Thursday, May 29, 2008

Skin doctor

Went to the dermatologist today because my wife is concerned about my moles.
Turns out in his many years as a doc, only once has a woman gone because her man was concerned, while about 99.92% of his male visitors come on the urgings of their female guardians.
My moles are multiple but harmless. However, when you draw lines between them just right, you get a miniature replica of the "Rape of the Sabine Women." Go figure.

getting big?

Coco wanted to be left at home today while I went to get Madge from school.
Nothing doing, pal.
And on the way to school this morning we ran into a friend of Madge's who was walking to school unaccompanied by parents.
What is it with kids growing up?
Be responsible and adult about the things I don't want to be involved in, like heinie-wiping and endless going-to-sleep routines, not simple things like walking to school.
In general, I've noticed - with the change in the weather and the ensuing change of wardrobe - how much bigger the kids have gotten over the year. Yikes!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Coco Tuesday

Selective finickyness is driving me crazy. For instance, Coco has no problems playing in water fountains or puddles or with water balloons, but as soon as a clothing item gets wet, he wants to go and change it. I'm doing more laundry than ever before, it seems.
Oh, and then, because of the relation of Omnitrix (the accessory that makes Ben 10 turn into various alien hero identities) to Coco's wrist, he'll really only sleep in one set of pjs, the fleece ones with the footies - in seventy-plus degree weather.
At least he's got his priorities straightened out.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Madge Monday

We seem to celebrate Memorial Day by watching a lot of TV - it accomodated Coco's love for staying in his pajamas. Madge was watching an ad for a bag which can all of your things (and then some). "Never misplace anything! Ever again!"
To which Madge said, "What if you can't find the bag?"

Friday, May 23, 2008

Belated Coco Day

Today he had a pajama party in class. Pajamas and pancakes. I and a(nother) mom were roped in to help. The kids were impressed with my pancake flipping abilities. Don't worry, I didn't flip them until they were fully cooked.
The great thing about pajama day is that we got to school ten minutes early because I didn't have to fight with Coco about getting dressed. Maybe he should wear pajamas to school every day.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


They all have to be lately, because the NBA playoffs are eating into my evening time.
I'm still trying to figure out who to root for. Yesterday, at my guitar lesson, I was reminiscing with my teacher (who played in a band with me in Chicago) about "our" Bulls. Steve Kerr, Tony Kukoc, Luc Longley, and, yes, Rodman and Jordan (oh, and Pippin - but that's been his bane, no?). Fuzzy TV. Getting upset with Reggie Miller's three-point shooting, Patrick Ewing's interminable post moves...
Ah, good times.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

dear phone solicitor

Please explain the use of the word "imperative."
How is it imperative that I give you a call at the 800 number you leave on my machine,
when you clearly didn't take the time to find out whether or not I have a car loan in the first place?

Madge Monday

Finish the rhyme:

Only a dunce
thinks you live once.
Please know that we lice
strive to live -

pleasepleaseplease let it be "tw" and not "thr"

Yep, Madge is home from school again, with some stinky solution in her hair.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Julie rides again

Can you imagine Julie on one of these?

Well, apparently that's the only mode of transportation they use near Arles to visit the rice fields that supply L'Occitane's products.

We, meanwhile, did some face-painting and puddle-exploring.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Reading at night-night time

I'm not sure if I recommend Tom Sawyer or not.
I love the book and am excited to be reading it. But I'm too excited and I laugh at turns of phrases that Madge is ignoring and then she becomes more awake and alert and I have to explain things. But if I read in a boring tone of voice, she doesn't want the book at all and it's a much better read-aloud than Treasure Island was.
Reread it if you have the time. It's worth it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


The sibling thing again. Eek.
This morning, Coco was doing "Eeny, meeny, miney, mo" (or however it's spelled).
Obviously, since he just learned it, he keeps getting it wrong. And Madge jumps in to "correct" him. But with that "you idiot" undertone - hell, overtone.
And again I'm stuck. She obviously doesn't know all the times we held our tongues when she erred in the process of learning. How could she? We held our tongues. So she seems to think that all we ever do is tell her she's wrong (or right). The uncommented-upon things are non-events on her horizon. As a result, she thinks she's just doing to (with) Coco what we did and do to (with) her.
He deals with it fairly well, though. And she feels bad when she makes him too upset, so I should just keep out of it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Coco Tuesday

Coco has a new way of drawing faces. He makes a circle for the head; two dots for the eyes; then two sides of a triangle for the nose, to which is attached an arc of a circle for the mouth. (I'd post a picture but the camera is in France with Julie.)
When I said, "That's really cool. How did you figure that out?" he answered, "Five-year-olds know a little bit of stuff."
An example of what he knows: "Theo A. says that two plus two is three. But two plus two is one."
There you go.

Madge Monday

Madge was confronted with this problem: What Mother's Day gift do you get a mother who works in the industry that sells pampering products for women?
Her solution: bring home a case of head lice.
The upside was that I got to spend a quiet evening watching basketball and combing nits post-shampoo. Now I know why moms like playing with their girls' hair. It's lovely.

Friday, May 09, 2008

finally, the memethingie

Here are the rules:Link the person who tagged you.Mention the rules in your blog.Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Here are the quirks:
I try to know rules, but only so I know which ones I’m breaking. In this case it’ll be the last three.
My preferred nose-picking digit is my thumb.
When reading aloud to the kids, I consistently (accidentally) substitute “when” for “then” and vice versa – though I can stop myself from doing it if I really concentrate.
I invariably find songs in a minor key and ¾ time pretty.
This might be a subcategory of the first quirk, but I don’t try to be right all the time. It’s just that I feel I’m correct so rarely that I want to be sure I am when I really am – which makes me sound like a smartypants more often than not.
I love slapstick. I love the kids. I love Julie. (Though I think the latter two may be "spectacular" rather than "un-.")

a quickie

Before I tackle the tagged thingie that Megan sent my way.

A quote from the brilliant "The House of Mirth" (I merely abridged it and changed the tense and taken it out of context, but I'm sure she meant it the way I'm taking it):

It is easy enough to despise the world but decidedly difficult to find any other habitable region.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

so proud

For the first time ever, I broke a guitar string. Well, technically, the change in temperature and humidity broke it because I wasn't actually touching it at the time, but I think having played on it quite a bit prepared matters. It scared the crap out of Julie and me, occupied with quiet activities. Julie, of course, maintains that it was a ghost or something supernatural since the cat often seems to be seeing things. I'm going with physics.
Same with the streaks of blood on the wall.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Coco Tuesday

In similar news, Coco has recently said that he wishes he had an older brother. Not instead of a sister, I think, but in addition to. See, all his friends with older brothers have a vaster array of blasting toys and a deeper knowledge of all things "Hyuh!"

Madge Monday

Madge has been a little bitter lately, snapping at Coco very quickly.
When Julie said that Coco can be a real pain in the youknow, Madge was completely suprised. Maybe she thinks we think everything he does is cute.
And of course it bugs her endlessly that he got to borrow a Leapster cartridge from HER friend's little sister and won't let her play, especially because he doesn't play it right and she's much better at it.
Ah, siblings.

Friday, May 02, 2008

sem compromisso

This is the song I've been learning lately. Joao Gilberto's version of it. Here it's the composer singing (the younger guy). I don't play it very smoothly and I have a tendency to cuss when I mess up, so I wonder how the kids think the song really goes.
"Quando toca um samb-, quando toca um sa-, *&^1! quando toca um samba, e eu lhe tiro pra dancar..."

how I spend much of my time lately

I hear a song like this and when everyone is asleep I painfully transcribe it and try to hunt down the lyrics somewhere. I haven't been lucky finding Paulinho da Viola lyrics, though, so I'm thinking of recruiting some parents from Coco's class. They're Brazilian, so they might be game - I've already recruited the mom's help in translating a Chico Buarque thingie (for which I found the lyrics online).
Here's the song. Get back to me in a month and I might be able to play the first verse at half speed.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

hide your magnets

We have a magnet on our door, given by a friend.
It's a picture of Marie Antoinette, and it says something about not being remembered for being a great ruler and it ends like this "but f**k one horse and you'll always be remembered as a horsef**ker."
The reason I don't know what the beginning says but do know the end is that we have removed the magnet because Madge has taken to reciting the last bit.
Probably because I'm only now getting myself under enough control to not burst out laughing every time - only every third time.