Thursday, July 19, 2012


We went to Bloomington Beach at the lake Saturday afternoon. It was remarkably enjoyable. I realized as I started to feel tired at 8pm that our kids are now old enough to stay out for five hours and not need to be rushed home for food/bed/tantrum defusing. Am still wrapping my mind around that. We went with three other families. One of our neighbors built his own tent with canvas, rope, 2x4s and a hammer. It was big enough for a dozen when he was done. His wife seemed to enjoy its shade as she read while the children frolicked. He's an ubercraftsman and showed us the ditty bags he was making with sailcloth, leather and rope. Uber used to be a youth pastor and a firefighter. Skills -- he haz them.

Stayed out until the sun went down. When we drove back we saw several deer browsing in the fields. We kept pointing them out to Lexi to no avail. She didn't have her glasses and she was too tired to care anyway. Coming north across the Clinton Lake dam we got the best view of the western sky. There were a dozen cars pulled over to watch the sunset. Nod said that however tough those Kansans were, pulling off the road to watch the pink clouds indicates they have some poetry in their souls.

Our new friend Kira brought her two teenagers. She has two daughters, one pale as milk and the other olive skinned. May they learn a lot in the next few years and skip most of the available life trauma. To spare their mother if not themselves. They should go through some low grade life trauma so they get experience making decisions and rebounding. Kira wore a white top to go swimming and when she came out it was khaki colored. Ah the fresh mud and alge of a midwestern lake. Nod took her and Katy and the teens out swimming past the yellow barrier. I stayed in the shallower water with Lexi. I told Kira and Nod that they are well matched in yakkity yak. She said she had gone to a knitting meetup and been shushed for talking too much. Weird. Stitch and bitch should always have bitching as the first priority. One can stitch perfectly well in isolation after all. Kira's trying to get someone to knit a beautiful sock pattern at the same time that she does it. I am untried on socks and not that interested in the finished product (although that pattern is charming to the toes). So I passed but Gen says she's ready for the challenge.

Just watched the Irene Adler episode of the BBC Sherlock. Rrrrow. Nod assures me that boys like it too. Spoilers in white: The end was a fun (and completely comic book) rescue from the jaws of disaster. I was fairly appalled at her consorting with Moriarty although it is consistent with the original as I recall. Besides the steam heat it was a witty retelling of the story. We watched the Hound of the Baskervilles ep last night. Nod liked that reworking very much. It wasn't my style of story. Oh all right, I'll 'fess up, I was hoping for more sexy banter.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Education and Effort

I always learn something from the AV Club's Tolerability Index. Today's new concept to contemplate is the Trendy Top, an infomercial marketed piece of clothing. Well sort of, it's a tube of fabric that goes under your tank top and over your waistband to cover your muffin top or the top of your thong. Like the pregnant ladies wear to cover the bump! As the AV Club writer put it "You don't need a tube top to wear over your pants so your underwear doesn't show, you just need new pants." I represent a segment of the population which does not have the shape for low rise pants. Here's to that pendulum swinging back now.

Trying to write about what I've been eating and drinking without boring myself. I pared it down to these two Smitten Kitchen links and a recommendation that fresh squeezed lime juice is worth the trouble for the margs. But I am not surprised to find that I cannot stop there. The Tzatziki Potato Salad was particularly irresistible and worth the garlic breath. I also made some eggplant stirfry last week but it was less than ideal. The asian eggplant pieces were cooked through but didn't get soft enough so they were still squeaky on the tooth. And the sauce was tomato-y sweetish. But it was not the soft eggplant pieces in a sweet garlic sauce that I yearn for. I think I need to steam the eggplant to start.

A discussion of anti work. It contains the useful definitions of work (the expenditure of energy in a productive process) and leisure (the expenditure of energy without productive result).  I often feel abashed that I do not do more housework. I wish my house was tidier and yet wishing does not make it so. But on the other hand I am mostly satisfied with my ability to pursue leisure activities. I opt for expending energy without a productive result. It's a choice! Well, and sometimes I feel that I need to recover my energy in order to do much of anything. Perhaps I'll be a humming bird person in my next life but in this one I am much more of a tortoise. Katy helped me come up with a chore list and an allowance system for the kids. They have to do 3 chores in a week to earn $1. I think she enjoyed creating the chore system better than doing any of the chores. But it's a good development and furthers getting housework stuff taken care of in our family system.


Last night I was reminded of a film I watched at the ATA in the Mission in San Francisco many moons ago. Digression from my digression: I went to ATA to take a workshop on creating your own website some time around 1999. It was taught by a bored young man who never explained FTP to me so all the html info was useless. I still don't understand that part about how the info goes from my file to be posted on the web. (Thank you Blogger for making this happen while leaving my ignorance undisturbed. Although I still would like to know.)  The Target Shoots First was shot on video by a kid at his first post-college job. He was hired at Columbia Record Club and worked in their offices in the Twin Towers in NYC. So it's a glimpse of life in the 90s in that doomed building. And it's one of those music subscription companies (surely they are mostly defunct by now?) which I remember because I subscribed as a high school student. I remember it as very funny and poignant and honest.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Detailed Review

Sunday: Lexi didn't want to eat lunch. I gave her an ultimatum: eat lunch or go lie down. She chose to lie down and slept most of the afternoon. Was running a temperature when she got up. I figured she had what Katy had had a few days before (slight fever, took naps, done in 48 hrs.)

Monday: Stayed home with a puny Lexi who had a hot fever and a Katy who didn't want to go to Boys & Girls Club. Lexi woke up after a nap on the couch and said that it hurt her right ear when she swallowed. I called and got the last appt of the day at the doctor's office. Strep. Started medication that afternoon. I got one sink cleaned and not much else done. But it was good to be able to be home to take care of the sickie.

Tuesday: Lexi was able to sleep through the night, she was hot at 2a but the fever had broken by early morning. I dosed her and gave her breakfast. Left kids at home together and went to work. Came home at lunch to dose her and make sure everybody had lunch/drinks/popsicles. Back to work. My coworker coughed all day long. We finally got to the end of the workday before the holiday. I realized as I left work that I felt overwhelmed by the obligation to have fun celebrating the 4th. I wasn't feeling excited about fireworks (dry, hot weather, images of Colorado burning). We had all intended to go to a party that night south of town for feasting and f'works. Lexi wasn't 24 hrs fever-free yet and maybe I should also spare everyone else my black cloud. I couldn't think of a thing I wanted to do. I also realized that this was a hormonal bad mood and I'd better just wait patiently until it passed.

Lexi seemed better in the evening. No appetite but good spirits and no fever. Nod came home and wanted to take the kids to the camel rides at the fireworks stand. I decided I could go along with this 20 minute seasonal family outing. I frowned at the fireworks tent and tried to get away from some bad parenting while waiting for the girls to have their moment on the lurching beast with long eyelashes. It was pleasasnt if perfunctory. Nod bought what I considered to be entirely superfluous fireworks. At least it was a small handful and he was avoiding all the Shoots Flaming Balls type models. We saw a firework named "Ex Wife". He thought that was funny but in my mood it seemed merely misogynistic. Later I found "Fiery Affair" which I thought would make a nice story arc with the first one.

On the drive home from the fireworks stand we were one of several cars following behind a John Deere somethingorother going about 20 mph. Nod cussed at the car in front of us which was unwilling to pass the tractor/backhoe/thingy. I got more and more agitated as he groused and got too close to the car ahead. Katy suggested he go left at a stopsign to get away from this situation. Nod chose to go straight on and carry on his campaign of complaint. I completely lost my temper and chewed him out. Katy cried. Nod told me I shouldn't go to the party. I told him I had already decided that. Stomping, slamming doors. I went out to watch the neighbor kids throw snappers and light smoke bombs as a way to cheer up. Next door neighbor Gen offered a walk to help me de-fume my brain. As she was still getting over bronchitis it was a short amble but very good to visit with her. Nod later sent me some text msgs about cute things Lexi was doing (singing White Room and deciding that she wanted an outdoor wedding (in cooler weather) with fireworks afterwards, AWWWW). So we made up via texting, how modern of us. They got home by 10:30 and Lexi was no worse for wear in the morning.

Wednesday: Woke without the distaste for humanity and the oppression of existence that had dominated the day before. We all mooched around in the morning and then got ready to go to the movie theater to see Brave. It was fab, we laughed, we cried. Really good quality Disney Pixar entertainment value. More scary stuff than I expected. I was absolutely unspoiled, I had no idea what would happen except for good guys triumphing o'course. The storyline and the long line of female creators (director, writers, etc.) would make any women's studies major proud. My favorite secondary character was Wee Dingwald. Came home and took a nap. It was a holiday.