Thursday, May 28, 2009

Field trips

I've also let myself be roped in for exta Kindergarten volunteering. I had signed up for Art. Then, when the Williamsburg Bridge trip was offered up, I signed up for it too; it happens to be in the same week. On top of that a museum trip was scheduled on short notice and, since there were no volunteers, I said I'd go.
I wonder if some of the parents know how irritati--
Hm. I'll stop there. They probably know.


Met Madge for lunch today. I wanted to yesterday, but sometimes surprises backfire, as when she has homework hall and I just stand there, waiting. Wie bestellt und nicht abgeholt - like ordered and not picked up.
But today it worked and she was pleasantly surprised. We had some sushi followed by a justly uneaten chocolate croissant - bleh.
The dompany was nice. And calmer than usual. She's been quick to anger lately, especially by Coco, who is overly apologetic for no real reason other than that he's figuring out how to work the I'm-sorries and the thank-yous to his best advantage. Overuse of I'm-sorry is backfiring, though.
We are all tired of the endless apologies for nothing specific.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

wordy word word

Ran across meretricious. It sounds like merit but doesn't really mean the same. (Meretricious is false and gaudy and deceiving. Merit isn't.) This kind of thing confuses me.
But, ahaa! the root for both is merere (I'd put a line over the second E but don't know how, in Blogger), a Latin word meaning "to earn." And meretricious comes from meretrix, a female earner: a prostitute.
That's the patriarchy at work, ladies and gentlemen.

Now I'm just keeping my ears open on the subway and bus to hear the name Meretricia.
It won't take long, I'm sure.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coco Tuesday

We had a picnic yesterday in the park along with two or three other people who had the same idea on a Memorial Day. I know you've never thought of it, but you might try celebrating the beginning of the summer season with an outdoor meal. I'm sure you'll find a nic spot if you show up at 5:3o am.
We found a nice spot right next to a little pile of doggie doo. It was already congealed, so this was prime real estate.
And we met some good friends, so our outing was great.
One of these friends says that she is waiting for Coco to turn eighteen so she can finally marry him. He likes her, too.
Yesterday he asked her, "Are you into Transformers?"
She thought he was trying to talk to her about toys he likes, but I - as an awkward male - know different: he was prepping her to ask her to the movies when Transformers II comes out.

Friday, May 22, 2009

kiss kiss

In the mornings, on the way to school, Madge gets dropped off first, then Coco (because Madge goes in the back and I walk Coco to his room).
Usually I give Madge a peck on the lips and so does Coco and we're off.
Lately Madge has been turning Coco's head down and giving him a kiss on the forehead. This does not please the young lad. He wants his Madge-kiss.
I have occasionally overheard friends of hers say "ew" (as fourth-graders will) when she has given her little brother a kiss, so I figured this was the reason and have tried to work on the Coco-damage-control.
But Julie found out it's because Madge finds that a peck on Coco's lips involves too much extraneous runny and crusty material, as six-year-old lips are wont to collect.
So now he wipes super-carefully. She's not satisfied, but it's a start.

always a good thing

I mean, bad versions abound, but still, who doesn't love a blue sky?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What are we advertising?

Sending out this kind of stuff is what the internet was made for. I'm sure of it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

languid wednesday

Lovely weather, nice day. Coco had a field trip today, Madge has one tomorrow. This afternoon there was a double playdate, meaning Madge did homework with a friend and Coco did his homework with a friend. Madge's homework involved paper and pencil and words and numbers, Coco's involved action figures and "pshchcht" and "aaaah."
My homework involved Werder Bremen losing to Shaktar Donesk (or however it's spelled).
All in all, a successful afternoon.
Oh, yes, some laudry got cleaner, too, somehow.
And we all miss Julie.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Coco Tuesday

Okay, so my titles are a bit off this week.
Madge had her first band concert today. What an afternoon. Because she wanted her best friend there, her friend got to come over after school and accompany us to Coco's soccer class.
After soccer we walked Madge to school, which got a little nerve-wracking for her because the church bell rang six o'clock (the time she was supposed to be there) and we were still ACROSS THE STREET from school. Then matters got worse because the front door was locked.
We walked around school and shouted through some windows and by the time we got back to the front we managed to knock loudly enough for the security guard to open up. Madge wiped her tears, took her instruments, and went in.
Coco, Madge's friend, and I went for pizza.
The concert was great, of course.
And terrible, of course.
It all depends on what you want out of a fourth- and fifth-grade band concert.
Coco loved it (even though he got a bit tired). The friend loved it.
Most importantly, Madge loved it and thought the fifth graders were great and wants to do it again next year.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Madge Monday

Madge, when asked, usually says she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. Understandable. Coco one-upped it last week by saying he wants to be a principal.
What? Really? What kid says that?
I have no explanation other than that he wanted to best his older sister.
We then asked him if he'd ever been to the principal's office. Because, you never know.
No, was the answer. He is, after all, only in Kindergarten. But apparently a kid in his class did get sent. Hoo boy. I sense a promising future.
This afternoon, they were playing school and I chose the role of principal, thinking I could just rest while they did their class thing. But, no, there was a crisis right away. Two crises, those stinkers. One involved a cockroach, the other an injury.
Luckily I've already done my first level improv class, so I delegated the cockroach to the janitor-cat and the injury to the nurses office. Problem solved, begin the nap.
Maybe I want to be a principal when I grow up.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New term - a good one

Coco has a scab on his hip bone. I'm not exactly sure how it happened, I think a rug burn at school. But he noticed the scab while getting dressed this morning and said, "Oh look. Good. A body band-aid."

competing songs in my head

I have a playlist on my iPod that I've named "Can't Not Sing." Songs like this are prominent there. (Needless to say, this can be quite embarrassing for people around me - not for me, though, I'm immune. The kids are immune, too - how much longer?)

I think that's why I listen to so many songs in Spanish and Portuguese, because, not knowing the words, I'm not as tempted to sing along. I may have to learn the words to this one, though. Man, her voice kicks butt!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

flying cow

Coco's class wrote counting books today. On the page for the number nine, he drew cows. (Each of the cows has three legs - maybe he senses some divisibility there, I don't know.) One of the cows' legs are splayed backwards, all the others point down. I didn't ask him about it because he's been sensitive of criticism lately, but he volunteered that this cow is flying "Like in Monty Python with those baby people ["run away!"] and the fake big rabbit."
My work is done. (The cow appears at 1:55 in the clip below.)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Coco Tuesday

First soccer class today. Turns out Coco was the only one signed up, so it's a one-on-one class. But since Madge - who didn't want to go because, well, just because - got interested in playing, too, the class got bigger. Coco didn't mind her joining. I don't know whether it even occurred to him to mind. The benefit for me is that I sort of got a gift with purchase there. We'll see what happens next week.
In general he's the playdate king this week and she's a royal grump about it. Tomorrow should be better but on Thursday there's a little dude coming over whom she is disinclined to like. Oh, well. We'll figure it out.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Madge Monday

I've heard that people are missing the kid updates. Oops.
Yesterday, you may have heard, was Mother's Day. It was the first one for which Madge bought something for Mommy with her own money. I was going to help out financially but realized that might not make it as meaningful to either of the parties involved. And this way I didn't have any input, really, in what the gift was. (It was a plastic chalice with fake flowers around the base. A perfect kind of Mother's Day gift just as an eggshell omelet is a perfect Mother's Day breakfast.)
And then the girls had a pedicure, too.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I'm jealous

The first minute of this genius. The rest is good, too, of course, and oddly prescient, but the opening is so simple and (in retrospect) obvious, it just makes me say "why couldn't I have thought of that?" (Please refrain from answering this question, it is rhetorical.)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Good Eye

I'm so proud of Madge for spotting this. Even though she interrupted Mommy to point this out, I think her powers of observation have jumped up a level. Viz. the irony in this image.
The ad on top says: Together, Building a Healthier Community.
The bottom ad says: Divorce $399. Spouse's Signature Not Needed.

Friday, May 01, 2009

quick review

Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder
(Mother Courage and Her Children)

First performed in Zurich in 1939 for an audience of pacifist and anti-fascist German expatriates, the play is a praise song of sending children to their deaths.
Of course not. Silly. What do you expect from Brecht?
The setting is the 30-Year war (17th Century, Europeans killing each other in order to decide which cut of clerical dress represents a more direct line to God).
The characters are not one-, but two-dimensional, not bad for Mr. Didactic. The mother (I first heard of Niobe in this context: look her up and impress your friends!) is also a war-profiteering capitalist; the cook is also a womanizer; the preacher is also a coward; the grown children she loses have less depth: Strong, Honest, and Innocent.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Brecht and enjoy the occasional preachiness. And slogans like
Peace is sloppy, only war creates order.

Wherever there are great virtues, it only proves that something is rotten.

always find a willing audience in me.
And I can't find the quote right now, but there was also a bit where the preacher said that Jesus first multiplied the loaves and the wine and then taught brotherly love because it’s easier to love your neighbor on a full stomach. All classic Brechtian ideas which appeal to the Undergrad Idealist in me.
A worthwhile read, but it doesn’t oust the Three-Penny Opera as my favorite.