Showing posts from May, 2011

Looking for Art

Which way is the art? How about this way? Have you seen the art?  No, not folk art. Aaah. Mr. Washington leads the way. The portrait of Mr. Lyon tells one of my favorite stories. William Morris Hunt seems to underpaint. I really like the effect. Mary Cassatt John White Alexander  A few John Singer Sargent favorites. Ikebana boat full of colorful dimensional glass pieces. Mille Fiore by Chihuly Neodymium Reeds There's something about a large art installation that almost always grabs my attention. Add dramatic lighting and it's rather atmospheric.  I'm not sure what these abstract pieces mean, if anything, but the largeness of the work alone forces my transportation into its world rather than allowing me to wander into the painting or wonder what it would be like in the pose of the sculpture. 

May Family Writing Night

Our best laid plans for a monthly Family Poetry Night hit a snag around the end of the year.   Sadly, despite the fact that I sent out the assignment last month (after months of asking for the person who originated the idea to come up with some guidelines – but I’m not bitter), we were unable to reconvene due to scheduling conflicts until this week.   Happily, we’ve expanded poetry to other forms of writing and we seem to be back on track.   This month, per Stephen’s suggestion, we each wrote a dialogue. I sent out links to Plato ’s famous dialogues and to the video of Abbott and Costello ’s Who’s On First .   I asked that each participant write a dialogue for at least two people of at least 2 pages long, with enough direction that someone else would be able to read it and give it meaning. The girls of the family came through with flying colors in making small but meaningful -- to us at least -- dialogues about daily life. The boy, an erstwhile English major, was an enthusiastic read

Good Night

Last night, from about 5:30 PM to this morning around 5:30 AM, Team CrossFit Woodshed participated in our local American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. We walked, we ran, we remembered, we celebrated, and we raised near $3000 for the ACS.  But we didn't sleep. Okay. I did.  A little. Between 3:57AM and 5:10AM - I just couldn't take it anymore! Despite its nearly catatonic captain, Team CrossFit had its own stars of stamina: Jay and Jill with the thankless late, early shift, Craig with his running for an hour straight and then walking the next hour, Stephen with his 10 push-ups for every lap (720 push-ups in total - you know he kept his stats), Triple Team Tim, the quiet consistence of Ethan, Jared, and Laura, and my daughters (who are now both blissfully asleep), not to mention our fearless trainer who walked for hours and went home in time to ensure a burly barbell session at 6AM this morning.  And just so you know, all cupcakes offered to you at 3:00 in the morning c

List Five: Five People I Love (and How)

The list was too easy so I added the how – turned out to be a more revealing exercise for me. 1.     Me (first) 2.     Stephen (incomparably, as justice demands) 3.     Victoria (so much sometimes it hurts) 4.     Katy (for her positively wonderful self) 5.     Andrew (learning to let go and love anew) And that concludes this Five Things List blogect. It actually ended up being a good exercise for me.  If you decide to do your own list (or have done it and I didn't mention it) let me know. I'd like to read it. 

List Four: Five Things Make Me Happy I’m Alive

Sort of a silly title for a list in that everything but the ravages of a terminal illness (I’d imagine) makes me happy I’m alive. Here are five things I’m particularly happy to experience on a regular basis. 1.     Warm sun/green grass/blue sky (feel/smell/see). 2.     Sex (feel/smell/hear/taste/see). 3.     Red raspberries (taste/see/smell/feel). 4.     Baby heads (smell/feel/see). 5.     A tiny patch of fur just below my husband’s belly button (feel/see; anything more would just be gross). 

List Three: Five Things I am Grateful For

Short, sweet, and concrete.  Literally, concrete. 1.        Internal combustion engine 2.        Concrete 3.        Bach’s Cello Suites 4.        Epinephrine/Morphine 5.        Plastic

List Two: Five Things My Body Can Do

1.        Replicate: Seriously, have you seen my older daughter?   Not head size or height, but her face and – sadly for her – the legs? 2.        Heal: No more pinched nerve; no more SNAP! in the back; no more subconjuncitval hemorrhage. 3.        Man push-ups: 34. IN A ROW! 4.        Man pull-ups: One +, but nuff said. 5.        Odd motions : Cartwheels, backbends, cobra, handstands, the “I’m Bernadette”, Janet Jackson’s patented head move, squat for 5 minutes.

Late to the Five Things Party

This All About Me series of lists is inspired by Jenn , Kelly , Mel (fabulous, new-to-me, rocking strong blogger chick who wears all black with cheetah accents), Miranda , and Rachel .   I wrote all of my lists the day after I'd seen the first list, but was not feeling particularly share-y. Now I am. I would like to figure out exactly why I expand and contract my personality at another time, but for now I offer you the first of my five lists of five things: List One: Five Things I Love About Me (This was much harder than I thought it would be; maybe that's a key to my sudden contraction.) 1.        I am strong .   I can push, pull, and lift more now than ever before. My muscles thank me everyday. 2.        I am invicible . 2.        I am selfish. Understanding and acting in my self-interest is a requirement for my happiness, and damn it, I’m usually excellent at it. 3.        I am demanding . I insist that my people are also selfish; I have no desire, nor inclination to

My Bacon Number:3

Do you have a Bacon Number ?  I do. A Bacon Number is not about how much you love bacon - then I would be a one - but about the fewest number of movie/show links that will connect the actor Kevin Bacon and any other actor.  Or extra. As a sophomore in high school I was an extra in a B horror flick called, at the time, The Coming . It was about the haunted life of a descendant of the Salem witch accuser Ann Putman , played by Susan Swift.  I was the girl's classmate and sat next to her on the bus. I got paid $25 a day and spent a night inside the Witch Museum for filming, an entire day in a cemetery , and a few days hanging around the set on  Chestnut St. And, I didn't have to go to school those days. It was a really fun experience. I think I am in the film for 2.4 seconds. After a name change to Burned at the Stake , the movie went directly to cable. Despite being an amazingly bad movie (I did see it at one point), in it I am rocking the bad perm, gradient tint glasse

Truth in Advertising

The first foul-mouthed ninety seconds of this clip totally crack me up! I was reminded of it by a more important and less funny issue: false advertising to kids.  Yes, I was almost a childhood victim of false advertising. Thanks goodness the FTC was there to protect me: In a 2004 report , based on a speech delivered by J. Howard Beales, III, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, reported successes in targeting false advertising to kids. A. Ballerina Dolls Don’t Dance, Toy Horses Can’t Stand Up, and Bread Doesn’t Help with Homework . . .  A horse named “Nugget” was shown standing on his own; in fact, “Nugget” fell over without human assistance. In each of these cases, the ad was examined from the viewpoint of a child in the age group to which the toy was targeted. While an adult viewer might understand that special techniques were employed in such commercials, the child would expect the toy to perform as shown. What girl growing up in the early 70s did not want Nugget? (

Don’t Play Games with Me

One of the other games we played on Mother's Day was Krypto . Krypto is a math card game so my youngest agreed to play it only under Mother’s-Day-induced-duress. It can become a hair-pulling game (explained well at the Wikipedia link above) in which you have to mathematically manipulate five randomly drawn number cards to combine into a sixth objective number card- first.  If you don’t see the simple connections right away you tend to get easily frustrated by how close you can come to the objective.  Happily, close doesn’t cut it in math. While playing the game, I ran into an interesting conflict of my values.  Because I am delighted that my mother is playing Sudoku, or Jumble, or other word and number games to keep her mind active, I was happy to see her on board with the idea of playing Krypto. True to herself, she was a very enthusiastic player and did not stop or become sidetracked trying to cajole the reticent twelve year-old into playing.  I appreciate this behavior more th

My Dog: The Reuleaux Triangle of Genetic Disorders

Check out the  Border Wars post on these three dwarf genetic disorders and the breed standards that demand them. It's really interesting. As much as I find my Izzy a delightful little photogenic and lovable beast, next time, it's a real, full-size dog for me.

The 4C's of Mother’s Day

Cappuccino I got up before the crack of dawn and made myself a cappuccino with my new, inexpensive cappuccino maker . It was delicious! The foamy thing worked and the drink looked so beautiful that I couldn't go back upstairs with just one fabulous creation and a cup of regular coffee – so I made another. Second one, not so good. Oh well. When my parents got here, I had the chance to make another three: the first was excellent again! the second, okay; third, meh. (So far, my success in cappuccino making is a lot like my success in pull-ups: I need a lot of recovery time and even then only the first one is worth a damn.) See the cinnamon float? Competition After enjoying some sweet potato frittata, cooked by my daughters, and bacon, cooked by my son, we played a few friendly games of Set .  Okay, a few cutthroat games of Set, but all in good fun. When they broke out Suds , all of the sensible people ran away. This left my parents to play a few rounds with the girls. My son and

My Evening in Pictures (one of them even moves)

Turns out my afternoon was full of reading, reading, reading, some driving, then some more reading.  I am happy to report that I finished Emma early this morning.  I'd like to write five things I've learned from Emma , but because I was reading my daughter's giant book, Jane Austen ~ Seven Novels , didn't want to mark it even with a pencil, and temporarily misplaced my paper, I can not now find my favorite of her quotes about why Mr. Knightley is a superior man! (I believe that Emma and I are of one mind on that particular subject.)  So deep is my disappointment, that I may not explore the subject any further in writing. But I'm all set for the book club meeting. Enough of that. That's another evening entirely. Without further ado, here is a 51 second glimpse into my evening last. Because you needed to know. Also because you needed to know: Yes, that pull-up bar is hanging in the doorway to our downstairs bathroom, I don't think that loud crack was

My Morning in Pictures

I was planning to do a Day in the Life in pictures, but I forgot how badly blogger handles photos.  So here is my morning in pictures - because you needed to know. Jane Austen and coffee in bed (no cappuccino, yet). CrossFit, coffee, and water. Why So Negative? In which I have a dumbbell complex. My non-commuter's morning commute. The Diva does Algebra. (The shades are part of an allergy attenuation plan. - now if we only had a "geometric idea" panic attenuation plan in place . . .) Showing my mettle as a modern housewife: Pressing some buttons Turning some knobs Hitting some keys (with the ever-present bottle of Blu Italy sparkling water and bowl of chicken soup for breakfast - just outside the picture). Making things happen! Discuss why I have strings attached to the tulip in this month's chalkboard doodle. The UPS man cometh: He taketh away bad cappuccino maker and leaveth more books! Love the UPS man.  And now

Fashion Finds

First, as the last person on earth who saw one darn thing about the Royal Wedding, I am recently fascinated by fascinators!  Who knew that these elaborate headpieces had their own very special name? I surely didn't, and yet I have long been a fan. I have purchased many of these for my daughters over the last fifteen years or so, starting with the one that gave me license to say "Girl! You got a duck on yer head!" over and over again. (Yes. It is proper to feel bad for my children.) Here is my favorite Royal Wedding fascinator, or hat as the case may be, as modeled by Miriam Gonzalez Durantez. I'm not a big fan of turbans as a rule, but the big vibrant splash of coral floral petals works wonderfully on her. Another find (via Building Atlantis ) is the New Dress A Day blog in which the author uses thrift shop clothing and shows us how she remakes them into something she'd wear. Like the DVF Experiment , this blog takes one fashion plan and runs with it ove

When the Dog Barks