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Archive for March, 2012

Today I have a migraine hangover, it is true. I had a sudden ocular migraine last night, very late, just when I wanted to crawl into bed and go to sleep. Instead, I took a couple of generic excedrin and wandered aimlessly around the house, attempting to complete the laundry while experiencing the shimmering, broken prismatic lights that appeared with increasing intensity in my right eye. What I still try to do at these times (they do occur more often at night) is my bedtime crossword which is pretty funny. Even the Monday NY Times crossword, the easiest of the week, was a challenge because I could only read about every other word and every third number.

Now I am a bit hazy but my sense of humor is intact.

I just picked up Violet at the annual WRSI Meltdown in Northampton, a mishmash of music, food, school booths, demonstrations, lambs, snakes, hissing cockroaches, gymnastics demos. You get the picture.

When my kids were small, my friend’s husband, Curtis, called children “schmeeks.” My friends had 2 schmeeks at the time, slightly older than my 2 schmeeks (they since added another schmeek who is still in schmeekdom at 7-years old).

Paul dropped Vi off earlier today so she could participate in her fencing club’s demonstration. When he arrived back home I asked how it was. “It should be called ‘Hot Mom Fest'” said he. “Not without me there,” said I. “True,” said he.

When I went to pick Violet up, I swear I did not see any hot moms. I did, however, look at the hula hoops all over the ground at one of the outdoor booths and rather than just debating about it like I usually do, I bought one.

I cannot hula hoop to save my life.

I have got the rhythm, there is no doubt, but I do not get the rocking. It is not about hips because there are some skinny-ass women who can hula hoop like nobody’s business and even men can hula hoop and everyone knows that they don’t have hips or at least not the curvy kind.

is the I-beam really necessary dude?

I do not have space in my house to practice using the hula hoop, but I could try in the backyard. This leaves me open to some problems: neighbors. You may have noticed that I’m not particularly shy but I also don’t relish the thought of trying to master operate a hula hoop in full view of anyone.

Maybe if I put on a dress, it will put me in a more favorable mental state for success:

if I get really skilled, I might be able to gain entry to Burning Man some year, just hang out on the playa

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Yesterday I took my youngest to a dr’s appt in Springfield (1/2 hour-ish drive) and we listened to Sound of Music in the car. This was a staple of my kids’ childhood and it had been a long time since I’d listened to it. It was a staple of my own childhood, too, come to think of it. We sang along and sang along and sang along while we admired Julie Andrews’ multiple-octave range.

Speaking of multiple-octave ranges, we then listened to Mahalia Jackson. How sweet the sound!

I took a new way home so as to avoid a 3-mile traffic jam which we saw on 91 N as we were heading south. But I did a silly thing and ended up seeing more of Chicopee, Massachusetts than I ever thought possible. I took 116 North and it went on and on and on forever. I suppose I’ll never drive that route again unless I have to.

One cool thing was crossing the Connecticut River in a spot where the bridges and water and trees were an interesting jumble off in the distance. I couldn’t look for long because I was driving. The day was bright and sunshiny and my kid is pretty amenable when you take her anywhere alone in the car (with older sister is an entirely different story).

That’s a good day in my book.

A couple of Sundays ago, I took the girls to some antique/thrift shops up on Rtes 5 and 10 in S. Deerfield. That was fun. Violet got a good bargain on a bunch of oldish, broken watches. She thinks she can take them apart to use for projects/jewelry making. She also found a 1950s-circa silk dress that is fabulous and only 15 bucks. This is not a price one finds much any more on vintage clothing. It’s in tip top condition and a perfect fit.

Annie was happy with a couple of old glass bottles.

My greatest buy was 3 hats for 5 bucks each. Vintage hats nowadays run upwards of 15 dollars each (if you’re lucky), so I don’t buy them any more. This was a bargain and I’ll be going back to the same place some day to see if they restock. So fun! Hooray!

This one is the oldest and in the best condition, the veil is still intact and it has covered metal stays on either side inside.

A goofy thing is that each hat is a shade of purple; I didn’t try to find purple hats, it just worked out that way.

Here’s a goofy one with “flowers.” It looks sort of pirate-y:

You’ll have to suffer in not getting to see the other hat. I’m too dang tired to take another photo and I’ve just inherited a situation in which I have to frost some chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache that was taking too long to cool and set for Annie to do herself before bedtime (there’s a going-away party for a dear classmate tomorrow).

My keyboard is practically covered in chocolate ganache fingerprints, but I did finish the cupcakes and can now go to bed. 3 sticks of butter in that ganache recipe. Ridiculous, Martha Stewart, absolutely ridiculous! I should kick your ass.

I couldn’t resist one more photo after all

strange-looking cupcake in lower right corner actually has flaked chocolate on top, designated for the going-away kid

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehn, good night!

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spoiler alert: this post starts out silly and ends with Trayvon Martin. It has been an organic piece of writing and I’m gonna stand by it; at least I think I know what I’m doing

Click through and see the Utz girl eat potato chips before your very eyes. Yes, I have mentioned her before.

Did you ever think that organic food is popular because the word organic is close to the word orgasmic?

Orgasms, what’s the big deal? You can never get enough of them and everything’s over too fast, even the long ones.

I like hot flashes. All that sudden heat created by ME without me even trying. It’s fucking awesome. However, I am not sure I’ll be enjoying them so much in the middle of summer.

Note to self: do not wear thermal shirts during peri-menopausal years unless it’s cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey

I don’t even like that expression. Where the hell did it come from?

I do remember a song from when I was a kid at summer camp which had the line “it’s cold as the hair on a witch’s ass”

Here’s what I remember:

It’s cold, it’s cold, it’s cold, it’s cold,                                                                                                                                                                           it’s cold, it’s cold, it’s cold, it’s cold                                                                                                                                                                              it’s cold as the foam on a tall beer glass, it’s cold as the hair on a witch’s ass

(oh, wordpress, why must you irk me like that, effing with my line breaks? WHY!?!)

Does anyone else know that song? I swear I learned some crazy things at summer camp. But I never made out with anyone, which I understand is something that is maybe supposed to happen at summer camp.

I went for 5 summers in a row from the time I was 7, so not making out by the time I was 12 seems OK. Whew!

What if it was peace of ass instead of piece of ass? Because we all know that getting a piece of ass makes you calmer and more peaceful. See? The phrase would effectively kill two birds with one stone.

How do vegetarians feel about idiomatic expressions using images that are violent toward animals? I’ve discussed this before.

And vegans, how do vegans feel about phrases involving violence toward butter or violent acts committed with butter? Don’t you go thinking about Last Tango now either, ‘kay? Because I only saw that movie once in college and you know, I don’t think it was very good. I thought The Last Emperor was better. I used to love John Lone but he was never in very many movies.

I will not stand by the term “wife-beater” to describe a man’s white ribbed cotton undershirt, the kind my dad wore. Do men still wear those? My Greek friend calls them papou t-shirts and I like that better. When you pronounce a p in Greek, it’s really more of a b sound.

I believe that this is true: the Finnish language has no word for “toes”

Stand your ground: wasn’t Trayvon Martin the one who needed to do this? What about his self-defense? A neighborhood watchman with a gun trumps an unarmed minor every time.

I tire of the debates and comments that continue to defend the actions of George Zimmerman based on some notion that Zimmerman behaved in the only possible way he could have in such a situation.

I think about Trayvon Martin’s parents. I think about Emmet Till and his brave mother; and don’t tell me this situation is nothing like that situation.

No matter what happens to George Zimmerman, Trayvon’s parents will never have their son back. Never.

You wake up, you make the coffee in the automatic coffee maker, do your morning routine, whatever it is, you hope for the best, that this time your kids leave the house will not be the last time you will ever see them.

Still, I can’t help but be grateful when I hear this.

Astral Weeks, Van Morrison

If I ventured in the slipstream
Between the viaducts of your dream
Where mobile steel rims crack
And the ditch in the back roads stop

Could you find me?
Would you kiss-a my eyes?
To lay me down in silence easy
To be born again, to be born again

From the far side of the ocean
If I put the wheels in motion
And I stand with my arms behind me
And I’m pushin’ on the door

Could you find me?
Would you kiss-a my eyes?
To lay me down in silence easy
To be born again, to be born again

There you go standin’ with the look of avarice
Talkin’ to Huddie Ledbetter
Showin’ pictures on the wall
Whisperin’ in the hall
And pointin’ a finger at me

There you go, there you go
Standin’ in the sun darlin’
With your arms behind you
And your eyes before
There you go

Takin’ care of your boy
Seein’ that he’s got clean clothes
Puttin’ on his little red shoes
I see you know he’s got clean clothes

A puttin’ on his little red shoes
A pointin’ a finger at me
Standing in your sad arrest
Trying to do my very best

Lookin’ straight at you
Comin’ through, darlin’
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah

If I ventured in the slipstream
Between the viaducts of your dreams
Where mobile steel rims crack
And the ditch in the back roads stop

Could you find me?
Would you kiss-a my eyes?
To lay me down in silence easy
To be born again, to be born again
To be born again, to be born again

In another world, darlin’
In another world
In another time
Got a home on high

Ain’t nothing but a stranger in this world
I’m nothing but a stranger in this world
I got a home on high in another land
So far away, so far away

Way up in the heaven, way up in the heaven
Way up in the heaven, way up in heaven, oh
In another time, in another place
In another time, in another place

Way up in the heaven
In another time, in another place
In another time, in another place
In another face

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Eek! Music Monday is beginning to feel a bit perfunctory. I dunno, maybe you couldn’t tell? I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel though. Today feels a little more organic, but part of me thinks, you know, we all have access to the same music, can I really tell you something you don’t already know?

By the time our first born was about 6-months old, we’d stick her in the “Baby Bundler,” a 25-foot long, 2-foot wide piece of stretchy cotton that wrapped around our bodies, place her facing out, and dance around, her arms and legs sticking out and bouncing up-and-down to our movements and the music. A splendid time was had by all.

I can’t remember many of the songs we played, but here are a couple of favorites.

Listening to Yo La Tengo in the car the other day reminded me of this:

Speeding Motorcycle, Daniel Johnston

Speeding motorcycle, won’t you change me?
Speeding motorcycle, won’t you change me?
In a world of funny changes
Speeding motorcycle, won’t you change me?
Speeding motorcycle of my heart
Speeding motorcycle; always changing me
Speeding motorcycle, don’t you drive recklessly
Speeding motorcycle of my heart
Pretty girls have taken you for a ride
Hurt you deep inside but you never slowed down
Speeding motorcycle in my heart
Speeding motorcycle, let’s speed smart
‘Cause we don’t want to wreck but
We can do a lot of tricks
We don’t have to break our necks
To get our kicks
Speeding motorcycle, the road is ours
Speeding motorcycle, let’s speed some more
‘Cause we don’t need reason and we don’t need logic
We’ve got feeling and we’re dang proud of it
Speeding motorcycle, there’s nothing you can’t do
Speeding motorcycle, I love you
Speeding motorcycle, let’s just go
Speeding motorcycle
Let’s go let’s go let’s go
Oo oo

Considering what Iggy Pop was doing when he’d perform this song live, how appropriate was it for baby bundler dancing? I’m not too concerned, but just now when my kids saw a couple of the live videos, they made faces and said “he’s weird Mom.” What’s worse than the naked gyrations and references to heroin addiction was the sell out to Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Maybe the joke’s on them.

Lust For Life, Iggy Pop

Here comes Johnny Yen again
With the liquor and drugs
And a flesh machine
He’s gonna do another strip tease

Hey man, where’d you get that lotion?
I’ve been hurting since I bought the gimmick
About something called love
Yeah, something called love
Well, that’s like hypnotising chickens

Well, I’m just a modern guy
Of course, I’ve had it in the ear before
‘Cause of a lust for life
‘Cause of a lust for life

I’m worth a million in prizes
With my torture film
Drive a G.T.O.
Wear a uniform
All on government loan

I’m worth a million in prizes
Yeah, I’m through with sleeping on the sidewalk
No more beating my brains
No more beating my brains
With the liquor and drugs
With the liquor and drugs

Well, I’m just a modern guy
Of course, I’ve had it in my ear before
‘Cause, of a lust for life (lust for life)
‘Cause of a lust for life (lust for life, oooo)
I’ve got a lust for life (oooh)
Got a lust for life (oooh)
Oh, a lust for life (oooh)
Oh, a lust for life (oooh)
A lust for life (oooh)
I got a lust for life (oooh)
Got a lust for life

Well, I’m just a modern guy
Of course, I’ve had it in my ear before
‘Cause I’ve a lust for life
‘Cause I’ve a lust for life.

Well, here comes Johnny Yen again
With the liquor and drugs
And a flesh machine
I know he’s gonna do another strip tease

Hey man, where’d ya get that lotion?
Your skin starts itching once you buy the gimmick
About something called love
Oh Love, love, love
Well, that’s like hypnotising chickens.

Well, I’m just a modern guy
Of course, I’ve had it in the ear before
And I’ve a lust for life (lust for life)
‘Cause I’ve a lust for life (lust for life)
Got a lust for life
Yeah, a lust for life
I got a lust for life
Oh, a lust for life
Got a lust for life
Yeah a lust for life
I got a lust for life


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The first time this dance party happened was in January 2009 in celebration of Obama’s inauguration

I remember how happy I was, how we all were so glad Obama made it in, the historical weight of the moment, the readiness for change, something far from Bush, Cheney, Rove, good job Brownie, Halliburton, Blackwater

I remember Dan’s band playing I Can See Clearly Now and screaming it at the top of my lungs in solidarity with its message

The next year, the dance was called “The Full Belly Dance” and I was confused: was it a belly dance dance? Did Dan’s band, The No Nos, even know any middle eastern music to which we could don our I Dream of Jeannie outfits and undulate our hips?

Last night, I went to the dance with a full belly

Thankfully, Paul and I got there late, so I only danced for 2 hours instead of

Apparently, I am not at the mercy of my anemia any more because I danced my ass off without incident

On the other hand, my knees are feeling creaky. How can I dance like that into my 50s, 60s, 70s, how?

My face was lobster red after the dance, the same as the when I had exercise-induced asthma after playing racquetball one time in college (squash?)

I know that dancing and certain kinds of music are banned in certain fundamentalist countries. What do you think Santorum thinks of this?


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I love our new cat

She doesn’t really have a name yet (even though we got her in December). Considerations have included Strider, Minerva, Felix, Ladybug, Jelly Bean, Little. I call her Ladybug or Little, so I think my official name for her is Ladybug Little Jelly Bean Glatter. She was in bad shape when we adopted her, very sickly and so thin. Now her belly is busting at the seams, so the Jelly Bean part and all those double letters suit her well.

I like the spring peepers’ mating chorus

I love that I found a new artist, Janet K.Miller, last week when I searched google images for “butter devil” and that Janet was completely open and welcoming about me using an image of her painting on my blog. I also really dig her work and I look forward to buying one of the pens she sells on her website.

I love that I can search google images for “butter devil”

I love using google images

heart potato (not from google images)

I love that I am finally back to singing Sacred Harp. I have now gone back 2 Tuesdays in-a-row after my long hiatus (7 or 8 weeks or something crazy like that).

I love our bookkeeper

I love that I am almost done with our taxes, almost enough to send them in to our accountant

And that’s all she wrote

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I hope you didn’t notice (but I now confess) that I was uninspired last week on Music Monday. Sure, I love Raphael Saadiq, sure that’s a great song. I have thought of retiring this particular weekly stint until the spirit moves me again.

Tonight I asked my little one (not so little, as about 3 weeks ago, she became taller than me) “What song should I post on my blog?” and she answered “the music from that show [Ken Burns’ series The Civil War],” which she watched a portion of with Hubby earlier tonight. She’s been reading Across Five Aprils and did an extra project on the battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) for school this week.

I don’t play an instrument (7 years of piano, all for naught), but if I could, I imagine it would be most pleasant to play this on the violin.

The deep, satisfying double stops; the familiar and homey nature of the tune; the way the rising melody hits a minor note before its descent and resolve; it is all so poignant and sweet.

I was going to post a version without images because war is too much to look at sometimes, but the one from the soundtrack* without images gets cut off before the end. I figure you all don’t listen all the way through anyway….you’ve got your iTunes and your iPod and your fancies. Me too. Just in case it is new to you, here:

*UPDATE, August 23, 2012: the version from the soundtrack to Ken Burns’ documentary was pulled and I just found out, so I’m posting another version. Visuals are terrible, but I didn’t care for the live video recording of Jay Unger and family. Ironic, isn’t it? Let’s see how long before they copyright and pull this one. It’ll probably take me a while to notice, if I ever do. Look, I know there’s some sort of doodad app to inform me if a video is pulled off of youtube. But I don’t have it set up. Crap.

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