Sunday, December 25, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

staggering genius

Homer is at the age when the things he says can either sound profoundly brilliant or completely ridiculous.

At dinner the other night, he turned to me and said, "Did you know friends are more valuable than gold?" If I said something like that I'd sound like a doof, but coming from a measly 1st grader? Pretty darn profound.

But then, we were watching TV one night and a Halloween commercial came on with Michael Jackson's Thriller playing in the background, and Homer looked at me and said, "Did you know Michael Jackson died from singing that song?" I said, "You can't die from singing a song, Homer." And he said, "You can't die from singing a song?" in this super incredulous tone of voice. I answered with an emphatic, "No," and then added, "Duh," for good measure.

But then I watched the X-Factor and there were some terrible singers on that stage and I wondered... what if you could die from singing a song? Surely, all those singers would be dead. Their audience, too. And maybe, just maybe, this a good idea for a Young Adult dystopian novel. Entitled Swan Song. It sort of sounds familiar so maybe it's already been done.

Speaking of, what do you think of the X-Factor? Is it not exactly like American Idol, but for a few rule changes? The judges are the same, the editing is the same, the theme music is similar. So far, the most significant change is that the judges are now drinking Pepsi instead of Coke. How weird is that?! Who does that? To switch soda preference at their advanced ages... I'm telling you, that is unheard of!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Punching Handballs

Cord hurt his arm/wrist last Thursday in PE. He punched a handball that was flying straight at him "full force!" he said. When I picked him up from the nurse’s office, his eyes were red and he was wiping his cheeks every so often, but that was it. He thought he had sprained his wrist because he couldn't move it. So I got him an ace bandage with a splint. But his "sprained wrist" wasn't getting better; he was waking up in the middle of the night asking for pain medicine. So on Sunday (3 days later), we took him to an Urgent Care to have it X-rayed. Turns out, his arm is broken.

Cord was thrilled (as you can see). He didn't even try to hide it. When the doctor said it was a broken arm, Cord started pumping his fist and saying "YES!! YES!!"

I took him to an orthopedic physician today to get his permanent cast. Turns out, he has two broken bones. The radius is broken straight across, and one of his wrist bones is broken. He chose a green cast so it would clash with his school's dress code. I really liked the doctor. He asked if I was Cord’s sister. I played it cool, but inside I was pumping my fists and saying, "YES! YES!"

But here's the really cool thing. I sent him to school yesterday in the temporary cast (the tan/white one) and I didn’t bother to send a note or anything because I figured it's pretty obvious… he has a broken arm. Well, his PE coach called me that afternoon. He was in disbelief and wanted to confirm that Cord had in fact broken his arm. The coach was like, “I looked at his arm after it happened, but I didn’t really say anything or think much of it, because it looked fine.”

And Cord had shown up to PE the next day with his wrist wrapped in that ace bandage. His coach probably looked at that ace bandage the same way I look at ace bandages: with a heavy dose of skepticism.

The reason the conversation was cool is because while I was on the phone with the PE coach, his opinion of Cord changed. I could hear it in his voice. He went from thinking Cord was this wimpy kid who wore a stupid ace bandage to get out of PE, to thinking Cord is a pretty decent kid. He kept saying, “Wow. I can’t believe it. Don’t worry about his grade, he can help me with some stuff. Wow. His arm was broken that whole time?” And Cord said that while I was on the phone with the coach, Cord had changed into his PE clothes and started running laps, and when his coach saw, he waved him down and made him stop, and Cord was pretty annoyed because what does running have to do with his arm? Because what the coach didn't realize is Cord likes PE. He doesn’t want to fake an injury and sit on the bench.

Isn't it awesome when you find out someone isn't what they seemed to be? It's it awesome when it's your kid, and your kid's PE coach is the one finding out, and you get to hear his voice change over the phone?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

This seems obvious to me

This is the current proposed plan for development of the empty lots surrounding my community (the schools are already there):

Here is my plan:

I just need to find a fax number, then I'm submitting it. Wish me luck (like I need it)!

ALL the kids in school, ALL day

8th grader:

1st grader and 5th grader:

1st day of the rest of my life*:

[Insert picture of me relaxing on my hammock-tramp]

You might notice Cord looks a tad taller and stands slightly awkwarder these days. He has grown roughly 7 inches since last I blogged. His feet have grown 4 sizes, and his voice is that of a man, speaking in a strange falsetto. Ah, puberty!

*I know I said last year was the first day of the rest of my life, but I was wrong. That was actually the first day of my job as a chauffeur and chaperon of endless after-kindergarten play-dates.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Madonna and I have much in common

Hydrangeas? Might as well give me a bouquet of poop! *eyes*

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Turns out, we don't need a new trampoline

Lots of stretchy places to sit:

A taut surface upon which to jump:

And then more relaxing when jumping becomes tiresome:

Hammock-like relaxation:

Friday, September 2, 2011

Back to the Start

This makes me wanna eat more bacon. But that's not the point. The point is, I'm back. And also, I'm downloading The Scientist by Willie Nelson and going to Chipotle for lunch. See ya!

Friday, March 18, 2011

In Honor of Fried Egg

Rebecca Black's single, Friday (pronounced Fried-egg), is number 23 on iTunes, and still climbing the charts. Srsly, I checked it last night and it was like number 82 or something. Smash hit!

Also, I'm sure you've heard the news about Jennifer Lawrence landing the roll of Katniss in the upcoming The Hunger Games (by Suzanne Collins) movie--very pleased with that decision, btw--but I read something in this article regarding the casting that confused me:

"[When] asked about Lawrence playing the dark-haired, biracial Katniss, Ross replied: "Suzanne had no issues with Jen playing the role. And she thought there was a tremendous amount of flexibility."

A) What... I had no idea Katniss was biracial and I've read THG at least a ha'-dozen times.
B) Not that there's a problem with that, I just didn't see race specifically mentioned in the book. Unless "Seam" is a race.
C) Did you picture her biracial?
D) Charight.
E) OK, what two races is she?
F) Fine, then why isn't Prim biracial?
G) Yeah, that's what I thought.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Your Attention, Please

HOMER: He is 5 and a half and his favorite movie right now is Matilda.

(Just wanted to write that down somewhere permanent in case I forgot)

He watches it several times a day, and he likes these two songs from the movie in this order:

GUS: Have I ever mentioned that Gus sleepwalks? He's been doing it a lot lately, maybe five times a week, but it comes and goes in waves. Usually he'll come to our room and we'll just tell him to go back to bed and he'll turn around and walk out. But if we ask him questions, he gets very confused, sometimes frustrated, and sometimes he'll say a string of nonsensical words. Creepsville. One way we can tell he's asleep and not just waking up and getting out of bed (because he does both), is by his eyes. They will look almost glassed over, and his pupils will be dilated.

Anyway, I've been meaning to get a good video of him talking in his sleep, because he doesn't remember doing it, and I want to show him/you. He came down the other night when we were watching TV, and I remembered to record him, but before I could get anything good, Tony comes along, being all "responsible parent" and ruins it all.

CORD: Casting was just completed for the spring play at Cord's middle school. They are doing a spoof of Peter Pan, called CSI Neverland. Cord was cast as the "Captain Hook" character. I'm glad his drama teacher was able to look beyond his physical stature.

MEMZY: She pointed this out to me last week while watching AI:

I don't overstand why she wasn't at least in the bottom 3.


Scared babies trapped in their exersausers with nowhere to run are the cutest:

You're not supposed to laugh at this, but it's OK if you do (PS. I love these parents):

Online speed dating. She probably went through a lot of jerks to get to him:

And in case you haven't met the brilliant lyricist, Rebecca Black, yet:

DISNEY: They're making another movie based on one of their most popular (?) rides. Yes, I'm talking about the Jungle Cruise. I hope the movie uses those anamitronic rhinos. They're my favorite. And the backside of water.

HOTPANTS: She texted me this last night, after looking up directions to Japan from her house on her iPhone. Apparently, she'll need a kayak.

EEK: She texted me some pictures of my new niece, Tuesday (aka Tootie). That name is tdf, yeah? I LOVE it!

Yes, it's dark and sideways and a little blurry, but her cutest shines through.

That's all I gots.

Friday, March 4, 2011

New and Exotic Places

Have you ever been disappointed with your pictures after a trip because you didn't think you got any really good shots, so you don't do anything with them, just leave them in a computer file and forget about them, but then almost a year later, you open the file and look through the pictures and you're flooded with happy memories, and you realize that maybe you did get some good pictures? That happens to me all the time. I guess I need to distance myself from the moment to really appreciate it sometimes.

It's usually around this time of year (Jan-March) that I'm scouring the www, looking for sweet travel deals, planning our next family vacation. It can get really time-consuming. I sometimes spend entire days going through options, and end up with nothing planned, nothing to show for all that time I've put in. But I get this craving to go someplace new, and I can't stop thinking about it until I find it. Tony wants to take an epic road trip across the country, visit 17 or 20 states. He's always mapping out different routes, and they sound fun when he's showing me all the places we'll see, but then I take a closer look at his humanly-impossible timeline and start searching for cheap flights again.

We have made some plans to visit family and travel with friends this year, but it's yet to be seen if our family will visit a place as new and exotic as the place we went last year:

We paid a homeless man $2 to take that picture^.

The thing we discovered about Philly is there is no short supply of homeless people to take your picture/ask for money/make you feel bad about vacationing/make you stop having fun and consider the world's most serious social issues/worry about your kids' safety.

However, I must say, there is something very special about Independence Hall.

Independence Hall is worth walking past fifty homeless men to see, practically.

The boys waiting to go inside:

I suppose Gus needed a haircut before we left for this trip. Most pictures, you can only see one of his eyes, whilst the other is shrouded behind a fine veil of blond hair. (His hair is really soft, like that of a new born babe. If you ever get the opportunity, you should feel it.)

(No flash allowed inside)

Where the Declaration of Independence was singed:

Liberty Bell, which is displayed in a nearby renovated museum of its own:

Also in this historic area is the National Constitution Center, a very modern, interactive museum that is well worth a visit.

The view from inside, looking towards Independence Hall:

Tony was feeling pretty patriotic right about then, so he had the kids do another pose under the flag.

After that, we hung our heads before Ben Franklin's grave, to pay respect.


Some of these gravestones were as thin as paper (<--slight exaggeration, but you get what I mean)

It was a pretty little graveyard (Christ Church Burial Ground). Very small.

Then we headed over to Besty Ross's house.

Very old, very cramped, no place to spread out yards and yards of fabric to make a secret flag.

One of our favorite things in Philly was Elfreth's Alley:

It's the nations oldest continually inhabited street.

I wish I had a picture that really captured the street. Tall skinny houses lined both sides of the narrow one-lane cobblestone street. It looked more like an alley, but not a dark scary alley that you could get mugged on. A cute alley with old unique houses. The utility van you see in the background clogged the whole street.

Waiting to tour one of the houses:

I like the old metal boot scraper in front of this house. This house was built before the cobblestones were laid, back when the street was paved with mud.

The metal plaque on the wall outside this house below represents the fire insurance the homeowner purchased. Fire wasn't a public service back then, so if your house caught on fire and you hadn't purchased a fire service plan, you'd be on your own as to how to put it out. Although, I'm sure the neighbors would pitch in, or else their house would be next.

These houses are all occupied, except one house that serves as a gift shop, and another house that is open for historic tours. Tony and I sat outside the gift shop, speculating on the kind of people who would live in these houses. We were guessing old University professors, rich empty-nesters, archeologists, Russian spies, when suddenly a mini van rolled down the street and stopped right in front of this house with the black door. The van doors slid open and this spectacle of a family got out. The mom was loaded down shopping bags from places like Old Navy and Famous Footwear and was yelling at her kids to pick up their backpacks, and the brother and sister (who looked like they had consumed a lot of fast food in their short lifetimes) were fighting and pushing each other and kicking their backpacks up to the front door of this historic house dating back hundreds of years. Interesting juxtaposition, yeah?

After that, we toured the US Mint, cuz Tony made us.

Then we headed over to Franklin Court to see Ben Franklin's house, and found this travesty:

Yes, his relatives tore down his house to make way for more important things, something I plan to do to my own relatives' houses after they die, cuz it's such a good idea. Anyway, that structure is the same size as his house, and a floor plan is painted on the floor. Dream big, Historic Tourism Department of Philadelphia!

Also in Franklin Court is the Ben Franklin Underground Museum. We were amused by the displays, dating back to 1981. I suspect Mr. Franklin... inventor, publisher, statesman, scientist... would not have been amused. My favorite part was the huge room filled with rows of closed-circuit beige phones that were all broken. But in this museum's heyday (circa 1980), I'm sure those phones did some cutting-edge stuff.

Also, the US Post Office Museum.

It was more like a small, dark, dusty room of stamps.

After that we walked to Franklin Square, a grassy old park in the middle of downtown Philly with a brand new miniature golf course, carousel, and playground.

Miniature Elfreth's Alley:

Feeling the brotherly love...

The agony of losing:

Gus's arm...?

Then we walked back to our hotel...

And that's what happened on our first day in Philadelphia.

One day down, twenty days to go!