Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Punk Rock Legs

i'm pretty sure i didn't have this much personality when i was her age.
i wonder how much effect what i do now to my kids has on their little psyches.
am i setting her up for a lifetime of rebellion or of independent thought by putting her in little skull&crossbones babylegs... or am i overthinking this?
Either way. This kid rocks.
And right now, i'm taking all the credit!


i've started to wonder if my self-esteem will ever recover
or if, instead, i'll always be convinced that i'm not enough
not good enough
not available enough
not confident enough
not funny enough
not open enough
not sure enough
no enough


there's gotta be a pill that fixes this.
there's a pill for everything else...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Funny how they can be so expressive at such a young age...

sophie - 15 months - just for fun

Kimya Dawson may have something here...

i like the lyrics. oddly sweetly and sweetly sad and mostly true.

I was quiet as a mouse
When i snuck into your house
And took roofies with your spouse
In a nit and out a louse
And lice are lousy all the time
They suck your blood drink your wine
Say shut up and quit your crying
Give it time and you'll be fine

You're so nice and you're so smart
You're such a good friend i hafta break your heart
Tell you that i love you then i'll tear your world apart
Just pretend i didn't tear your world apart

I like boys with strong convictions
And convicts with perfect diction
Underdogs with good intentions
Amputees with stamp collections
Plywood skinboards ride the ocean
Salty noses suntan lotion
Always seriously joking
And rambunctiously soft-spoken
I like boys that like their mothers
And i have a thing for brothers
But they always wait til we're under the covers
To say i'm sure glad we're not lovers

You're so nice and you're so smart
You're such a good friend i hafta break your heart
Tell you that i love you then i'll tear your world apart
Just pretend i didn't tear your world apart

I like my new bunnysuit
I like my new bunnysuit
I like my new bunnysuit
When i wear it i feel cute

Friday, September 12, 2008

Music fits the Mood

Music fits the Mood
Current mood: pensive
Category: Music
Friday, September 12, 2008

It's a Greg Laswell kind of day.
Go Ahead... download it... I'll wait...

Currently listening:
Three Flights From Alto Nido
By Greg Laswell

Monday, August 18, 2008

But Mommy, that’s just what Little Brothers DO...

But Mommy, that’s just what Little Brothers DO...
Current mood: enlightened
Category: Life
Monday, August 18, 2008

Conversation while pushing kids to day care this morning in the stroller:

Me: Isabelle, Baz if you two don't stop arguing I'm going to turn this stroller around right now and you won't get to go play with your friends today...
(yes... hanging head in shame... I actually said that)

Isabelle: But Moooommmmmeeeee, Baz won't stop saying "Ummmmmm" And I didn't even say a bad word at all or anything!

Baz: ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Me: Well, Isabelle, you're just going to have to ignore him

Baz: ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Isabelle: But Mommmmmeeeeee... I can't

Me: Well, Isabelle, you're going to have to learn how to ignore him. He's not going to stop. Annoying you is like his job. Trust me, I know. It's just what little brothers do.

Baz: ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Baz: ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Baz: ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Me: Baz. NOW you're going to have to stop saying that.

Baz: But Mommy, you said so, it's my job!

Lesson Learned: children take EVERYTHING literally.
(I'm screwed)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Current mood: bitchy
Category: Life
Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Live life to the point of Tears"
- Albert Camus

Currently watching:
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (Full Screen Edition)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Who Loves Food? I do...that’s who...

Who Loves Food? I do...that’s who...
Current mood: hungry
Category: Food and Restaurants
Friday, August 08, 2008

There are few things better suited to a dreary Friday trapped in a cubicle than surfing my favorite foodie blogs...


I may faint from hunger...



seriously... go... right now... i want to make EVERYTHING and then eat it ALL

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

How To: Make Pancakes

How To: Make Pancakes
Current mood: exhausted
Category: Food and Restaurants
Tuesday, August 05, 2008

How To:
Make Pancakes

Step 1: Place youngest child in high chair with enough cut bananas and crackers to occupy her for at least 20 minutes.

Step 2: Crack one egg into bowl. beat until light and fluffy.

Step 3: Run into living room and press play on DVD for oldest two children.

Step 4: Return to kitchen. Turn back right burner on stove to warm skillet.

Step 5: Toss more crackers on high chair tray - wonder how long it will take to remove banana chunks from eyelashes of youngest child.

Step 6: Add brown sugar, milk, baking powder, flour to pancake batter - mix well.
Step 7: Run into living room to separate two older children from wrestling on couch over purple crayon.

Step 8: Return to kitchen, add small pat of butter to now-warm skillet.

Step 9: Mop up milk on kitchen floor from sippy cup tossed gleefully over side of highchair.

Step 10: Pour pancake batter into skillet.

Step 11: Run into living room and threaten between clenched teeth to turn off Alvin and the Chipmunks if two oldest children do not stop fighting this instant!

Step 12: Return to kitchen. Scrape burnt remains of first pancake into garbage disposal.

Step 13: Repour batter.

Step 14: Babble incoherently to youngest child - who has now been in highchair for well over 20 minutes - to keep her entertained. Realize I have been singing the Hokey Pokey after three verses.

Step 15: Flip pancake once edges have rounded, bubbles appear on surface.

Step 16: Fill cups of milk and orange juice respectively for oldest two children
Step 17: Am reminded after completing first four pancakes that kids wanted Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes.

Step 18: Return original batch of pancakes to skillet and attempt to add mickey ears without destroying integrity of original pancakes.

Step 19: Fail miserably

Step 20: Feed first attempts at pancakes to youngest child. still in highchair.

Step 21: Start new batch of pancakes. Add Mickey ears to all pancakes.

Step 22: Place pancakes on platter.

Step 23: Place platter on table.

Step 24: Realize we are totally and completely out of syrup.

Step 25: Attempt to fool children into thinking fruit should top pancakes shaped like Mickey Mouse because you can make faces out of blueberries and such.

Step 26: Am reminded by four-year-old that she is not that silly.

Step 27: Apologize profusely to children and promise to purchase syrup at next trip to store.

Step 28: End up feeding kids oatmeal and consuming half of Mickey Mouse pancakes myself so they don't go to waste.

Currently listening:
We are . . . The Laurie Berkner Band

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Frank Stella stands up for Copyright Laws...etc.

Frank Stella stands up for Copyright Laws...etc.
Current mood: rebellious
Category: Art and Photography
Thursday, July 31, 2008

Artist Frank Stella (I'm not going into it - you can check him out on Wikipedia...and you should... his stuff is fantastic - especially anything post 1980s in my opinion... although his late 1950s cardboard work was revolutionary in its own right) wrote a nifty little article here:
about a proposed change to current copyright law, which would wreak havoc on current policy as it pertains to an artist being compensated for use of their work in a commercial sense. It would remove any penalty for copyright infringement if the creator of a work, after a diligent search, cannot be located.

Current law holds steep fines and penalties for piracy of a work of art in any form (copyright holder may obtain a halt to the infringement, the destruction of infringing copies, and damages that may be up to $150,000 for each work of art infringed!). The proposed change in copyright law would leave it up to the potential user to make a "good faith" effort to locate original artists of "orphaned works". There is no stipulation on what consists "good faith" insofar as I can find. And, the only recourse for an artist after the fact would be lengthy legal proceedings which may or may not reward the artist with a limited amount and makes no mention of halt to infringement.

Stella also points out in his article in "The Art Newspaper" that it is especially easy for drawings paintings, etc - in contrast with songs or works of fiction - to become separate from their source, and any identifiers, in this digital age.

One can only hope that Congress rejects the proposal...made by...here it comes... The Copyright Office itself!!! So my ultimate question is this: why would a body (The Copyright Office at a federal level) attempt to institute legislation to make its own job (maintaining legal aspects of Copyrights and policing the piracy of said copyrights) more difficult?!!

I just don't get it. Go Frank Stella... tell it like it is...

Currently reading:
Survivor: A Novel
By Chuck Palahniuk

All Hail Ramen! King of the Noodles!

In hunting for a picture of Cup of Noodles (don't ask)
I came across this cross section of a Cup O Noodles..

And do you know what I found out?
Go ahead, Guess.
Nothing? Okay - I'll give...

Apparantly, Osaka has an ENTIRE MUSEUM dedicated to Prepackaged noodles:
It's the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum.
Momofuku is apparantly the guy who invented instant noodles.
Ando founded Nissin ( the company that makes Cup O Noodles).
The museum even has a Wall of Ramen! And a ramen making workshop!

it is NOT that busy today.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Genetically Skimmed Milk or "Make Mine Skimmed Please!"

Check it out... Researchers have discovered cows with genes that allow them to make skim milk. So what do we do? Exploit it of course!!!!

Herds of cows producing skimmed milk could soon be roaming our pastures, reports Cath O'Driscoll in Chemistry & Industry, the magazine of the SCI. Scientists in New Zealand have discovered that some cows have genes that give them a natural ability to produce skimmed milk and plan to use this information to breed herds of milkers producing only skimmed milk.

The researchers also plan to breed commercial herds producing milk with the unique characteristics required to make a butter that is spreadable straight from the fridge. They have already identified a cow, Marge, with the genes required to do this and say a commercial herd is likely by 2011. The milk is very low in saturated fats and so should be high in polyunsaturates and monounsaturated fats.

Experts say that the discovery of these rogue milkers could completely revolutionise the dairy industry. Ed Komorowski, technical director at Dairy UK says that the New Zealand approach could be used to breed cows that still produce full-fat milk but with only the good fats, which could swing things back in favour of full-fat milk. In the UK, for example, only 25% of milk sold is full fat. 'In future if whole milk can be made to contain unsaturated fats - which are good for you - then it might mean that people change back to whole milk products. The big thing about dairy products is taste, so this would be a way of giving the benefits of taste without the disadvantage of saturated fats,' according to Komorowski.

This may also overcome the problem of waste. 'If you can genetically produce milk without fat then that may turn out to be a very good solution to what might later be a big disposal issue,' says Komorowski. Producing skimmed and semi-skimmed milk means there is a lot of fat left over.

Now if we could only engineer some sort of Oreo cookie producing squirrel...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

oh...not again...

i'm afraid i've let myself become the stand-in girl.
i'm not sure exactly how it keeps happening, really.
just a series of small concessions over a string of years i suppose.
there's a fine line between lending a friendly ear, and letting yourself get taken advantage of.
Somehow, i tend to pole vault over that line and land in the next county. i'm not saying i don't have a blast taking the flight, the plunge, the dive into the unknown (mixed metaphors are really just too delicious sometimes) but the reality and repercussions gnaw away at my independence and feelings of self worth. It gets harder and harder to plaster a smile on my face when you realize your time in the sun is waning.
Do i pony up and stand up for myself, possibly ending what could still be a long and enjoyable relationship?
Do i smack myself in the face to snap myself out of self-recriminating thoughts and just live in the moment?
Can I phone a friend?
Poll the audience?

Monday, July 14, 2008


Ever worry what you look like when you laugh?
I know that my eyes go all squinchy and the cords on my neck stick out and it looks pretty forced when I try to smile for the camera...apparantly laughing isn't much better.
Oh well. At least I don't have to look at me!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Exposing Kids to Culinary Culture

My kids aren't picky by any means. They're pretty much your basic mac & cheese lovers as toddlers go. But, they also LOVE trying new food. Hence, a problem arose after they saw their dad eating sushi for the first time. Any toddler (for you non-parents out there) under the age of two isn't supposed to have shellfish, raw fish, etc. So actual sushi was pretty much out of the question at the time their fascination with sushi began. Hence - the development of faux-sushi in my house. I've done a variety of styles - Jelly and Creamcheese, Lunchmeat and Cheese, Cheese and Tomatoes...the possibilties are endless.
Check it out:

Because sometimes you just need chocolate cake... RIGHT NOW

Chocolate Cake In 5 Minutes!
June 26th, 2008 | Author: Dizzy Dee | Category: Dizzy Dee, Food, Recipe
4 Tablespoons cake flour
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1 Egg
3 Tablespoons milk
3 Tablespoons oil
1 Mug

Mix flour, sugar and cocoa:
Spoon in 1 egg
Pour in milk and oil, and mix well

Put in microwave for 3 minutes on maximum power (1000watt)
Wait until it stops rising and sets in the mug
Tip contents out of mug onto saucer and enjoy!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Why you should be very afraid when your kids get really quiet while you’re in the shower:

Why you should be very afraid when your kids get really quiet while you’re in the shower:
Current mood: amused
Monday, July 07, 2008

yeah...enough said...

Monday, July 07, 2008

Friday, July 4, 2008


Current mood: pleased
Category: Life
Friday, July 04, 2008

So I stopped over at cvs earlier today for a box of tampons (tmi... i know...sorry) and guess what? Kotex has colored applicators now!

It's kind of like - hey, sorry you're on the rag and all but here's a purple applicator to brighten your day!

Which then reminded me of the open letter from the disgruntled customer to the to Mr. James Thatcher, Brand Manager, Proctor and Gamble...

Linked below for your further enjoyment:


Currently listening:
Nothing But The Best
By Frank Sinatra

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Muppets are my Salvation

The Muppets are my Salvation
Current mood: bored
Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities
Tuesday, July 01, 2008

On an afternoon where there's nothing more interesting and/or pressing to do than float around YouTube watching random snippets of hilarity - The Muppet Show has saved my sanity...


Beaker & Benson and the Banana Sharpener


The Swedish Chef Makes Donuts


And, of course, Menha mehna


Monday, June 30, 2008

1930’s Housewife

1930’s Housewife
Current mood: amused
Category: Life
Monday, June 30, 2008

I'd like to think of myself as somewhat modern and forward-thinking.

But, as usual, the universe is laughing at me.

Apparantly I'd make a "Superior" 1930's Housewife.

Guess I'd better bone up on the perfect cocktail to serve when one's husband hits the front door after a long day at the office...

(i scored a 62)


Currently listening:
Poses [Bonus Track]
By Rufus Wainwright

Friday, June 27, 2008

Just Because

Just Because
Current mood: evil
Category: Music
Friday, June 27, 2008

Ohhh, c'mon... you know you love Rick Astley just as much as I do...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Oh I Wish I Was an Oscar Myer Weiner....

Oh I Wish I Was an Oscar Myer Weiner....
Current mood: ashamed
Category: Food and Restaurants
Monday, June 23, 2008

I may have scarred my daughter permanently this weekend - I mean on par with telling her there is no Santa Clause or Easter Bunny.

Both she and Sebastian had been singing the Oscar Myer Weiner ditty for days. And, while in the car on the way to the grocery on Sunday, Isabelle turned to me mid-song and said "Do you know that song, Mommy?"

"Well...of course," I answered. "I've known that song since I was a little girl like you."
"How did you learn it?"
"From the commercial"
[blank stare]
"You know...the TV commercial"
[another blank stare]
"But it's not on TV, Mommy, It's a song" Isabelle insists.
As if I'm the retarded one here.

After trying to no avail for several minutes to convince her that the cute little song they'd been singing in a continuous loop since Thursday morning was actually created to sell Hot Dogs, I assured Isabelle that I'd show her what I meant when we got to the store.

Once all three kids were settled in the cart (no, really, they do all fit) we wheeled on over to the refrigerated section. I plucked a package of Weiners, (Made with Turkey! (ew).) and proferred them to the two seated in the back of the cart.

Isabelle promptly burst into tears.

I got the hate stare from both the young, non-mother to my left, who seemed apalled that my child would have reason to cry amongst the packaged meats; and from the free-sample lady. Personally, I feel that anyone wearing oversized plastic gloves and a hair net while serving sample cups of triscuits probably doesn't have much to make others feel bad about - but I got the stare nontheless.

Apparantly, I should have left well enough alone.

Who am I to disillusion the kid about her favorite new song?

Now I'm on a mission find one of those little Weenie Whistles to make up for it...

Friday, June 20, 2008


Current mood: overstimulated
Category: Writing and Poetry
Friday, June 20, 2008

reading anais nin while lounging in a sunbeam in the atrium of the central library, sweet tea close at hand; it's easy to forget you're reading in public
Currently reading:
Delta of Venus
By Anais Nin

Monday, June 16, 2008

Attack of Conscience

Attack of Conscience
Current mood: full
Category: Food and Restaurants
Monday, June 16, 2008

Was running errands over lunch today and sped-walked past a couple toting lime green take-away cups from King David Dogs. Feeling equal parts jealous and hungry I immediately headed in that direction. Once that bell over the door rang and the smell of grilled dogs rolled my way I had an immediate attack of restaurant guilt. It had been too long since I'd been here!
And, to make matters worse - the usual staffers both looked up, smiled in recognition and say "Well Hiiiii..." which, of course, was an implied "Where the hell have you been lately?"

I ordered a BarBQue dog combo meal
(despite originally entertaining thoughts of only getting a side of tots and a drink to go).

Oh, King David's...HOW could I have forsaken thee?

Currently listening:
By Original Soundtrack

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle...

I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle...
Current mood:awestruck
Category: Writing and Poetry
Wednesday, June 11, 2008

After waiting untold hours, in multiple lines, to meet and greet with one of my top-five-of-all-time-favorite authors (David Sedaris) last night, I managed only to mumble a politically correct thank you and nod and smile dumbly as he chatted away and dropped his John Hancock into two of my books.


While normally miles from what I'd consider comfortably glib, I can usually manage intelligent conversation, even when faced with semi-celebrity and/or uncomfortable situations. Apparantly the effeminate author with the slight lisp and memoir-littered past inspired in me an entirely new kind of intimidation. Was it the gray Champion socks with brown dress shoes? The sorbet-colored striped shirt? The odd absence of any visible gray hair at his temples?

The easy eyecontact a self-professed wall flower made with his legions of fans (can 750 people be considered a legion?) was enviable. And the small "ummms" and "oops"s during his 40+minute reading were endearing - even when they appeared mired in stories of ugly americans and tales of the Stadium Pal. The man stayed sedentary for hours making small talk, signing autographs and showing a genuine interest in his fans. Just additional reinforcement (as if any was needed) that Sedaris' position on my favorites list is more than deserved.
Currently reading:
When You Are Engulfed in Flames
By David Sedaris

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thank You

Thank You
Current mood: blessed
Category: Friends
thursday, may 22, 2008

Sometimes support, a smile, a kind word, a random Dylan(esque) reference and strange M.Ward videos with Chinese Subtitles can come from the most random of places and blindside you with kindness...
Currently listening:
Sky Blue Sky
By Wilco

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mutt Strut 2008

Check us out!
The kids and I slogged our way through the mud, the crowds and the mounds of dog poo to support and visit with "Winnie" the beloved pup of my brother and his girlfriend...
The kids absolutely had a blast!

From Kalamazoo to Timbuktu...

From Kalamazoo to Timbuktu...
or...how growing up is harder than I thought it would be...

This was not how my life was supposed to go.
I was the one in college secretly pining for the house with white picket fence, 2.5 kids and a dog while galavanting around from party partner to party partner. I was the one that ultimately had no problem subsuming my pie-in-the-sky ideals and whimsical what-ifs for a happy little family and three beautiful little...surprises. But, somewhere after "I do" and before "Irreconcilable differences", things fell apart. And it seems like that's happening more and more often these days. [insert relevant divorce statistic here - Upwards of 50% of all marriages end in Divorce according to the National Center for Health Statistics. There were 2,230,000 in 2006. The marriage rate was 7.5 per 1,000 total population. The Divorce rate was 3.6 per 1,000 populations based on 46 reporting States and D.C. Statistics follow suite up through July of 2007. [*http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/divorce.htm] The numbers are climbing, and I'm not sure what that says about our society as a whole. But I do know those numbers now include me.

So what do you do when you once you realize life goes on? Because it does. Whether you're ready for it or not, life goes on.

You uncurl yourself from the fetal position on the living room couch, in the shower, under the dining room table, wherever you'd tucked yourself away for a good old-fashioned meltdown. You get dressed. You get the kids dressed. You shoo them off to their respective daycares, offer up a quick prayer to the deity that is the Starbucks Double Half-Caf. Venti Moccachino and head into another day.

The challenge, for me at least, seems to be digging myself out from under the layers of wife, mother and diaper pail-changer.

When I was single it was sweetly naive to think that I hadn't really found myself yet. Hah.
When I was married it was all about finding the balance between man and wife. When I was a mother it was all about finding the balance between man and wife and baby.
When I was a mother times three it was all about squeezing in that 20 minute cat nap under my desk when the boss wasn't looking.

And now...I've come oddly full circle.

As much as most single mothers out there would like to martyr themselves to their children, it's time to stand up and ... well ... grow up. I've become quite the little project-starter over the past year. Here's a quick overview ... a user's guide surviving the dark thoughts and nasty silences that creep in when you least expect them, and perhaps becoming a better person because of it.

Projects I've started since my divorce.
Idle hands are the devil's workspace...or more accurately in my case the playground for self-deprecating and blameful thoughts, mild to moderate panic attacks and acute cases of false phobias leading us back to, you've got it, an evening in the fetal position on the couch.

Letter Writing: Lately I've come back to letter writing - you know - the kinds without typing and computers; using actual stamps, etc. Of course, with any good hobby, this also necessitated feeding my other love - shopping for random and ultimately unnecessary products. I've purchased five new patterns of stationary (some with matching envelopes and some without) several nifty new pens, note cards, envelopes, assorted stamps and stickers, and a handy little lap desk box in which to store it all in. I've written maybe 5 or 6 letters, but it makes me smile to see the box sitting out, making it appear as if I am, truly, a letter writer. Caveat: this was mostly self-serving in that I assumed if I wrote letters to long lost friends I might get some mail back...it rarely happens, although I have seen some lovely, heartfelt emails in response.

Knitting: The goal of which is to sit calmly, and devote myself to the rote and ritual of keeping my hands busy. I’ve managed to curse my way through hundreds of dropped stitches, awkward purls and pulled out projects due to improper storage. This also fed my need to buy "the new" as I quickly endeavored to collect a basket/container, several sizes and shiny metallic colors of knitting needles, and far, far too many spools of yearn. I have a rainbow of colors and textures just waiting patiently to be worked into scarves, socks, baby booties, nifty vests and tacky cardigans. To date I've finished one horrendously atonal scarf, half of a set of mittens, and about 20 little square of fabric. I like to think of these little squares as my training... I don't plan on doing anything specific with them, as yet. It's the process, rather than the end result/project, that fascinates me. Look! I'll make a knot here, wiggle the needles a bit here...and viola! I'm knitting!

Reading: I've found that in the evenings, after the kids are abed and I'm forced to decide between Family Guy reruns, Leftover birthday cake mushed up with my vanilla ice cream, or diving into a new book; more often than not I've been choosing the book lately. I've always been an avid reader, gobbling up pretty much anything I can get my hands on. But lately, as cliche as it sounds, I've been delving into the [gasp!] self-help section of the library. And so my reading list looks something like this: "You Suck" Chris Moore; "Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked path of Motherhood" Karen M. Miller, "What is the What" Dave Eggers, "Eat, Pray, Love" Elizabeth Gilbert. I'm a ping pong ball of good fiction vs. self help and back these days, but it’s a quick transition from real life into my habitual escapism when I crack a new spine. A new book holds such promise, such optimism, that it’s often preferable to the day-to-day drama.

Cooking: Note of importance here - I've NEVER been much of what you might consider "a cook" In point of fact, my family still loves to tell the story of the time I tried to make a batch of cookies for the 6th grade bake sale and ended up burning the cookies, a hole in the carpet in our kitchen (who puts carpet in kitchens anyway?) and my arm, in the pattern of pair of sunglasses, all within seconds of each other; at nearly ever massive family gathering we attend. And, also to be noted, my husband did nearly ALL of the dinner prep while we were married. It's only within the last year that I've really donned a toque in the kitchen. I've quickly become a fan of: making meals ahead. If you're going to cook, might as well trash the kitchen one or two days a month and stock the freezer for easy access and prep upon crossing the threshold of the back door (because that's the moment in which my kids expect dinner to be ready). Also...I just ADORE cookbooks. All those pretty pictures, happy smiling diners...they make it look so easy. And so I've developed quite a collection of the things. I've almost an entire shelf full of them. Oh, don't get me wrong, we still swing through the McDonald's drive thru for the kids’ happy meals and my double shot of sweet tea at least once every couple weeks. And I'm fairly certain my oldest has memorized the number to China Dragon. And the overspill of HotBox pizza cups has taken up residence in the Tupperware drawer. [yeah...I have an entire drawer devoted to the stuff...what of it?]. So please don't nominate me for the Betty Crocker hall of fame just yet. But cooking has become, through sheer dedication and dint of will, a fun little experiment, and an easy way to get the kids involved. Baking is a math lesson just waiting to happen for my 2 and 4 year old, and the 9 month old will happily sit on the floor banging pots and pans…etc.

Yoga: I've been an on-again-off-again yoga practitioner since college. Okay, mostly off-again. But on the nights I couldn't sleep or the mornings that I had to be up with the baby and it just plain didn't make sense to go back to bed an hour before my alarm would go off anyway... it was comforting to fall back into my practice. Plus - Yoga unlike Tae-Bo is a quiet practice and unlike running (my exercise of choice) does not necessitate my leaving the house to complete. I've found a pleasant quiet moment or three while contorted into some asinine position attempting to breathe. The quiet moments here don't panic me. They don't send me flying to my happy place to avoid the onslaught of "how the hell am I going to survive another day?". I'm forced to concentrate inward for strength and balance - two things my life can definitely benefit from.

Tai Chi: Pretty much echoes the above...plus it comes with comfy little black loafers that I can sport around the house on the weekends. They're my 'Chi Shoes" as Isabelle is fond of calling them. And make great bedroom slippers in a pinch. I know, I know, Master Chen would be so ashamed.

Running: You know, you'd think that with the anger that usually accompanies a split, a breakup, a divorce, that I'd be hearkening back to some of my more contact-sport-related past. But oddly enough it's the solo endeavors that have become appealing again. Running I've always done. My dad's been a runner since I can remember and my sister or I would often accompany him on neighborhood jogs while he trained for any of the dozens of Mini Marathons he's completed. Both my sister and I took up running, but while she did so competitively, I sort of did so for the pack mentality. Running is one of those sports that simultaneously allows you to exercise en masse and complete the mental to do/grocery list...which brings us to my next point.

Making Lists: I'll be the first to admit. I might have a problem. In the beginning stages of my separation I made lists like a maniac. I filled notebooks full of lists for everything from trips to the grocery to the order in which I should clean the bathroom. See? A problem I know. But I shaved three minutes off of my cleaning regime due to one list, and my home inventory has never been so complete. Lists, much like all of the items on my project list, give me the illusion of completion, of permanence. And, it must be said, that one of my prized possessions is actually an old grocery list my grandmother made pre-trip on the back of an old envelope. So I blame genetics completely and totally for my manic and obsessive behavior here.

Perhaps you’ve noticed the common thread in all of these new and renewed hobbies?
At a time in my life where I feel like the bottom is dropping out I’ve reassigned my energies (what little there is left after the daily rituals of raising two toddlers and an infant) to those things which I feel that I have concrete control over. I need a sense of completion, of fulfillment in anything I choose to do. Compulsion tends to breed compulsion in my life, and while you’re not likely to find beds made or floors spotless in my house, I’d like to think that I’m reinforcing positive behaviors (you know, beyond that whole fetal position melt down thing) in my kids and in myself…

Monday, March 24, 2008

Because I must be a Masochist at Heart...

Over the Easter weekend I had cause to go rooting around in my parents basement for some old, grade school portraits. What I found was a nearly complete composite of myself from first through twelfth grade. It's horrific in it's span and breadth... and as painful as it will now be to display these, it's cathartic in a way. Check it out...my ugly duckling phase has been completely catalogued for your viewing pleasure:

Admittedly, we're missing a year or two here, but for the most part it's a complete showing

Friday, March 21, 2008

Holidays Abound...

I’m not goinng to try and put this in my own words...because it would fall somewhere along the lines of all the worlds religions stemming from one basic...blah...blah...blah... Here - just read this article yourself:


And, for the patently lazy...here it is in raw text... Happy Easter everyone!!!

On Friday more than a billion Christians around the world will mark the gravest observance on their Calendar, Good Friday, the day Jesus died on the cross. (To be followed in two days by Easter Sunday, to mark his Resurrection).
But unlike some holy days — say, Christmas, which some non-Christians in the U.S. observe informally by going to a movie and ordering Chinese food — on this particular Friday, March 21, it seems almost no believer of any sort will be left without his or her own holiday. In what is statistically, at least, a once-in-a-millennium combination, the following will all occur on the 21st:

Good Friday

, a Jewish festival celebrating the biblical book of Esther
Narouz, the Persian New Year, which is observed with Islamic elaboration in Iran and all the "stan" countries, as well as by Zoroastrians and Baha’is.

Eid Milad an Nabi, the Birth of the Prophet, which is celebrated by some but not all Sunni Muslims and, though officially beginning on Thursday, is often marked on Friday.

Small Holi, Hindu, an Indian festival of bonfires, to be followed on Saturday by Holi, a kind of Mardi Gras.

Magha Puja, a celebration of the Buddha’s first group of followers, marked primarily in Thailand.

"Half the world’s population is going to be celebrating something," says Raymond Clothey, Professor Emeritus of Religious studies at the University of Pittsburgh. "My goodness," says Delton Krueger, owner of www.interfaithcalendar.org, who follows "14 major religions and six others." He counts 20 holidays altogether (including some religious double-dips, like Maundy Thursday and Good Friday) between the 20th (which is also quite crowded) and the 21st. He marvels: "There is no other time in 2008 when there is this kind of concentration."
And in fact for quite a bit longer than that. Ed Reingold and Nachum Dershowitz, co-authors of the books Calendrical Calculations and Calendrical Tabulations, determined how often in the period between 1600 and 2400 A.D. Good Friday, Purim, Narouz and the Eid would occur in the same week. The answer is nine times in 800 years. Then they tackled the odds that they would converge on a two-day period. And the total is ... only once: tomorrow. And that’s not even counting Magha Puja and Small Holi.
Unless you are mathematically inclined, however, you may not see the logic in all this. If it’s the 21st of March, you may ask, shouldn’t all the religions of the world celebrate the same holiday on that date each year?
No. There are a sprinkling of major holidays (Western Christmas is one) that fall each year on the same day of the Gregorian calendar, a fairly standard non-religious system and the one Americans are most familiar with.
But almost none of tomorrow’s holidays actually follows that calendar. All Muslim holy days, for instance, are calculated on a lunar system. Keyed to the phases of the moon, Islam’s 12 months are each 29 and a half days long, for a total of 354 days a year, or 11 days fewer than on ours. That means the holidays rotate backward around the Gregorian calendar, occurring 11 days earlier each year. That is why you can have an "easy Ramadan" in the spring, when going without water all day is relatively easy, or a hard one in the summer. And why the Prophet’s birthday will be on March 9 next year.
Then there is the Jewish calendar, which determines the placement of Purim. It is "lunisolar," which means that holidays wander with the moon until they reach the end of what might be thought of as a month-long tether, which has the effect of maintaining them in the same season every year.
Good Friday, meanwhile, like many of the other most important Christian holidays, is a set number of days before Easter. The only problem is that the date of Easter is probably the most complicated celebratory calculation this side of Hinduism, which has a number of competing religious calendars. The standard rule is "the Sunday after the first full moon on or after the day of the vernal equinox." But in fact, the actual divination of the date is so involved that it has its own offical name: "computus." And so challenging that Carl Friedrich Gauss, one of history’s greatest mathematicians, devoted the time to create an algorithm for it. It goes on for many lines. You can look it up. And, of course, it doesn’t work for Eastern Orthodox Easter (about one month later than the Western Christian one this year, on April 27).
So, should we celebrate all these celebrations? Yes, says William Paden, the author of Religious Worlds: The Comparative Study of Religion and a professor at the University of Vermont — at least to the extent that we revere the drive to carve out sacred time in the middle of the day-by-day profane. "Each of these religions is creating its own world, with its own time and space and memory system," he says. They recognize what’s of real value, and they encode it, and it forms an architecture of memory." Yes, says Bruce Lawrence, the head of Islamic Studies at Duke University, who was invited to speak at a nearby synagogue when the beginnings of Rosh Hashanah and Ramadan happened to coincide last year.
But be cautious, since human nature is as fickle as coincidence. "When one group is grieving and one is jubilant there are some unfortunate tensions," says Anand Kumar, with the Centre for the Study of Social Systems at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, a city with considerable experience with multiple faiths. Such conjunctions have led to conflicts and even riots, not just when moods clash, but because "the public sphere is being contested." Kumar is convinced, however, that "a new generation is emerging that is more pluralistic and they don’t feel threatened just because someone is from another religion."
And that will be what this writer meditates on this Friday.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Eat, Pray, Love

Eat, Pray, Love
Current mood: contemplative
Category: Writing and Poetry
monday, march 17, 2008

"Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it."
- Anais Nin

Started a new book last week - "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. Didn’t buy it on a whim, had it recommended twice over by recent divorcees (not a random descriptor - the bedrock of the book is that the author has gone through a recent divorce) The premise consists of the author’s trip through three iconic countries searching to rediscover three major pieces of herself. In Italy she "researches" pleasure - primarily through food (god-love-her...the descriptions induced me to bake two pans of bread pudding, one batch of chocolate chip cookies and two variations on a classic pannini...and that’s just this past weekend. I haven’t attempted pasta since starting the book; however, I just don’t think I could do it justice right now.). In India the author searches for religion, or, rather a better term here might be devotion. Regardless of the term she’s searching for something greater than herself. And in Indonesia she’s looking for, seemingly, a balance between the two.

I blog on this book for a couple of reasons.

Firstly - it’s hysterical...and poignant...and really excellent writing; which is something that I’m always on the lookout for. So if for no other reason than you might be looking for a good read, pick up this book. It’ll make you smile and cry. At the same time.

Secondly - it’s meaningful for my current situation. I find myself nodding empathatically at breakdown-in-the-public- bathroom-on-the-cold-tile-floor scenes. And I find myself scribbling furiously in the margins: underlining agreements, jotting down questions, dogearing pages that contain quotes that I want to go back and cross-reference. Gilbert does a fantastic job of not just telling a story, but teaching a lesson. She incorporates a life-time of random facts and relevant quotations into her skein.

Thirdly - it’s taking me longer to finish this book than any book in the past few years. And that, unlike the fact that I’m making notations in the margins, IS noteworthy. Usually I gobble a book up like most people do desserts... inhale it... devour it... The last three books I’ve read I’ve finished of a weekend, easily. But this book, I’m taking small sips of. It’s split neatly into three ’books’ and each ’book’ is split into smaller chapters - each almost a story in and of itself. And I find myself re-reading bits of it, and taking my time with it, allowing it to sink in. Which makes it noteworthy in my little world.

Currently listening:
Girls and Boys
By Ingrid Michaelson

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wrath, Lust and Littering?

Wrath, Lust and Littering?
Current mood: pensive
Category: Religion and Philosophy
friday, march 14, 2008

The New and Improved Seven Deadly Sins...

The Catholic Church on Sunday updated the 1,500-year-old list of seven deadly sins, publishing the new list in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

Apparantly the original Seven (lust, wrath, gluttony, sloth, greed, pride, and envy) just couldn’t cut it our modern, global-village style society.

Polluting, genetic engineering, obscene riches, drug use, abortion, pedophilia and causing social injustice join the original seven deadly sins defined by Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century (made famous by Dante’s fourteenth century "Divine Comedy")

The list came as the Pope deplored the "decreasing sense of sin" in today’s "securalised world".

God is now not only offended by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbour’s wife but also by ruining the environment, conducting immoral scientific experiments and cloning! The rationale behind the new list of sins is that in an increasingly global world, the individulaistic dimension of the original seven deadly sins is no longer as relevant, while these new seven have a "social resonance" and show worshippers that their vices affect other people.

Did we really need a tweaked list of sins to tell us that?

Currently listening:
For Emma, Forever Ago
By Bon Iver

Friday, March 7, 2008


does everyone cheat?

Learning from your Children

I came into motherhood rather...unexpectedly shall we say...And I quickly came to the realization that my children might very well be my greatest teachers in life.But I always thought of it in more of an abstract way - unconditional love through kissing boo-boos and applying bandaids.

Not so Much.

My two-year-old son taught me to count to ten in German this past weekend.
He just busted out with it after bedtime prayers and at first I didn't recognize what he was saying.

eins...zwei...drei... "Buddy, what are you saying?" ...vier...fenf...sechs... "Wait, are you counting?" ...sieben...acht...neun...zehn!

Crap. my toddler is smarter than I am. I made him do it at least half a dozen times before he looked at me plaintively and told me he was "Tiiiiiired..."

My three-year old daughter can rattle off one through 20 in Spanish and French...and those I can keep up with easily enough, but German just floored me.

Anyone have any good recommendations for audio programs on learning basic German...I've gotta keep up.

p.s. - a kid who still lisps a bit saying "sieben...acht...neun" may just be the cutest thing you will EVER hear...EVER...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

learning from your children

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Learning from your Children
Current mood: amused
Category: Life

I came into motherhood rather...unexpectedly shall we say...
And I quickly came to the realization that my children might very well be my greatest teachers in life.

But I always thought of it in more of an abstract way - unconditional love through kissing boo-boos and applying bandaids.

Not so Much.

My two-year-old son taught me to count to ten in German this past weekend.

He just busted out with it after bedtime prayers and at first I didn't recognize what he was saying.

eins...zwei...drei... "Buddy, what are you saying?" ...vier...fenf...sechs... "Wait, are you counting?" ...sieben...acht...neun...zehn!

Crap. my toddler is smarter than I am. I made him do it at least half a dozen times before he looked at me plaintively and told me he was "Tiiiiiired..."

My three-year old daughter can rattle off one through 20 in Spanish and French...and those I can keep up with easily enough, but German just floored me.

Anyone have any good recommendations for audio programs on learning basic German...I've gotta keep up.

p.s. - a kid who still lisps a bit saying "sieben...acht...neun" may just be the cutest thing you will EVER hear...EVER...

Currently listening:
Girls and Boys
By Ingrid Michaelson

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Communicating More, Saying Less?

Last night, between the hours of 4:30 and about 9:00 I sent 20+ emails and four texts. I left two voicemails and chatted for about 2 minutes to my sister, long distance, on our cell phones. I touched the lives of over 25 people in some way, shape or form, but I'm not sure I really said much.
And that was a slow evening.
In the past few years our cell phones, personal computers, Blackberries, text messaging, IM-ing, email capabilities and Internet usage in general has managed to connect well over 25 percent of the human race in a "speed of light" global village.
And, it seems that the more connected we are in this electronic landscape, the lonlier we find ourselves. A study conducted by the Kaiser Family Fund showed that American children now spent an average of 6.5 hours per day watching television, surfing the Internet, text messaging and playing with electronic media in 2006.
The evolved terseness of e-mail and chat rooms produced the need for the emoticon, and we now rely on a variation of a smiley face to convey any depth of feeling in print. The typical text message consists of 3-7 words, most of which are abbreviated, to confirm plans, check timetables, send along the quick laugh or holiday greeting en masse to your entire address book. I couldn't tell you the last time I called someone simply to ask how they were doing. Or [insert shocked gasp here] sat down to write a letter to a long-distance friend that didn't involve belated birthday greetings or a thank you for a baby gift. It seems that as the means for communication increases, our ability to do so travels the slippery slope. In fact, according to a national survey conducted by the US Department of Education, English literacy among college graduates has declined dramatically in the past 10 years. Only 31 percent of college graduates today are proficient in English literacy, compared with 40 percent just a decade ago.
If there's a cure out there, I'm not sure what it might be, short of unplugging yourself from daily life. Suggestions, anyone?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Look

So I realized for the first time today that the slight eyebrow raise paired with the small smile that is actually somehow the corners of my mouth turning down slightly (my "hi-I-know-you-but-don't-want-to-stop-and-chat-look for hallway passes and chance bathroom encounters) makes me look like a total dumbass.

And, while this may be preferable to the I'm-a-closet-epileptic chin nod that most men I know use in said instances, the difference is marginal at best.

Now what am I going to do?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

now you see me...

See me over there? on the far left? I'm there, I promise - i'm the thumb and partial arm that's supporting that six month old monster in sheep's clothing.
I've come to the realization that, since having kids, my identity has slowly but surely been usurped by my children. I've slipped into "Isabelle's Mom", "Baz's Mommy", etc. You'd think that after 88 hours of (collective) labor these little petry dishes of joy would let me be. Instead I've been rewarded with loss of sleep, renewed anxiety, obsession for order if not exact cleanliness, compulsion to discuss pint size bowel movements with great zeal to fellow parents, well...ew...you get the picture.
I know that this phenomena is nothing new and that it will, in point of fact, only get worse as time passes. But occassionally I need some reassurance that I'm still here...somewhere... just dormant for a bit

Friday, February 1, 2008


Resolutions for 2007 included running a marathon, writing something decent, learning a new language, exercising more, eating less, smiling more, self-caffeinating less, reading more, crying less (or at least more productively), smiling more (or at least more honestly), and so on.

Resolutions for 2008 include waking up and breathing...

Monday, January 7, 2008

New Year’s Resolution: Less = More

Monday, January 07, 2008

New Year’s Resolution: Less = More
Category: Life

Let's preface this blog by saying that i am awful at sticking to New Year's Resolutions.
I usually fall of the bandwagon well before the unspoken pre-req. 2-3 months of attempting to stick to the diet/habit/campaign that I've resolved to complete.
So this year, rather than resolving to do MORE (read more, write more, sleep more, etc.) I'm resolving to do LESS.
I'm going to slow down this year. Not physically, because lord knows that with two toddlers and an infant that's just plain impossible, but mentally.

I'm going to breathe.

I'm going to take time to appreciate that my kids still want to play board games with me.
They still want to climb into my lap and hear stories.
They still would rather I sit in the rocking chair at bedtime and make up fairy tales involving Princess Isabelle, Prince Baz and Princess Sophia, than pop an audio book in the cd at bedtime.
They still race to be the first to get hugs and fight to sit next to me on the couch.
They still run to put their shoes and coats away to be the first to catch the praise dropped from my lips.
They still run pell-mell into my legs to tell me they've used the potty, eaten all their dinner, gotten dressed by themselves...

And, while, at times the constant bickering and running and dodging and talking and whining and touching my clean shirt with sticky fingers and spitting up full bottles of milk and doses of imoxiycillin on my white shirt...can be enough to drive me to drink...I resolve to:

Take a deep breath, count to ten, count to ten again, pace a few times, count to ten once more for good measure, and appreciate the fact that they still want me.
I resolve to take advantage of the short simple time that I have to enjoy my children while they're under my roof, because I'm afraid that I'll blink one day and they'll be in college.

And while I can always read more, write more, exercise more, diet more, resolve more...I'll never get this time back.

I don't want to waste it.
Currently listening:
By Feist
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