Showing posts from July, 2009

Nature's Directions

Inchworm haulin' ass on the edge of my basket, You seem determined to get where you're going. You bend, then extend, in movements gymnastic, But what can I infer from your showing? The wind blows you off course; your recovery - fantastic! Still, there's nothing to your knowing .

Happy Birthday.

My Cute Baby Today my daughter turned 16. Along with the pink convertible we gave her, Notice the edible windshield. she was granted permission by the state to drive*. Sadly, today my papers weren't in order so in addition to a morning trip the RMV, we needed to make a trip to my hometown to get another, cleaner certified source of ID, then back to another RMV on the way home. She was determined to get that permit, though! And so, after 5 hours, over 100 miles, and one lunch with the grandparents (bonus!), she did. When we got home, we went to a safe place (the deserted high school parking lot) to test the robustness of my four year-old car's clutch. What fun! Happily, despite the quick jerking motions, no one ate this windshield. She did have reverse down really well before we left the lot. Plus ca change, plus c'est the meme chose! Actually, she did a great job for a beginner, and despite her serious frustration, I can tell she'll try again until she gets it

What have we done?

We recently gave our youngest her own cell phone so that she could call us from camp for any reason. I have received no calls from her as of yet, but her hand has been glued to her phone. Why? Not for the games. Not for the music. For the applause. In the “my sounds” section of her phone, she found a rousing cheer. So now whenever and wherever she goes she has her own set of adoring fans. Her gracious bowing in acknowledgment of their thunderous, albeit electronic, applause upon entering a room still surprises and delights me. For now. After all, it was drama camp. LB's Lullabye Leaguer, left.

"Relax. Put your feet up."

I think something got lost in the translation.

Polyvore: Rampant Consumerism

Would you rather coordinate outfits than quickly quip with acquaintances? Is your closet full of clothes for the life you think you might, but don't actually live? Are you looking for another online time suck? If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, have I got the site for you! It's called Polyvore , and it's an online staging thingy I read about in the New York Times yesterday . You can put together clothes, backgrounds, accessories and post them on your blog, facebook, or anywhere you feel like it - I imagine. You can find out where, and how much it will set you back, to buy most of the items. Best of all, you can share them with your loved ones so they can pull a Stacy and Clinton on you before you buy, thus saving you time and money! Yeah. That's it! Saving you time and money. I certainly haven't tested its powers, but for me, it's all about the shoes. All About the Shoes by LB featuring Christian Louboutin Estoteri shoes That Ch

Rejected: Life with the RMV

I don’t know what it’s like in other states, but I suspect that Massachusetts is far advanced in its bureaucratic lunacy. In compliance with state law, last month I brought my husband’s car into one of the few shops left who continue to shill for the state provide the public with annual state inspection service. The law does not specifically require that the wife do this, but anyone who has gotten an automobile inspection sticker in Massachusetts knows that the reported “twelve minute” emissions and safety inspection has the serious potential to turn into a multi-day headache. So if you have a spouse who happens to have no prior commitments outside of the home, you might consider having her or him be your bureaucratic runner. As the runner for this family (for members under the age of 17), I spent a good chunk of two days between the garage and the Registry of Motor Vehicles. My husband’s car failed to pass the onerous Massachusetts Vehicle Check not because of safety or emissions,

The Wisdom of Girlfriends

Last Saturday night I went out with my high school girlfriends. Just to clarify, these are friends I’ve had since high school which was a long, long time ago, not friends I might have who currently attend high school. That would just be weird. Anyway, even though we’ve been friends for a long, long time, I always leave our get-togethers a little wiser. Here are just a few of the night’s pearls of wisdom that made me laugh (and that I can share here). On children: “What can you do? Pour yourself a drink and lock yourself in your room.” On sex: “I had to get off the phone - we had only 48 minutes.” “So what’d you do with the leftover 40 minutes?” On beauty: “Promise me you’ll do my nails and eyebrows if my husband puts me in a home.” On infidelity: “I’m convinced – the difference between slut and non-slut is opportunity.” No matter how these bites may sound taken out of context, each was spoken as a small part of my friend’s sense of life: that life is good and made even better when y

I was going to leave this alone, but…

It's just too outrageous. Two summers ago we had the wide pine planks on our first floor refinished. This rendered the entire floor off-limits for about a week. Being the ingenious folks we are – we put a ladder up to a second floor bedroom window to enter the house proper for showering. Also being the conscientious folks that we are, we notified the neighbors. “Hey! If you see anyone crawling into the back of our house over the next few days – it’s more than likely just us.” Except for the youngest, we used the ladder at least once a day for the few days. Sometimes even at night. It was a bit of adventure and the floors came out great (note to future self: wide pine floors may look pretty, but they’re soft as hell and require more maintenance than hardwoods). Of course, we could have kept our odd behavior to ourselves (as is normally the case) and run the risk that someone would call the police. Then we would have had to come down the ladder, explain the situation, and, a litt

My Love of the Water

The ocean seems endless. Its gleaming, And teeming, Deep dark waters never still. A lake is human scale. It’s bounded, And grounded, Puddled safely on a sill. A pool is made of concrete. It’s contained, And restrained, Shaped only by man’s will. Love can be like an ocean, Demanding more than I can give. It can be like a lake, Providing all I need to live. But it’s best when like a pool, Designed and built by him; It is inviting, An earned requiting, Wherein I choose to swim.

How Deep Does it Go?

Would you rather go to the grocery store and choose your own sustenance, or have your wages garnished and only good food chosen for you? Do you like driving your car to your chosen destinations, or would you rather have free transportation bringing you near enough to where you want to go? Have you enjoyed controlling the environment within your own home or would you rather your standards of comfort be dictated by others who know better than you? To me, the answers to these questions seem obvious – I want what I want, when it is available and I can pay for it. The more choices that are available to me, the more I can live my life according to my own values. I want to have the ability to spend my money on salted pistachios, gasoline, or oil and electricity when it suits my needs or desires. I want to buy alcohol, go for joy rides, or freeze my ass off when I’m sleeping in the summertime. I want to choose my own doctor, decide whether or not I can afford certain procedures, and


Our eleven year-old daughter insists that she sleeps only six hours a night. This is not completely unbelievable since her father sleeps about five, but she’s just a kid. She needs her sleep. She goes to bed between eight and nine, perhaps in keeping with our “parents need time alone” wisdom more than anything else, but she rarely falls asleep right away. Last night, she made this claim for the hundredth time, adding as she always does, that she is only pretending to sleep when my husband kisses her goodbye before leaving for work at some ungodly hour (when it’s still dark outside, yet supposedly morning). So my husband finally said, “Prove it.” This morning, as he does each weekday morning, he went into her room to check on her. When his eyes adjusted to the darkness he saw that she was just lying there, eyes wide open, looking at him with satisfaction. She waved and said, “See, I told you.” Her sleep requirements may be those of her father, but that sassy chip is all me. Oh, a

What a Rush

Tiny, perfect foot, Once pressed in her baby book, Now pressed on my clutch.

She is Not Taught by Laws

“But the business of laws is not to provide for the truth of opinions, but for the safety and security of the commonwealth, and of every particular man’s good and person. And so it ought to be. For the truth certainly would do well enough if she were once left to shift for herself. She seldom has received, and I fear never will receive, much assistance from the power of great men, to whom she is but rarely known, and more rarely welcome. She is not taught by laws, nor has she any need of force to procure her entrance into the minds of men. Errors indeed prevail by the assistance of foreign and borrowed succours. But if truth makes not her way into the understanding by her own light, she will be but the weaker for any borrowed force violence can add to her.” From John Locke’s 1689 " A Letter Concerning Toleration ". A copy of the full text can be found here , and an audio version of it, here . The glut of justification for religious authority in its own right notwithstandi

Middle Age

Do not fret dear readers: this is not a poem about the breakdown of collagen or deep tissue wrinkles (mostly because I couldn't think of anything that rhymed with either of those). This is about the year you turned old according to definitive musical test in the Chicago Tribune (via How Not to Act Old ). As expected, I was loving life and living young until the year my son was born - then, I hit a wall. I have no idea what "Roll With It" by Steve Winwood sounds like. Luckily I regained my youth (and vitality, if you can call it that given the song) the following year with "Right Here Waiting" by Richard Marx. Oddly, the years surrounding my second child's birth leave me staring blankly at the list. Huh? But the year between those two, the year she was born, in fact the very moments in which she was born, her deliverer (aka: my surgeon) and I were discussing how his wife loved UB40 (Pay attention in there, Doc! I may need that gigantic purple organ in th

PSA*: Zebra Print Binder

In what you could call a public service announcement of sorts, I herein offer the instructions on how to make your own zebra print 3 ring binder. Why? Because I get a lot of blog hits for "zebra print 3 ring binder" and the thought of those hundreds (okay, tens) of people coming to my blog most likely in an attempt to buy that very thing and having to leave bitterly disappointed is just too much for my soft, animal-print-loving heart to bear. And I am nothing if not giving. So without further ado, I give to you: How to Make Your Own Zebra Print 3 Ring Binder Materials: 1. Clear View Binder ( Staples has various sizes and prices depending on your specifications.) 2. Zebra print paper (I recommend thick wrapping paper on a roll, or tissue paper – Hallmark: < $2.) 3. Sheets of thick white paper (This is particularly important if you are using tissue paper as I did.) 4. Iron (Skip this at your own peril and possible sanity.) 5. Ruler (Or eyeballs if you’re particu

Schoolhouse Rock Wednesday: The Preamble

As my pleas to sing Schoolhouse Rock songs in chorus have apparently fallen on deaf ears, this will be my last in the series of Wednesday efforts on the matter. (Darn! That's the end.) But don't be dismayed. I'm certain this will not be my last use of Schoolhouse Rock. This one, in particular, bears re-watching every so often.

Unexpected Poetry

Dedicated to Dr. John Lewis A faded green volume falls open in his hand, Cradling the book with the tips of his fingers, He intones, Herein lies the beginnings of Man: Of Thought, of Reason! And here, he lingers. Reciting the essence of poets long past, His eyes smiling with a knowing regard; Time, onto which the passages cast Light, once dismissed as dark and hard. Effortlessly finding the work of his desire; Feathery pages belie their own true weight. His oration delivered with glee and with fire – Virtue! The Archaic Greeks did contemplate! But some subtler poetry lies in his reverent look, And tenderness for his slender, well-loved book.

Private Conversations in Public

Wife: Someone smells good. Husband: Something smells good?  Wife: No, someone .  Husband (looking around): It is the pirate? Wife: Yes. I think it is. 

Have You Checked Your Federal Register Today?

This article in today’s New York Times brings up an interesting point. It’s not that “Consumers have a right to know when they’re being pitched a product,” or even that technology is changing too fast “for consumers and regulators to keep up” – both of which are insidious assaults on the rationality of men and attempted justification for an overreaching government – it’s that when a federal bureaucracy seeks to make a change to its scope, it advertises, or notifies the public through one particular document: the Federal Register. What is the Federal Register you ask? From the Government Printing Office : Published by the Office of the Federal Register , National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents . It is updated daily by 6 a.m. and is published Monday through Friday, except Federal

The Contest

Stephen and I spent this last week at the Objectivist Conference ( OCON ) in Boston. We started out the week staying in town, but finished it off commuting. As we stayed at the Seaport Hotel at the beginning of the week when we knew almost no one, we didn’t take advantage of the social atmosphere, but were happily sequestered in our room. After getting to know a few people, we dined, drank, and were generally merry with those few. Through the classes, general sessions, and referenced symposiums (in the ancient Greek sense), I left with a calmer sense of purpose, renewed motivation, and a smoldering desire to make the world a better place. By firmly placing the moral foundation under the tremendous achievements of the Founding Fathers first in my own mind, I then hope to help do so in the minds of others who have chosen the fundamental alternative to live, turning that smolder into a bonfire. One of the most immediately motivating things I learned at OCON this week regards the light t

Because He Could Dance

Lorelai: At least my obsessions are live. You have a thing for a cartoon. Dean: Oooo. Prince Charming, huh? Rory: It was a long time ago. And not the Cinderella one - the Sleeping Beauty one. Dean: 'Cause he could dance. Rory: Yeah. Gilmore Girls is a great show.

Schoolhouse Rock Wednesday: Mother Necessity

I have no recollection of this video, but I kind of like it. What it lacks in correct details, it makes up for in the excitement and celebration of inventors and their inventions.

3 Good Things (OCON edition)

1. The concept of individual rights is morality applied to politics. 2. The purpose of the government is to protect our individual rights. 3. Hanging out with people who understand #1, #2.

OCON 2009

Recharging.   Be back soon. 

The Care and Protection of Charles

I just dropped off my Home Education Proposal for my ten eleven year-old at the superintendent's office and eagerly await her review and response. I'm two days late (because I forgot to deliver it rather than postponed developing it), but I'm done meeting my requirements for the Care and Protection of Charles for another year - I hope. In Massachusetts, in accordance with the Charles decision, we must supply the following information: Teacher Qualifications Proposed Curriculum Evaluation of Student Progress Requests to Participate in Extra-Curricular Activities at the Public School The first she has on file and the second I provided. Regarding method of evaluation to be submitted, I usually like to invite the superintendent to my daughter's performances; however, I find this thought less hilarious as my daughter's musical abilities improve. The one and only time I asked about the fourth, I was denied. I think everything will be okay so long as she doesn't rea

Adam's Rib

I took Anatomy and Physiology in high school. I successfully graduated from college and graduate school which included some biology classes. I enjoy great literature. I have never thought of myself as stupid, but as sure as I'm sitting here typing this admission, last night I was ready to argue that women had one more set of ribs than men! Was this a hole in my education? Was I home sick from school that day? Did I learn the truth and then supplant it over time with the more deeply rooted biblical stories from my youth? Why hasn't this come up since then? These are just some of the questions that have been racking my brain since last night. The number of ribs was noted by the Flemish anatomist Vesalius in his key work of anatomy De humani corporis fabrica in 1543 , setting off a wave of controversy, as it was traditionally assumed from the Biblical story of Adam and Eve that men's ribs would number one fewer than women's. [1] A small portion of people have one ex

Schoolhouse Rock: Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here

How? Where? When? Condition? Reason? These questions are answered when you use an adverb. Indubitably.