Monday, April 30, 2007
Aren't they festive? These are the dishtowel napkins. They are 100% cotton, and I chose blues and greens to go with our dining room rug. I'm about halfway through this project (some of the napkins are in the laundry already). They aren't precisely square, but folded into triangles it doesn't seem to matter. They sew up fast, so the time consuming part is the ironing and pinning.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
after the banana bread incident, I don't take these chances.And, no, I never explained what happened. To get an idea the size of the borough I live in, you could look here, but if you're not a link follower, suffice it to say that the blog author (whom I haven't met) thinks our mayor (whom I have met, a neighbor) isn't doing a very good job, but also seems to dislike her personally. A borough about 2 miles in diameter, home to about fourteen thousand people, it will give you the impression that this is a politically charged place to be, and if you're like-minded, a real opportunity to put into practice the notion of changing the world by thinking globally and acting locally.
The vastness of the Internet sometimes gives a blogger the impression that she's talking and no one is listening. I'm not naive enough to think that a Google search done by any random person I interact with will put them in front of this blog. Particularly if I were to relate a story that perhaps reflects someone in a less-than-flattering light. But now, I feel I must balance that with having revealed the punchline of a joke and then rudely not explained it.
Lauren has a good friend whose family is very religious. This isn't an anomaly in our town. Rachel had been over our house a couple of times when we were invited to lunch together at her house. Rachel's mom, Kat had said, "I'm making sandwiches, but you should bring something that Lauren will eat."
Lauren and I got up early that morning and made a loaf of banana bread together.
I wrapped the still-warm bread in a clean tea towel and we walked to their house. Lauren carried the loaf into their house and presented it to Rachel.
"What is that?" Kat asked.
"We made banana bread." I replied. At this point, Rachel had put the banana bread on the kitchen table which was set for lunch.
"Oh no," Kat looked horrified. "Please don't bake things and bring them into my house...We're Kosher!"
"I'm very sorry," I stammered, thoroughly embarrassed. I knew they were quite religious, but in my mind anyway, I didn't make the connection that they were also Kosher. I stood there wondering if I was supposed to take the banana bread out of her house, I thought, she said bring food and never mentioned it. I was clueless because she hadn't said anything before I came over or either of the times that Rachel had been to my house.
Dad likes to say "Life is strange and then it gets a whole lot weirder", and so after her reaction, Kat proceeded to cut up the loaf, serve it, and then wrapped the rest up and put it in her bread box.
About a week later, Kat said that Rachel had a very nice time and wanted to have another luncheon in a few weeks, "Really, I think Rachel just wants more of that banana bread."
I laughed uncomfortably. You've got to be kidding me, I thought.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
My professor pulled me and 2 other students aside after class and shared her carefully guarded secret, that her students who receive As on the first 2 exams and the paper don't have to take the final exam. I received an A- on the paper, so now I don't have to spend the week studying.
Friday, April 27, 2007
I took Karen's advice and bought some fancy dishtowels for my first set of napkins. They are turning out quite well, and a bargain at Marshalls. The dishtowels were 3 for $3.99, and yield 6 napkins. I bought 4 packages so that I would have 3 sets of 8. One of the things I've learned about Marshalls though is that if you see something, you must buy it because they NEVER have it a few days later.
Otherwise, I have a week and a day until my final exam, so mostly I've been studying for that. Hopefully I will have my camera back before we get into next week, because I have a feeling there won't be much blogging...
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Is there a Mom badge for that?
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
"Alright." I said. "What do we need to discuss?"
"Ok. What about Grandpa Paul?"
Lauren heaved a sigh. "I just wanted to say that I think he might be Santa Claus."
"What makes you say that?"
"Mom," she said in her all-business tone, "Did you look at Santa? He looked like Grandpa Paul. And where was Grandpa Paul when Santa was there? Oh. And G kissed him."
"That sounds like very good evidence." I said.
"So why did everyone pretend that Grandpa Paul is Santa Claus?"
"Because sometimes it's fun to pretend."
Sunday, April 22, 2007
I'm hoping that the Earth Day present I'll get from the Internet is details to make myself some - dimensions, material, and rough details. Also, an added bonus would be napkin details, because cloth napkins are also stupidly expensive considering they're just a square of fabric.
Karen? Frauke? Sybil? Lisa? Rebecca?
Thursday, April 19, 2007
"Nice. When someone has skin that color, we say they are black."
"But they aren't black. They're brown."
"Yes. But they prefer to be called black."
"Ms Brown is brown." she replies. Ms Brown teaches at Lauren's school.
"Yes. But she would prefer to be called black."
"Why would she want to be called Ms Black if that's not her name?"
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
"Today's decision is alarming," Ginsburg wrote in dissent for the court's liberal bloc. She said the ruling "refuses to take ... seriously" previous Supreme Court decisions on abortion.
Ginsburg said the latest decision "tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists."
Ginsburg said that for the first time since the court established a woman's right to an abortion in 1973, "the court blesses a prohibition with no exception safeguarding a woman's health."Read the entire article here.
Yesterday was the big vote. And I received a chipper email this morning informing me that the budget had indeed passed, by 95 votes. The polls were open at 2 PM yesterday, so I decided to head down to my polling place, a local synagogue, after the bus arrived at 3. It's only about a 5 block walk, and parking is hard to come by on our main street, so I put Lin in the stroller and we walked despite the drizzle.
Alec had taken the girls to an Easter egg hunt a few weeks back at the Reform Church, and the party favors, most of them religious, had ended up in the bottom of the stroller. Notably, an Easter crown of eggs - about 8 eggs linked together paper doll-style each with a little saying about God, miracles, and Jesus. So seconds before we are about to enter one of the borough's conservative temples, Lauren has adorned herself with a paper crown that announces Jesus Loves Me!.
God has the best sense of humor though. Seriously. He really has to take his stand up routine on the road and tour with Seinfeld.
Just as we turned the corner, the paper crown blew off.
A girl, a couple years older than Lauren caught it in the air and handed it back to her. Lauren replied, "I think we should put this away now, Mom. I don't want to lose it."
"Oh ok. " I replied, tucking it back into the bottom of the stroller. I believe in miracles! beamed up from inside the black mesh basket.
We entered the synagogue, the crown forgotten. Since I had mentioned at the bus stop that Lauren would get a treat after this was over, that we'd reached the destination caused that thought to become itchy. "So, where's my treat?"
"After we're done, hon." I replied. Lindsay had become fussy, so I was trying to read the district numbers for each check in table while I rocked the stroller back and forth.
"What is it?"
"May I have it?"
And usually, my friends, I offer a lollipop as a treat because it in of itself is a quiet distraction. I collect the ones that the bank gives away so I usually have a stash of Wachovia blue and green. If it was the sort you buy at the store, it would've had the reassuring K to indicate that one might use is as bait in the synogogue, but after the banana bread incident, I don't take these chances. "Once we leave. They have a lot of rules about food in a synagogue."
Lauren looked enchanted - her favorite sort of rules are food rules. "Really, what kind of rules?" she asked loudly.
"No lollipops." I lied.
"Ohhh." she breathed. "Ok." She watched excitedly as I pushed buttons, and pushed the big red VOTE button when I finished.
As we walked to the door, she stopped the smartly dressed woman entering to warn her, "No lollipops in here, ma'am. They have food rules."
Monday, April 16, 2007
The meeting was fine. The superintendent presented the budget and then one of the board members tried to recruit people to volunteer to help pass it. The whole thing lasted about an hour and a half, and I sat next to Kendra, a mom from Lauren's class, we shared a couple of laughs making snarky comments.
About 2 weeks ago, the AlphaMom from the bus stop asked me if I wouldn't mind making a few phone calls. I reluctantly agreed. I'm sure there are few people who hate talking on the phone more than I do, but I felt like it was a simple request.
Earlier in the week, I received an email from the PTO vice president asking if I would volunteer to hold a position in the organization next year. I said, well, I've only been to one meeting. If I can manage to get to the rest of the meetings this year, then we can talk about my serving as Corresponding Secretary. She wrote a kind of funny response about how the PTO is "very low key" and sometimes meets during the day for coffee (and you know how I feel about coffee).
So, it didn't surprise me that she was at the town event that took place on Saturday. Nor that she made a point to say hi. I was relieved, actually, because I knew I had to pick up my phone list and I'd forgotten whose house I was supposed to go to. She grinned and replied, "Yeah, Wendy sure managed to get a lot of volunteers!" and wrote down the address.
I picked up my packet, which contained a list of about 50 borough residents, 2 scripts (one for a live person, one for voice mail), a fact sheet, and a key code of polling locations. I made about 40 calls between 4:30 - 6 PM last night (Alec made about a dozen), mostly to answering machines. My second to last call was the only one that required the fact sheet. "A vote 'No' won't change that you have to pay taxes!" I implored one voter. By the end of the call, he agreed to vote for the budget.
I have no idea what happened.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
I had thought that the purpose of doing a cover was to take a song that had long since fallen out of favor, adding your stylistic elements to it. Alanis did a cover of The Black Eyed Peas "My Humps" which definitely has her style - it's morose, depressing, and hard to parse her accent. Otherwise, Alanis dressed as Fergie? Wow.
Are they obligated to sing "Shakira! Shakira!" whenever Shakira sings? Is it just in style right now because disc jockeys rarely announce songs anymore, so at least you're getting your brand out there to those who don't immediately recognize that you're Sean Paul, Rihanna, Akon, Eminem, or Nelly Furtada?
Sorry, no deep thoughts today after a couple days off - working on a paper for Art History this week.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
He has known Lauren since she was a speck on an ultrasound film, back when we referred to her as The Munchkin. She spent the better part of her first year hanging out in his office. And because (or perhaps in spite of) they share the same birthday, he has always had a great affection for her and delights in stories about the person she's become.
We were on the phone catching up about vacations and household construction when Lauren sauntered into the room and asked, "Mom, may I please mop the floor?"
I could actually hear him holding his breath. Several seconds passed before he asked, "Did she just ask if she could mop?!"
Nonchalantly, I led her to the kitchen and handed her the rag mop and told her to do the kitchen first and work her way to the living room.
"May I use the duster after that?"
"Sure, I will leave the broom closet open. Just make sure that you only take out one tool at a time, okay?"
So she proceeded to do that, and as you can see from the pictures, talked all the while in typical Lauren fashion.
"She likes to mop."
"Oh my..." He was actually giggling at this point.
"I've always been good at managing people..."
"Yes...but...wow. Oh my."
"You're kicking yourself that you didn't think of it first."
"And if I say that Lindsay is here looking on wistfully..."
"You're so cool. And to think I knew you when..."
Jenn at Breed 'Em And Weep was one of the first blogs I've read. She is an amazing writer. She's not an easy read though, and I'll admit about half the time her posts move me to tears. From earlier in the week:
"I’m watching you. Watch me back. Take a good look at me as I wipe my whining kid’s nose and fumble for my car keys. If you love a girl for the long haul, this is what you’ll get. Someone like me. Someone like your mother.Pushing the proverbial envelope of what can and can't be said aloud on the Internet is the oft hated V. I like reading V - she's a tells it like it is no-nonsense woman. From a recent post:
Try not to recoil. Let it sink in. Because this is the start of recognizing that beauty runs a lot deeper than all of us can see, especially in our crappy surly early years. Since we’re speaking of surprise: Real beauty is fabulously surprising. The sooner you train yourself to look for it (not just the glossy enameled variety), the better."Read the rest of her post here.
I think everyone has those moments in their life when something all of the sudden shifts. Enlightenment usually comes without warning, but when it does, anything can happen. You can decide to leave your soul crushing job, move to a new city, propose to your girlfriend, or even finally realize your own faults. You can make big changes in your life. Or, failing that, at least come to know the reasons behind the decisions you’ve already made. All this can happen within the span of a single moment.
What I find most intriguing about these moments is that when traced back to their birth, they usually come about in the most mundane of circumstances. Perhaps you decided to divorce your husband while crossing the street to get a cup of coffee. Or maybe you found God while examining a blade of grass. A child’s smile might have reminded you of your love for you Mother, or a song on the radio made you think of your worst childhood enemy. It’s kind of amazing the things that we can learn about ourselves and the world around us just by carrying on with the drudgery of our day."
Figleaf, another anonymous blogger, writes a blog called Real Adult Sex. He explores topics such as the [mythological?] differences in libido between men and women, thoughts he would share with a virgin, and when sex becomes "senior sex". This post was one of my favorites:
"Chances are *exceedingly* slight that the gleam in your father's eye when you were but a gleam in your father's eye did not involve making you. Chances are also *exceedingly* slight that your mother laid back and "thought of England." Instead they, like your over-30 non-hot teachers, like your fusty principal, or ministers, or the craggy old grocery store manager had sex pretty much exactly the way you do and pretty much for the exact same reasons."
Thanks for the recognition, and I hope you enjoy these great blogs!
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
"What's on my face?"
"What did you draw with on your face?"
"What did I..."
"Was it marker?"
Woeful expression. Averted eyes.
"Should I take that as a 'Yes'?"
"Bye bye, Baby," the cashier says. She waves.
Lindsay looks at her quizzically.
"She will say "Bye" and wave about fifteen minutes from now."
A quarter hour later:
"Buh bah," Lindsay says, jerking her whole left arm up and down awkwardly. "Buh bah."
Monday, April 09, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Surely if asked to change the plan He created involving His mother driving down from Connecticut to look after the baby so that she could be in pictures and his eldest so that she could be a flower girl, He would turn the other cheek. He would not be offended that Nanny told an untruth about the bride having chosen dresses after He asked to be included in choosing them simply so she could have her way. When told it was now an imperative that His daughter was there into the night after not being invited to the reception, and that there would now be a hotel room where Mary must stay and look after the baby until the eldest got tired, He would say, "And so it shall be." He would look on her as He looks on all his children, and smile.
Now I am faced with replanning. Certainly, it makes the most sense to have my mother take Lindsay home to sleep. If Lauren is staying, it probably also makes the most sense for my mother to leave with Lindsay immediately after pictures are taken to salvage as much routine as she can. They will both be most comfortable in my home rather than a hotel. Lauren will be as happy to stay and go to the reception as she would to go with G. Unlike my brother's wedding, which saw her dancing into the night, the ceremony starts at 7 PM. I'm worried by 9 PM, faced with starting an hour and a half long dinner, it will knock her on her feet. I am thinking I should bring Lauren's sitter to take Lauren when she is ready to leave, take them up on footing the bill for J and the hotel room. It's a terrifically complicated plan and my initial reaction is that it's throughly stupid, but it accommodates all they've asked for at this point.
Yeah, Christ probably doesn't say "Bite me", right?
Monday, April 02, 2007
I took a look at what I've accomplished in setting routines for the house, meeting people, exercising, keeping the blog, excelling in school and felt disappointed. Why can't I enjoy my successes? Why is it never enough? I got angry with myself because I couldn't find a good answer for why I can't just be happy. I can love Lauren and Lindsay in their imperfection, so why can't I love myself that way?
My psyche is a little bruised, but I'm going to keep working anyway. Not for anyone else but for me.