Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sky Pilot

Yesterday C was explaining that his friend Alex's dad is a pilot.
"What?" says S, "Alex's dad is a pirate?"
"No," we both say. "A pilot. For airplanes!"
"This is just like in the Pirates of Penzance," says C, "when the girl apprentices him to a pirate instead of to a pilot."
Yes! Obscure Gilbert and Sullivan musical reference!
I love my dorky children.

song: Sky Pilot • artist: The Animals

Monday, November 24, 2014

Back Where We Started

S and N are the most modest six year olds I've ever met. Prior to turning six they were the most modest five year olds I'd ever met.
At the beach they'd want me to close all the doors to the mini van so they could change in the car without anyone seeing them. I'd have to wrangle a compromise (so they wouldn't suffocate) by hanging towels across the open doors.
Now they don't even want the other to see them changing. Ironic because, as identical twins, they already know what the other looks like naked. 
Subsequently there's this whole song and dance routine we have to go through every morning where one of them has to cajole the other into closing his eyes or putting his head under the covers while the other changes. The threat is that if they look, the other will then go and change in the bathroom, which for some reason is unacceptable to the twin who's not getting dressed. Let's just say it's quite the ordeal.
This morning I finally got S dressed. N was still asleep so you'd think it would have been easy but there was a lot of "what ifs" as in "what if he wakes up?" "what if he's only pretending to be asleep?"
In the end we couldn't chance it so we changed in the bathroom.
By the time I had N awake and in the process of getting dressed S was back upstairs having spilled a bowl of cereal in his lap and we had to start all over again.

song: Back Where We Started • artist: The Kinks

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Christmas Song

S & N rediscovered the holiday tunes on the iPad.
The Chipmunk Christmas Song hasn't lost its appeal.

song: The Christmas Song • artist: Alvin and the Chipmunks

Friday, November 21, 2014

With or Without You

I left my phone and my "to do" list (notebook actually) at home yesterday.
After work I just drove around aimlessly and unconnected. I couldn't see what people had for dinner last night, there were no cute pictures of puppies and horses, nothing humorous or poignant from George Takei, no "I f*cking love science," reports. It was just me, adrift and alone.
It was refreshing.
Except for not having my "to do" list.
That was a bitch.

song: With or Without You • artist: U2

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One Week

National Education Week was November 10-13. 
Apparently someone in Washington doesn't know how many days there are in a week.

song: One Week • artist Barenaked Ladies

Telephone Line

C knocked my glass of wine off the dining room table last night and then N dropped a book on top of my cup of tea.
My self-imposed liquid diet is not going well.
Today I found it both ironic and appropriate that the on hold music (thank you for calling SCRIP, there are 12 callers ahead of you!) was ELO's Telephone Line.

song: Telephone Line • artist: Electric Light Orchestra

Monday, November 17, 2014

Let 'Em In

I hate that awkward Sienfeld moment when you're leaving the elementary school and there's some parent waiting to be buzzed in and you want to do the polite thing and hold the door but they don't have clearance from the office to enter yet; and even though they look vaguely familiar you don't know if that's because their child was in the same 3rd grade class as yours or if it was their mug being forwarded around on FB last night under the header "level 3 sex offended moves into the school district."

song: Let 'Em In • artist: Paul McCartney and Wings

Warm Love

All Flashdance jokes aside (you know I never actually saw that movie), the leg warmer is, in my opinion, the most under appreciated and valuable article of clothing ever. Well maybe it's number two to a warm hat, but it's way up there on the list.
People ask me why I wear skirts every day and if I ever wear pants. The answer is this: have you ever seen me on a bike? Yes. Of course I wear pants. I just don't like to, that's all.
And with the addition of leg warmers and some clever layering, knowledge leftover from my figure skating days, I rarely have to don my long pants (I am even less likely to be caught in shorts).
The truth is - skirts (and dresses) are way more comfortable than pants and with pants, unless you're wearing sweatpants (and you know how I feel about sweatpants) you can't comfortably wear much underneath if it's cold out. Skirts give you lots more flexibility in the layering department. Footless tights (love 'em), warm socks, and you're good to go. Leg warmers complete the ensemble if it's really cold and your exposed calves (I am of the age where skirt lengths are always below the knee) need a little extra TLC. Leg warmers are like comfy sweater sleeves for your legs. So cozy!
Where 1980s leg warmers got it wrong was that they were marketed as a gym accessory which made no sense whatsoever. In an exercise situation they're hot and uncomfortable and don't stay up when you're jumping around, so you end up looking ridiculous with them puddled around your feet like self-inflicted cankels. In the 80s I didn't even own a pair. Instead I had these two knit unitards that were like full body leg warmers, super toasty but a bitch when you had to go to the bathroom.
So, laugh if you like, but if were up to me I'd single handedly bring them back into style. Long live the leg warmer!

song: Warm Love • artist: Van Morrison

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Christmas Wrapping

Here's how I know I'm getting old.
I'd rather drink a cup of tea before bed than a glass of wine.
I still need a glass of wine for when the kids get home from school, but at bedtime? A cuppa please. And it's a wimpy decaffinated chamomile tea too.
I've also started calling salespeople who are obviously 20 years younger than me, hun. As in, "thanks hun" and "Have a nice day, hun" and "no plastic bag, hun, I brought my own."
Not only am I turning into an old person, I'm turing into an old waitress.

song: Christmas Wrapping • artist: The Waitresses

Friday, November 14, 2014

Back in Black

It warmed up yesterday while I was walking in the woods with a friend so I took off my black vest and then my black sweatshirt (I put the vest back on). I could have continued and then taken off my black long sleeve T, but I would have had to stop short of removing my black tank top.
I was like my own goth version of The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.

song: Back in Black • artist: AD/DC

Hungry Like the Wolf

So I picked a seed (pumpkin) out of my pumpkin bread the other day - but I figure that's a good thing.
Speaking of eating, C's been chowing down non stop lately. I think I might have to write a note to his teacher explaining how he couldn't finish his homework because he spent the first two hours after school snacking, another hour in the bathroom, and then it was time for dinner.
And whenever we drive anywhere in the car he's got to bring a snack along because heaven knows he might stave to death in the eight minutes it take us to drive to town.
He brings snacks out to the car, but the snacks never make it back inside the house. Presently there's a can of peanuts and a bag of corn chips in the passenger seat corroborating this story.
If it goes on much longer we might have to start having dinner in the car since that's were all the food will be anyway.

song: Hungry Like the Wolf • artist: Duran Duran

Monday, November 10, 2014

Don't Mean Nothing

C is just a little too enthusiastic about telling me what he traded away his lunch for.

song: Don't Mean Nothing • artist: Richard Marx

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Castles in the Air

I used to always think this song was about a man leaving his wife until recently I realized that he never refers to the woman as such. Probably she was just some girlfriend which makes it somehow less melancholy.
On the other hand maybe they are married. Cause who's the other person that's supposed to be listening to and then relating the message to the girl - the man's attorney?

song: Castles in the Air • artist: Don McClean

Turkey in the Straw

Spent a good portion of the weekend with H at the boy scout camp in Yarmouth for the camp's annual Turkey Shoot. Although no actual turkeys were shot I can still clearly envision my liberal, left-leaning self rolling over in its early grave.
For the record H didn't hit the target once in bb guns (he faired significantly better in archery), so I think it's safe to assume that the wild turkeys who sometimes visit our yard are safe - at least for this year.

song: Turkey in the Straw • artist: unknown

Friday, November 07, 2014

Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of

C has a buddy, let's call him Jack, every now and then Jack's parents call to arrange play dates. First they called to let us know what day Jack's birthday party was being planned for. "Darn," I said, C can't come because he's participating in a bocce festival - you know - bocce? It's a lawn game played by retired Italian gentlemen in their own backyards or by drunk college students at Bertucci's. 
The next time they texted to see if C could come over we were half way up Mount Washington. "Sorry, C can't come over, we're hiking Tuckerman's Ravine. Unusually good cell phone reception up here…"
Last Saturday Jack's mom texted again. 
My response?
"Sorry, C can't come over because he's in nose-bleed seats with me at Boston Garden listening to the Dalai Lama, you know, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism?"
Next time they reach out to us and we're doing something utterly bizarre, I think I'll just say that C's washing his hair.

song: Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of • artist: U2

Object of My Affection

Sometimes I think I'd like to revisit my youth by walking to the Star Market near Fenway Park, buying a box of Swiss Cheese crackers and eating them in my dorm room in one sitting.
But I don't know if Nabisco is still even making Swiss Cheese crackers so I google it - and guess what? They aren't.
Not a big surprise really. They didn't taste much like Swiss cheese. I know this because I've never liked Swiss cheese, yet I loved those crackers.
Not only do I find that they aren't selling these crackers in the U.S. anymore, I also find a link to a FB page dedicated to convincing Nabisco to bring back the Swiss Cheese cracker and there must be some real outrage because the site got 22 likes in its first three days. Gone viral I'd say.
The best part was that the site administrator was planning a trip to Canada (for her honeymoon!) and hoped to score some boxes of the crackers (Seinfield sponge worthy episode anyone?). It turns out that the Canadian supermarket only had a box or two on their shelves, which the newlyweds went ahead and purchased (I'm picturing them eating them with champagne while looking out over Niagara Falls).
Alas, the new bride learned all to early in the relationship that life can be full of disappointments: "So I made it to Canada and found Swiss Cheese crackers," it says on the FB page, "they're not as good as I remember."
Still, she promised to post pictures.

song: Object of My Affection • artist: Shawn Colvin

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Remain Silent

If question 2 had failed by a 60 / 40 margin I think I could handle it. But knowing that you don't think the same as 73% of the population - there's something unsettling about that. Like I live in some sort of alternate universe or something, and an unpopular alternative universe at that.
Forget for a minute that we don't need bottled water to begin with, we've been led like ducks to a shooting gallery to believe we do by big business; and I won't go too deeply into the fact that from my perspective, any way I looked at it, voting yes on 2 was a no brainer, either you keep buying bottled water and then there's incentive to recycle = more recycling, or you scoff at the extra nickel and start carrying around a reusable water bottle which you fill up at the communal office water cooler = less plastic bottles being made. And if you still toss your single-use water bottle on the ground at least there's a nickel's worth of incentive for someone else to pick it up and redeem it. But 73% of the population doesn't see it that way and while I guess I'm used to being in the minority, I didn't think I was that much of a loaner.
I've always believed that it's better to live within the system than to up and live off the grid, home school your children raise chickens and spin your own wool into yard but maybe I'm mistaken. Maybe those are my people after all.
It's all a little disconcerting looking into the faces of my fellow Bay Staters and wondering if someone's a 73 per center or a 27 per center. I feel like Fox Mulder - paranoid of the smoking man. I've spent the day being very depressed about question 2, forget all the actual candidates that I voted for who weren't elected either.
But hey, on the bright side. No, wait, there is no bright side. I was going to say that S hasn't pooped in his pants for 48 hours but honestly, I would rather clean poopy underwear in a world with 5¢ deposits on water bottles than live with my potty-trained child in a world without them.
song: Remain Silent • artist: Keb Mo

Monday, November 03, 2014

Message in a Bottle

Please share. I'd like to encourage all my friends in Massachusetts to vote Yes on Question 2 which would expand the bottle bill to include bottled water and sports drinks. 
If you're already planning to vote yes - that's great; if not I'd like to propose this challenge. Look out the window of your car while driving to the polls (not the whole time, we don't want any accidents) and if you see a water bottle lying by the side of the road, maybe you might reconsider that no vote. 
Expanded coverage of the bottle bill can't guarantee that all those water bottles won't wind up as litter, but according to the DEP 80% of the bottles and cans with deposits on them get recycled as opposed to only 23% of the bottles without deposits so it's certainly a step in the right direction.

song: Message in a Bottle • artist: The Police

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Cold November Rain

We had an extra hour this morning and were still late for church.
Ironically, on this, daylight savings weekend the Sunday message was about darkness and shadows and the power was out at the church so we were, literally, in darkness and shadows. If we were Catholic we could call it divine intervention but since we're Unitarians we just called it happenstance.

song: Cold November Rain • artist: Guns 'N Roses

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Good Thing

Message to a sleepy (grumpy) six year old:
Getting up at midnight to go to the bathroom is not a bad thing.
Having to change the sheets at 7:45 is.

song: Good Thing • artist: Fine Young Cannibals