Sunday, May 31, 2009

Getting Nostalgic

"So...the needle plays from the outside in, right?"
That was the question DN1 asked me when she was going to put a record on the turntable.
Thus began our cultrual literacy lesson on Saturday night.
For months, actually years, I have been wanting DH to set up his turntable so we could just listen to records. We have so many that we have been toting around for years.
Okay, decades, really.
Saturday night we finally did it.
DH finally set up his turntable, and was actually shocked to see the sales slip inside the box: he had bought it 20 years ago.
How time flies.
That's right about the time we stopped buying records and started buying CDs.

When DN2 saw the turntable she was so excited she wanted to cry.
She said, "You set up the record player?!?!"
It was really cute, the way that neither girl had ever used a turntable before, much less knew where and how to put the needle on the record.
Finally something where my knowledge was relevant rather than nostalgic.
And we had so much fun.
What was even more better was going through some of our several boxes of records up in the attic - I forgot how much music we had.
I pulled this out for DH (well I like her too):

Good old Shirley Murdock.
Do you remember the scandal when a man impersonated her in D.C. for a while in the '80s, and was running up bills in her name?
If I could find a news article about it I would reference it.
Then I pulled out something from my childhood:

(Yes, Ken, I have this album, and the other Royal Guardsman album. Mom gave them to me so go complain to her.)
DH and DN1 could not understand why I love this album, but I think it's great stuff!
Guess it's just too different for their taste.
DN1 wanted to hear some Beatles records, and later on, with beers in hand, we all chilled and listened to Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here:

We spent the time perusing the album cover and sleeve, and DN1 made this observation:
"I have totally missed out on album art."
She's right, the pictures on CDs do not match up with the artwork that was on albums.
There was usually a message in there, and if not, then album art contained another type of creative forum for the artist and the record company.
Her generation has also missed out on 45s, stacking records so the next one comes down for continuous play, and taping a penny to the arm so the needle doesn't skip.
I used to think my grandmother's Victrola was old-fashioned, but just think, listening to records is now considered nostalgic.
Who knew it would hit my generation so soon.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Numb3rs Progeny on National Spelling Bee

Does anyone watch Numb3rs?
I do, every week.
Well, now it's in reruns, so maybe not now, but even still
You know about Charlie and Amita?


How in the last episode he asked her to marry him?


Well the other night DN2 and I were watching last year's spelling bee, and this kid came on.
I was immediately struck by something.
Imagine if Charlie and Amita actually had a baby.

plus Amita

equals Sidharth Chand:

Awesome - although this kid is not acting "smart" - he really is.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sometimes it's the little things that bring me joy

Behold, my new clothesline.
Ah, thus will be the source of my new joy.
The rapturous thought of bringing my wet laundry down a flight of stairs and outside to hang on the line.
If Keats were alive today he'd write an ode to the clothesline, I'm sure of it.
Such simple things can be so inspiring.
DH and SN2 were joyful last night over Barcelona beating Man U and winning the Champions League.
See, same feeling of joy, different inspiration.
We're a simple family, with simple needs.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Foreign Travel

So, we're supposed to have a passport by 1 June if we want to get into Canada.
I love Canada.
Way a lot.
Of course I have had passports in the past, but they have expired.
I need to get a new one, and so does DN2.
The good news is that they will soon be opening a passport office "somewhere" in Western NY:
Tuesday, Republican Congressman Chris Lee announced the U.S. State Department has granted his wish to open a passport office in western New York by the first of next year.

I think because it is Congressman Lee, "somewhere" means Buffalo, no doubt, since he's from there. But really, what does this mean for all of us out here on the lonely frontier of New York State (a state which, yes, does extend beyond Westchester County):
A passport office would allow folks to get a passport within hours rather than weeks.

See, sometimes procrastination is worth it. Unfortunately there is a Tori Amos concert in Toronto in August that I can't miss, so I guess I will have to go the old route and get my passport through the Post Office.
Now if only we can get the good Congressman to encourage Ikea to open a store around here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


This weekend I made some brown sugar barbecue chicken using a recipe from Wegmans.
It was really good, and the picture actually looks like how the chicken came out.

And it tasted even better.
Yum, yum.
This is definitely a recipe I will use again, although with a bit more preparation time, because marinating for 6-8 hours, and then cooking for another 2 is an all-day event.
It was worth it, but really, all day.
Or maybe a work day.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I thought I had raised her better

Guess what show DN2 is in love with.
Go ahead, guess.
Well, let me set some parameters.
She's 10 and she loves babies and little kids.
Now, go ahead, which show do you think it is?
If you guessed that train wreck known as Jon & Kate Plus 8, then you guessed correctly.
She's totally into this marathon on TLC this weekend.
I asked her, how can you watch this show?
These people are totally fame whores, getting freebies just by virtue of having a passel of children pop out of her womb, and earning tons of money per episode by pimping out their kids.
She said, I don't like it for the parents, I like it for the kids.
Well alright then.
That's different.
Still, I thought she had better taste than this.
(Besides, if you want to see a crazy mother, just come hang around me.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fluids are not only necessary, but they are fun too!

We went to RIT a couple of weeks ago for their Imagine RIT event.
It was amazing.
Essentially it was all the seniors completing their senior thesis/project.
There's probably more to it than that, but this explanation will suffice.
Some of the ones we saw were remarkable.
Then we stumbled on this one.
DN2 decided she wanted to participate.
Here it is, the video of a water balloon being dropped on her head, and it is filmed in millisecond photography.
Or something like that.
When watching the video, see the clock spinning in the background.
That's how fast time flies.
Here it is:

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Well...that's done, what next?

Guess who has nothing scheduled for Monday:

My new college graduate.
Friday night was her Honors Program graduation ceremony.
Here she is with my mother:

I received a lot of compliments from people telling me, "Good job."
Each time I corrected them, and said, "This wasn't me - this was all her."
And it has been.
From kindergarten on up, DN1 has always been a very hard worker in school, organized, and focused.
Everything she has accomplished, she's busted her butt to achieve - and she has done a lot too!
In high school, she was valedictorian, she was involved in science programs, and she even went on a 2 week science expedition to Alaska her freshman year of high school.
Now she's working on being a DJ, doing radio commercials, working PR events, and she's even broadcast a radio show from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!
(With a double major in Communication and Biology, she intends to be the next Bill Nye the Science Guy.)
She is amazing.
My role is to be the cheerleader on the sidelines while she calls the plays (supportive, yes, but you should see my cartwheels!).
Now, one of the benefits of my job is I get a front-row seat at graduation, and that's why I was able to get so close for this picture.
She looks excited, doesn't she?

Her friend A is happy too.

What was even better benefit is when she came down off the stage and came right over to gave me a hug.
What a girl.
The world is her oyster.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Aprons and things

So, I received a Lovely comment from Mary at KOALACaddie regarding my last post.
Thanks, Mary!
I thought I would digress from my usual self-introspective banality and discuss aprons.
Did your mother wear an apron while you were growing up?
Mine did.
My grandmother too.
When I see Aunt Bea on tv, I look at that one-piece apron and it takes me back.
I recently (last summer? or winter?) received a sewing machine (for free) from a co-worker.
She had bought a new one and was happy to pass her old one on to a new home.
I've had it for a while, actually I have two that were given to me, but I've been a bit fearful of using them.
Not because I think I'll prick my finger, or something worse, but because the only time I ever used a sewing machine was for 6 weeks in 8th grade.
That was a LONG time ago.
I have some scraps, and I have thread, and I have a perfectly wonderful sewing basket, but I've been fearful of taking that leap.
A psychologist would suspect that I'm fearful of entering into a new obsession.
They would be correct.
Problem is, I'm dying to learn how to sew because I want to make something useful for my house.
I am not worried about fancy dresses, or blouses, or anything like that.
I am dying to make some aprons.
One book I have that prompted me to consider sewing myself some aprons is this:

The Apron Book by EllynAnne Giesel.
It is a sweet, little book that doesn't really have many patterns, but it focuses on a lot of old aprons, and some of them are quite phenomenal.
There was a time when an apron was a fashion accessory, and now how many people actually wear them?
Does anyone give them as bridal shower gifts?
I would suspect not, unless it were something utilitarian and chef-like from Williams-Sonoma.
Do you wear one around the house?
I actually have several aprons hanging on my pantry door, and I do wear one from time to time, and I especially like the ones with pockets.
It's easy to declutter when you have a lot of pockets to throw things into.
So, because Mary left such a nice comment, I went to her site and saw her apron, er, Caddie, and now I want one for myself - I think it is fabulous!
Now, if only I could get over my fear of the sewing machine, I might be able to make myself an apron too.
Perhaps after this weekend I'll give in to the siren call of the machine and stitch something simple.
I'll let you know.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Coming out of hiding

Sorry I haven't been blogging.
I've been busy.
It's the end of the year, DN1 is graduating this week, I have deadlines at work and for a board I chair at church - life's been hectic.
This, however, is worth coming out of hiding.
Britain has named their first-ever female poet laureate.
This is a big deal, folks!
Finally, after 400 years, they recognize that women write poetry - good poetry!
Her name is Carol Ann Duffy and you can check out her bibliography here.
In honor of Carol Ann Duffy, I'll provide you with a nursery rhyme that described my hair yesterday:

There Was a Little Girl,
Who Had a Little Curl

There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very, very good,
But when she was bad, she was horrid.

Where the curl came from on my head, I have no idea.
It was there, though.
I'll try to be better today.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Toe Talk

Yesterday DN2 and I were driving to the dentist's office to pick up SN2.
She was wearing flip flops, and contemplating her toes as we drove.
"I hate my toes," she said.
I hear this a lot.
She continued, "They're fat and chubby, and my second toe is longer than my first toe."
"Well, you know," I said, "There's actually a name for that condition, it's called Morton's toe."
We were at the stop light, and she looked at me out of the corner of her eye, and said, "I've heard that if your second toe is longer it means you're a virgin."
"Well I hope so," I said, "You're only 10."
We turned left, and then it hit me.
I had to ask.
"Do you think that your toe will shrink once you're not a virgin?"
She giggled her reply.
I'll be sure to check toe length throughout high school.