Monday, December 26, 2016

My Favorite Things

N just said that his favorite Christmas present was the Silly Putty he got in his stocking.
If I'd known in advance that that would be the case - I could have saved a lot of money.

song: My Favorite Things • musical: The Sound of Music

Monday, November 21, 2016

Driving through the Berkshires last night: a haiku

In the headlights - snow
The Millennium Falcon
Is in hyperdrive

Monday, September 26, 2016

a limerick for the boss on his birthday

A man who was born to run
wrote songs that were number one.
He went dancing in the dark,
down in Ashbury Park.
His glory days as yet, are not done.

For the record, I did write this on Bruce Springsteen's birthday (which was Friday), I just didn't get around to posting it until today.

Friday, September 16, 2016

itchy (a couplet)

poison ivy
always finds me

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Hangman Jury

The elementary school bus was late.
I had to bring my husband the sandwich he left at home.
I forgot my computer and had to drive home to get it.
I scalded my mouth on tea from my damn-that-keeps-tea-really-hot travel mug.
There was traffic everywhere because of detours and road construction (see sentence #1).
I ended up not having to go, but maybe I would have been better off at jury duty.

song: Hangman Jury • artist Aerosmith

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Weight

My 14 year old now weighs what I weighed - before I had kids. Proving that kids grow up - but baby weight is forever.

song: The Weight • artist: The Band

Friday, September 09, 2016

Ridin' In My Car

N asked me if he had to have the same birthday party as his twin brother S.
"Do you want me to book the rec. center for two weekends in a row?" I asked.
"No," he said. "I want to have my birthday party in the car."
I suppose I should have said yes.
I could have limited the amount of kids he can invite to the number of seat belts the minivan has.

song: Ridin' In My Car • artist: She and Him

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Back of the Bus

People like to spin rain on important occasions as good luck.
So what if it rains on your wedding - the most anticipated day of your life - and the limo splashes mud on the dress you fought off other rabid brides to get a Filene's Basement? It's good luck! No one's ever gotten divorced whose had to cancel their wedding-day oceanside photo shoot right? Right.
And rain at a funeral is considered lucky as well.
Lucky for who?
Seems to me the poor sod getting memorialized could have used that luck a few days earlier.
But rain on the first day of school? No one tries to look on the bright side of that because there is no bright side unless it's to say, "Look. It's raining out. You might as well go to school."
Rain on the first day of school is just the physical manifestation of the rain in a child's heart as he or she climbs on board the bus, having just figured out one week earlier that having nothing scheduled to do and being board are not the same thing. Or maybe it symbolizes the rain in the heart of a teacher who has finally gotten over feeling guilty for relaxing at the beach and not grading papers instead.
Rain on the first day of school washes away the fake smiles and prolongs for at least one more day a child's anxiety over who they'll play with at recess.
Rain on the first day of school is entirely appropriate, especially when the only thing that's great about third grade is that now (finally!) you can sit at the back of the bus.

song: Back of the Bus • artist: Bill Harley

Monday, May 23, 2016

Giving it All Away

N traded his chocolate chip cookies to Joseph for a Matchbox car last week on the bus.
I guess it's flattering to think that your made-from-scratch cookies are good enough to pass for second grade currency, but I still got mad and told him to eat his cookies and not trade them. Then I refused to give him any more for after-school snack which is probably why he told me I wasn't going to come and visit me when I was an old lady.

song: Giving it All Away • artist: Roger Daltrey

Friday, May 13, 2016

You Spin Me Round

We're heading into the busy season here on the Cape so here's a friendly little reminder: the driver who is already in the rotary has the right of way.

song: You Spin Me Round • artist: Dead or Alive

If You Could Read My Mind

I feel quite certain that when I ask my children where something is and they answer "in the back of the car," that's just a euphemism for "lost."
I know this in much the same way that my kids know that when I say "I'll think about it," that's just a euphemism for "no."

song: If You Could Read My Mind • artist: Gordon Lightfoot

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough

We were only away for four nights and yet it's taken two weeks to unpack.
How does that work?
I like to drink a lot of tea if I have to drive for a long distance.
The caffeine doesn't keep me awake.
But having to go to the bathroom does.

song: Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough • artist: Michael Jackson

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Abraham, Martin, and John

For last month's A to Z Challenge I had some fun at Donald Trump's expense. My only concern is that after November's election he might be having fun at the entire country's expense for the next four years.
The thought of a President Trump is even more depressing when it exists parallel to my son S's year-long obsession with President Lincoln.
How many books does the Mullen Hall Elementary School library stock about Abraham Lincoln?
A lot.
How many have we read?
A lot.
Sure, they're kids biographies but I think I get the picture.
Lincoln grew up poor. Not poor as in the last family on the block to get cable - dirt poor. As in dirt floor and there were no other families on the block because there was no block, only the Kentucky, then the Indiana, then the Illinois - frontier.
As a boy Lincoln went to school for a cumulative total of one year.
Before he was born, Abraham Lincoln's grandfather was killed by Native Americans.
His younger brother died as a baby.
His mother died when he was nine-years old, so did his aunt and uncle. His orphaned cousin came to live with him. He was left with his cousin Dennis and sister Sarah for at least six months after his mother's death while his father went back to Kentucky to find a new wife. No cell phones connected Thomas Lincoln to the children - they were essentially left in the cabin to fend for themselves.
His sister (his only other sibling) died in childbirth.
His first girlfriend (before he met Mary Todd) died of typhoid.
His second eldest son died of TB when he was 3 years old.
His third eldest son died of typhoid at age 11 in 1862 during the Civil War.
Despite all this Lincoln was known for his sense of humor.
Lincoln freed the slaves.
Lincoln's intentions were not to punish the Southern states at the end of the war. After Lee's surrender to Grant, less than a week before Lincoln was assassinated, Lincoln requested that a celebratory band play "Dixie," outside the Capitol and is quoted as saying, "it is good to show the rebels that with us they will be free to hear it again."
Lincoln gave his life, literally, to preserve the union.
Over April vacation we drove to Pennsylvania in order specifically to go to Gettysburg. To take S someplace that President Lincoln also went to. Admittedly Lincoln was not perfect person but an incident described on a museum panel in a downtown Gettysburg museum summed up what's so lacking in today's presidential candidates that Lincoln seemed to have in spades. It was in the Wills House where Lincoln stayed the evening before the dedication of the National Cemetery where he would deliver a speech that would come to be known as the Gettysburg Address. The display noted that after Lincoln arrived at the Wills house a large crowd gathered outside in hopes that the President would make an appearance. Eventually Lincoln did come outside the door but rather than give an impromptu speech he declined, telling the crowd that he didn't have anything prepared and would rather not speak off the cuff, “In my position," he said, "It is somewhat important that I should not say any foolish things."
Evidently Abraham Lincoln knew when to speak up. And when to keep quiet.
Take a cue, today's politicians. Take a cue.

song: Abraham, Martin, and John • artist: Dion

I do, I do, I do

A koan for my children on mothers day.
If you finish your cereal and your mom's not home,
do you still have to put your bowl in the sink?

song: I do, I do, I do • artist: Abba

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z is for Zeus

10 People with names that begin with Z who would make better presidents than Donald Trump

1. Zippy the Pinhead
2. Zelda Fitzgerald
3. Zach Braff
4. Zorba the Greek
5. Zsa Zsa Gabor
6. Ziggy Stardust
7. Zac Efron
8. Ziggy Marley
9. Zeppo Marx
10. Zorro

Y is for Yankovick

10 Musicians with first or last names beginning with Y who would make better presidents than Donald Trump.

1. Peter Yarrow
2. Neil Young
3. Jesse Youngblood
4. Weird Al Yankovick
5. Yanni
6. YoYo Ma
7. Yoko Ono
8. Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)
9. Cavin Yarbrough (of Yarbrough & Peoples)
10. Yip Harburg

Friday, April 29, 2016

X is for Sign Your Name With

10 Historical Figures who were (probably) illiterate, who would have made better presidents than  Donald Trump.

1. Sojourner Truth
2. Joan of Arc
3. Genghis Khan
4. Hammurabi
5. Charlemagne
6. Shoeless Joe Jackson
7. Francisco Pizarro
8. Shakespeare's parents
9. Abraham Lincoln's step mother
10. Tamerlane ('Timur the Lame') I'd never heard of this guy either - so sorry if you think it's lame but come on! it's X!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

W is for Walt

10 Disney Characters who would make better presidents than Donald Trump.

1. Belle (Beauty and the Beast)
2. Malificient (Sleeping Beauty)
3. Cruella Deville
4. Elsa (w/Anna as VP)
5. The Absent-Minded Professor
6. Pinocchio
7. Dumbo
8. Disgust (Inside Out)
9. Dory (Finding Nemo)
10 Remy (Ratatouille)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

V is for Villains

10 Evil Villains who would make better presidents than Donald Trump.

1. Voldemort
2. Sauron
3. Mr. Hyde
4. Sweeney Todd
5. Bill Sikes
6. The White Witch
7. Mordred
8. The Joker
9. The Wicked Witch of the West
10. Captain Hook

U is for Uncle

10 of my relations who would make better presidents than Donald Trump.

1. My uncle Mike because he was a engineer at Raytheon which makes him wicked smart.
2. My cousin Joseph, even though he's Canadian, because he's a great storyteller
3. My nephew Anthony even though he's only 6 months old.
4. My cat Leo.
5. My husband Ken because he always watches our annual town meetings when they are on cable.
6. My son Silas because he's knows so much about President Lincoln.
7. My cousin Lindsey because she'd bring belly dancing to the White House.
8. My cousin Jim because I don't think we've had a motorcycle-riding president yet.
9. My cousin Johnny because he's a lawyer.
10. My great grandmother Hatch because she always read the newspaper.

Friday, April 22, 2016

T is for Texas

10 Texans who would make better presidents than Donald Trump

1. Joan Crawford
2. Walter Cronkite
3. Willie Nelson
4. Carol Burnett
5. Kenny Rogers
6. J.R. Ewing
7. Lyle Lovett
8. Gene Roddenberry
9. Sissy Spacek
10. Pecos Bill

Thursday, April 21, 2016

S is for Seinfeld

10 Minor Characters from Seinfeld that would make better presidents than Donald Trump

1. The Soup Nazi
2. Uncle Leo
3. Crazy Joe Davola
4. Mr. Pitt
5. Lloyd Braun
6. The Bubble Boy
7. David Puddy
8. Morty Seinfeld
9. Newman
10. Mr. Peterman

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

R is for Rock & Roll

10 Deceased Rockers who would have made better presidents than Donald Trump

1. Roy Orbison
2. Buddy Holly
3. Janis Joplin
4. Joe Cocker
5. Jim Morrison
6. Freddie Mercury
7. Donna Summer
8. Bob Marley
9. Michael Jackson
10. David Bowie

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Q is for Questionable Intentions

10 Shady Characters who would make better presidents than Donald Trump.

1. Billy the Kid
2. William "Devil Anse" Hatfield (with Randolph McCoy as VP)
3. Huck Finn's Dad
4. Benedict Arnold
5. Bonnie (with Clyde as VP)
6. Caligula
7. Machiavelli
8. Lizzy Borden
9. Mata Hari
10. Artemis Fowl

P is for Patriarch

10 TV Dads who would make better presidents than Donald Trump.*

1. Mike Brady
2. The Dad from Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home
3. Archie Bunker
4. Ward Cleaver
5. Reuben Kincaid (he was like the dad on the Partridge Family)
6. Howard Cunningham
7. Al Bundy
8. Tom Bradford (Eight is Enough)
9. Steven Keaton (Family Ties)
10. Hal (Malcolm in the Middle) - no last name given

*Before anyone brings it up, I already used Homer Simpson and Fred Flintstone in the C is for Cartoon Characters...

Monday, April 18, 2016

O is for Oscar the Grouch

10 Muppets who would make better presidents than Donald Trump

1. Kermit the Frog (w/Miss Piggy as secretary of defense "hiya!"
2. Bert (w/Ernie as his VP)
3. Gonzo
4. Snuffaluffagus
5. Beaker
6. Scooter
7. Animal
8. Elmo
9. Fozzie Bear
10. Grover

Saturday, April 16, 2016

N is for Nest

10 Celebs with Avian-inspired names who would make better presidents than Donald Trump*

1. Charlie Bird
2. Big Bird
3. Captain Jack Sparrow
4. Larry Bird
5. Ladybird Johnson
6. Jay Leno
7. Carolyn Bird (w/Courtney as her VP)
8. Florence Nightingale
9. Christopher Wren
10. Robin Gibb

*Sure Court & Carolyn are celebrities! They've got the most famous Road Race party in town right?

Friday, April 15, 2016

M is for Monsters

10 Monsters who would make better presidents than Donald Trump.

1. Frankenstein's Monster
2. The Blob
3. Sullivan (w/Mike as VP)
4. The Abominable Snowman
5. Big Foot
6. The Loch Ness Monster
7. The Kraken
8. The Chupacabra
9. Smeagol w/Smaug as his VP
10. The Golem of Prague

Thursday, April 14, 2016

L is for Literature

10 Children's Book Characters who would make better presidents than Donald Trump.*

1. Professor Snape
2. Amelia Bedelia (she was stupid but at least she could cook)
3. Ramona Quimby
4. Rhyme and Reason (with Tock as their VP)
5. Charlotte A. Cavatica
6. Pippi Longstocking
7. Willie Wonka
8. Frodo Baggins (with Sam as VP)
9. Mary Poppins
10. Tom Sawyer

*All of them should consider either Harriet the Spy or Flat Stanley as their head of the FBI.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

K is for King

10 Kings who would make better presidents than Donald Trump.

1. King Kong
2. Carole King
3. Billie Jean King
4. Burger King
5. Martin Luther King
6. King Tut
7. Stephen King
8. King Herod
9. King Arthur
10. B.B. King

J is for Jocks

10 Athletes who would make better presidents than Donal Trump.

1. Rosie Ruiz
2. Hans and Franz
3. Tonya Harding
4. Pete Rose
5. OJ Simpson
6. Mike Tyson
7. Lance Armstrong
8. Hulk Hogan
9. Jesse Ventura
10. Rocky Balboa (with Apollo Creed as VP)

Monday, April 11, 2016

I is for Inanimate

10 Inanimate Objects that would make better presidents than Donald Trump

1. The Skin Horse (Velveteen Rabbit)
2. Herbie the Love Bug
3. The Tea Pot (Beauty and the Beast)
4. The Door Knocker (A Chistmas Carol)
5. Kit (Knight Rider)
6. Lightening McQueen (Cars)
7. Audrey II (Little Shop of Horrors)
8. The California Raisons
9. Woody (with Buzz Lightyear as VP)
10. Stephen King's Christine. Because even a homicidal hot rod is better than Donald Trump for President.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

H is for Horton (hears a Who)

10 Characters created by Dr. Seuss who would make better presidents than Donald Trump

1. The Lorax
2. The Spooky Green Pants with Nobody Inside Them
3. Yertle the Turtle
4. The Grinch (w/Max as VP)
5. Thidwick the Big Hearted Moose
6. Bartholomew Cubbins
7. Little Cindy Lou Who
8. The Cat in the Hat (with the Fish in the Bowl as VP)
9. Oobleck
10. Marco

Friday, April 08, 2016

G is for Girl Power

10 Kick-Ass Women who would make better presidents than Donald Trump
I couldn't decide between real or fictional so here's 5 of each

1. Thelma (with Louise as VP)
2. Dana Scully
3. Sabrina Duncan
4. Flo (the Progressive Insurance gal)
5. Hermione Granger
6. Patty Smith
7. Betty White
8. Michelle Obama
9. Maya Angelou
10. Erin Brockovich

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

F is for Funnies

10 Comic Strip Characters who would make better presidents than Donald Trump

1. Linus VanPelt
2. Little Orphan Annie
3. Bill the Cat (Ack!)
4. Mike Doonesbury
5. Calvin (with Hobbs as VP)
6. Jason the geeky math brother from Fox Trot
7. Garfield (with Norbert as his VP)
8. Cathy
9. The talking amoeba in the Far Side
10. Dilbert

E is for (class of) Eighty Six

10 Members from my graduating class (FHS class of 1986) who would make better presidents than Donald Trump*

1. Craig Stevens
2. Clayton Jones
3. Gunnar Trumbull
4. Joanna Lowell
5. Troy Clarkson
6. Michael Moratta
7. Kristin Vokey
8. Sachi Shimomura
9. Jose Lima
10. Sandra Fetters

*I limited this to classmates who are still alive. I also have, sadly, several late classmates - all of whom also would have made way better presidents than Donald Trump.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

D is for (gone to the) Dogs

10 Heroic Dogs who would make better presidents than Donald Trump

1. Balto
2. Barry the St. Bernard
3. Lassie
4. Buck (Call of the Wild)
5. Old Yeller
6. Luath & Bodger (the Incredible Journey)
7. Pongo and Perdita (101 Dalmations)
8. Searchlight (Stone Fox)
9. White Fang
10. Rin Tin Tin

Monday, April 04, 2016

C is for Cartoons

10 Cartoon Characters who would make better presidents than Donald Trump.
It was hard to limit it to 10, I'm sure I missed some worthy candidates.

1. Fred Flintstone (with Wilma as VP)
2. Homer Simpson (with Lisa as VP)
3. Scooby Doo (with Daphne as VP)
4. Elmer Fudd (with Yosemite Sam as his VP)
5. The Tasmanian Devil
6. Yogi Bear (because he's smarter than the average bear!)
7. Bugs Bunny (with Daffy Duck as his VP)
8. George Jetson
9. Beavis (with Butt-Head as VP) or vice versa, doesn't really matter.
10. Spongebob Squarepants

B is for Bodacious

10 Hot Actors who would make better presidents than Donald Trump.
(Hot to me that is, it's a relative term)

1. Christian Slater
2. Jeff Goldblum
3. John Malkovich (Dangerous Liaisons)
4. Nicholas Cage
5. Johnny Depp
6. Hugh Grant
7. Colin Firth
8. David Duchovny
9. Lawrence Olivier (Wuthering Heights)
10. John Cusack

Friday, April 01, 2016

A is for Anthropomorphic

10 Anthropomorphic Animals that would make better presidents than Donald Trump:

1. Frog (with Toad as VP)
2. Sylvester (when he was a rock)
3. Babar the Elephant
4. Lyle (the crocodile)
5. Olivia
6. Pete the Cat
7. Arthur Read (with D.W. as his VP)
8. Gerald (with Piggy as his VP)
9. the dad from the Berenstain Bears
10. The Cheshire Cat

Always on my Mind

It's time again for the A to Z challenge.
And while as a parent, I could tell you about how my eight-year old still wets the bed even with two alarm clocks, how his twin brother refuses to cut his hair or wear pants that don't look like clam diggers with holes in the knees, or how my 10-year old got a 67 on his quiz on nouns and verbs, despite special tutoring with Ed, this is what's been on my mind so I'm going to run with it.
These lists were fun to make.
Hope it's not too tedious.

song: Always on my Mind • artist: Willie Nelson

Monday, March 28, 2016

Can't Shake These Blues

Note to new parents:
Easter is a time when you must pick your poison.
Which will it be?
Put candy in the eggs and rot out their teeth.
Put money in the eggs and emphasize consumerism and commercial gain.
Put plastic crap in them and ultimately destroy the planet.
Damn You! Easter Bunny!

song: Can't Shake These Blues • artist: Chris Smither

Monday, March 21, 2016

To Love Somebody

Yesterday I saw a bumper sticker (or bumphah stickah if you live in MA) that proclaimed "I love my husband." Well the love was a red heart so technically it said "I heart my husband," but you get the drift.
Is this what it comes down to? We need a bumper sticker to proclaim our love - - for the person we married?
Of course you love your husband! Who says you don't?
Loving your husband is a given - the only thing that's new information here is that your husband is so insecure he needs his wife to declare his love for him on the back of her freakin' car.
Or maybe she's just really, really attractive and has to fend off unwanted advances.
"I love my husband."
so back off buddy!

song: To Love Somebody • artist: Bee Gees

Monday, February 29, 2016

Suddenly I See

me: "So did you learn anything new at school today?"
him: "No. Nothing. I got dumber."
Apparently second grade is when they teach sarcasm

song: Suddenly I See • artist:  KT Tunstall

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I'm Eighteen

Putting things in perspective.
If Bernie gets elected and then runs for a second term, C will be able to vote for him.

song: I'm Eighteen • artist: Alice Cooper

Monday, February 22, 2016

I Can't Thank You Enough

My cat should go into the home organizing business.
Clean my nightstand by knocking everything onto the floor?
Thanks Leo!
Why didn't I think of that?

song: I Can't Thank You Enough • artist: Carly Simon

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Happy Birthday Blues

It was 50 degrees on my birthday, which can't be good. There are fruit files in the kitchen in February and the day lily shoots are six inches tall in the front yard.
But who can worry about climate change when they've got the all-Billy Joel channel on satellite radio and new episodes of X-Files on TV?
Way to obfuscate the issues America.
As if FB weren't enough of a distraction.

song: Happy Birthday Blues • artist: BB King

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Magnet and Steel

This week I found out that sticking your credit card in your vest pocket with your kids' magnets really will muck up the card's magnetic strip. Not an old wive's tale. Just so you know.
I also found out that the only thing more annoying that having your credit card get ruined by magnets is to have to explain in advance to the gas station attendant that your card is perfectly valid but won't scan. And then to explain why. And then to have the attendant look at you askance, like you're a crazy old lady, a crazy old shyster lady, and then go off and try to swipe your card through the machine anyway.
Which leads, because she swiped it several times before giving up, to your credit card's fraud detection agency being alerted to suspicious activity and calling to make sure that really was you purchasing $35 bucks worth of gas. And you think $35 bucks? It only took $35 bucks to fill up my tank? Woah.
Which makes you forget all about the magnets and the credit card.

song: Magnet and Steel • artist: Walter Egan

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sweet Dreams

I asked H why he was wearing his shorts to bed under his fleece pajama bottoms and he told me that he hadn't had any bad dreams since he started wearing his shorts to bed so why mess with a good thing.
There's no come back for that kind of logic.
Rock on my short's wearing son.
Sweet dreams.

song: Sweet Dreams • artist: The Eurythmics

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Major Tom

People have been posting on FB about where they were and what they were doing 30 years ago today when the space shuttle exploded. I can tell you exactly where I was - in the school library - must have been a study hall.
But what I remember most about that tragedy was that the weekend after it happened my boyfriend was home from college and we went to see Out of Africa at the Nickelodeon. After the movie we were leaving out the side exit to the back parking lot when I realized he was crying. It took me a minute to figure out he wasn't crying because (spoiler alert) Robert Redford's plane crashed, he was crying about the astronauts.

That's what I remember most about the Challenger explosion.

song: Major Tom • artist: David Bowie

Saturday, January 09, 2016

I'll Never Fall in Love Again

Love Stinks   (J. Giles)
Love Hurts   (Nazareth)
Love Bites   (Def Leppard)

song: I'll Never Fall in Love Again • artist: Dionne Warwick

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Alive and Kicking

When I was a kid things were simpler.
We had one jar. Skippy Peanut Butter.
Now we have the good peanut butter (cookies) and the cheap peanut butter (mouse traps). 
Aside from that there's the almond butter and the soy nut butter, the sunflower butter and the sesame butter.
Some go in the fridge and some do not.
You have to read the labels.

song: Alive and Kicking • artist: Simple Minds

Monday, January 04, 2016

I Was Made for Dancing

Leif Erikson sailed 1,000 miles from Greenland to North America in order to bring back timber to his tree-sparse homeland. It was a three-year journey.
My kids complain when they are asked to go to the garage to get logs for the wood stove.

song: I Was Made for Dancing • artist: Leif Garrett

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Let it Grow

Seed catalogues in the mail today!
Gardner porn!

song: Let it Grow • artist: Eric Clapton

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Twilight Zone

The family that watches the New Year's Twilight Zone Marathon together, gets freaked out by the ventriloquist and his creepy dummy episode together.

song: Twilight Zone • artist: Golden Earring