog. I like to watch "Best In Show" like anyone else and am fascinated by all the breeds. But for the life of me, I don't get the chihuahua. I don't get why people think they are so cute and how putting clothes on them can possibly be rationalized as normal behavior. I don't get how a yappy little rat-like thing could be a good companion or bring any good to the world whatsoever. So, I half expected the movie to do one of two things, either change my mind about the love for the chihuahua or make me despise them all the more. 

As far as the movie itself, it was fine. The story line was good enough. Good verses Evil, finding your place in the world, overcoming adversity, becoming a hero in the moment of extraordinary circumstances, etc. The special effects were what you would expect with talking animals. The characters were okay. My favorite was the German Shepherd, voiced by Andy Garcia. Honesty, without that character/dog/actor, I wouldn't have made it through the film. Kudos to the dog trainers behind the scenes. They brilliantly made fun of the ridiculous behavior by the wealthy and the treatment of their "precious babies" with spa treatments, outfits, diamond collars, doggie birthday parties, special sized furniture, doggie play dates, and more. But then they went all support-the-cause and awareness on me and overall just pissed me off. It makes me mad when a film is used to support a cause. It's not what I signed up for. I came to be entertained. I don't like the bait and switch approach. That's not going to get me on your band wagon....ever! And it really makes me mad when they deceive you with the trailers into coming to see a movie you have a preconceived idea about based on those trailers and then bombard you throughout the movie with their cause and you are watching a completely different movie. Wall-E is a perfect example. 

Basically, this is what I got. Some dogs have way too much to the point of ridiculous and the dogs themselves are tired of it. As a breed they are done being treated like "precious babies" and want to treated with some respect. "No Mas!" There are other dogs that are being abused by their owners to do their dirty work. There are the lost dogs captured for ransom or used as money making machines in the dog-fighting arena. (tastefully, there was never a "dog-fight" in the movie) There are a lot of dogs without homes and deep down, that's all any dog really wants in the world - to be loved and wanted. 

I was not happy! Bob Barker did it best. Consistently and subtly, "Help control the pet population, have your pet spade or neutered." 

No Mas! Oh, and my thoughts about the chihuahua; pretty much the same. Less against the dog itself, more against the people who need to own them as an accessory to their lives. 

Weak, strong in a way

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Today begins O-crap-tober. Where you knew the busy season was coming but you were still in summer mode and then all of a sudden you realize it's already October and all the things you were putting off until fall is now due and you don't have as much time as you thought you did so you are now in trouble if you don't seriously get busy. 

Some things to think about: 
There's only 84 more days until Christmas
Every catalog ever printed will arrive in your mailbox over the next two weeks. Just when you've thrown them all out, you'll get round two and eventually round three. 
Halloween candy is already stale in the grocery stores because it's been there since August 15th.
You can't find anything to buy that's summer anymore because every rack is now covered with long sleeves, coats, scarves, gloves, pants, wool, corduroy, and fleece. The sales have been cleared but fall is still full price. (It was 90 degrees here yesterday). 
Airline tickets are still expensive and they're not coming down. 
Gas is still really close to $4 / gallon. 
You feel pressure to "decorate" your house for fall or Halloween or Thanksgiving or all the above. 
The days are really much shorter now but the country won't let us recognize that because they moved the official daylight savings time to first week of November. (Guess the whole country was complaining about O-crap-tober so they gave us a little more daylight a little longer). 
Football is in full swing and if you're a football widow, you're starting to really feel it now, probably worked yourself into a real good mad. 
Baseball is finally in playoffs so that's a whole new kind of obsession
Basketball mania is just around the corner
Your kid will change their Halloween costume idea 50 times before the end of the month and then you'll end up making something out of old pajamas at the last minute.
Homework, soccer games, football games, choir rehearsals, science projects, etc have taken up all your family's spare time. 
You're ready for another vacation but see no light at the end of the tunnel until Spring Break.
And because everyone is super busy, they (whomever you choose) decided to make us "aware" of some serious stuff: It's National...
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month (get a mammogram girlfriends if you're over 40)
  • Down's Syndrome Awareness Month. 
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Meth Awareness Month
  • Energy Awareness Month
  • National Cyber Security Awareness Month 
It's also finally cooling off, the leaves are turning colors, time for apple pie and pumpkin spice lattes, and we should remember to be thankful while we're being busy busy busy.