some wishes, for 2012

I thought I’d better post in December, and there are less than six hours less. Here are my top ten wishes for 2012:

  1. That the economy will keep getting better (though if it could speed up a little bit, that would be great). Landisdad’s job is, right now, only funded through the end of 2012, and I’m starting to worry about what might happen if it doesn’t get re-upped.
  2. That the Grand Old Party will continue to entertain us via their presidential primary, especially by having millions of dollars hurled into internecine struggles to be the most conservative nimrod ever to run for president.
  3. That, in moving into a new role in my job, I am not making a huge mistake. That the new travel, to new places, will be offset by less travel to the old places.
  4. That my niece, the Butterfly, who is starting to experience some ADD, will get good strategies from her new therapist.
  5. That the Bee will keep growing into the beautiful, smart young woman I see more and more of each day. That her eighth grade year will be filled with confidence.
  6. That she will continue to have good friends, who seem to be (at least from what I can see) free of the “mean girls” gene.
  7. That the Potato will thrive in the rest of third grade, and will continue to be the funny, goofy boy I love as he moves into fourth.
  8. That his love of sports will continue to play out in basketball this winter.
  9. That, as landisdad and I settle in to our separated state, our mutual finances will continue to stabilize…braces notwithstanding.
  10. And finally, that I’ll start finding something like the joy I once got from writing about my kids on the interwebs again.

December 31, 2011. the pop culture. 4 comments.

I realize I’ve been a very, very bad blogger

But the lovely Jackie at A Patchwork Life tagged me as a Versatile Blogger, and it restored all the good fun feelings I had about my blog from back in the day. You remember, the mid-aughts, when blogging was popular and memes were fun!

So the point of this meme is to write 7 things about myself that you couldn’t find somewhere else. I’m gonna assume this means on my blog. You could, of course, find them if you dug around in my brain. Without further ado:

  1. I once downloaded the White Stripes song “Icky Thump” because it reminded me of two of our cats–Icky, aka Ichabod (a cat rescued from a car accident on Halloween and named by our vet); and Hank, aka Wumpus the Thumpus. What can I say we have weird nicknaming patterns in our household. You should have known that already.
  2. I think I probably read fewer books in 2010 than I did in any year since I learned to read when I was a child.
  3. I have almost 4,000 songs on my iTunes. In a possible corollary to item 2, I have spent much more time listening to music in the past year than I have reading.
  4. I had my first-ever meeting this week where someone Skyped in. I was very excited about it. You have no idea how much my life would be improved if I didn’t have to drive to as many meetings as I do.
  5. We’re thinking about becoming a cell-only household. I can’t imagine why we’ve hung on to our landline as long as we have.
  6. If I read the paper in the print edition, I start with the Business section. If it’s online, usually the front page. Why? I don’t know.
  7. Even though it’s already snowed three times this year, I have yet to buy the Potato any snowboots. #momfail


January 8, 2011. memes, the pop culture. 5 comments.

I know there are people out there who still don’t get Twitter

but for the rest of you, you really ought to be following @cecilseaskull (aka the writer Cecil Castellucci). Her YA novels, graphic & otherwise, are among my favorite things, and really probably deserve a post of their own. But that’s not what this is about.

For the past day-and-change, she’s been writing a short story via Twitter posts. It is teh awesome.

(insert fangirl squeeing)

You can also follow her on her blog (while I’m pimping, might as well go whole hog).

July 5, 2010. the pop culture. Leave a comment.

class on TV

I’ve recently been watching the Starz show Party Down, largely because it’s free to stream on Netflix, and at a half-hour in length, perfect for my tremendously short attention span. It’s a sitcom about a bunch of people who work as catering waiters in LA, and are actors/screenwriters/comedians in waiting.

I find it very interesting, partly because all the time on the show is spent at the parties they are working–they never show you scenes of the actors auditioning, or the writer writing. And frankly, how many shows are there on TV these days that are about regular working stiffs trying to make it through the day?

I mean, sure there are shows about cops & doctors & nurses, but when was the last time you saw a tv show about a factory worker, or a janitor?

Landisdad and I were having a conversation with the Bee a few weeks ago about the kinds of shows that she likes to watch and how they all seem to feature some element of complete & utter unbelievability. There’s the Wizards of Waverly Place–about a magical family (which, OK, at least their parents run a restaurant, albeit one whose competitor is run by vampires). Or Hannah Montana–secret rock star. Or iCarly–two girls with a hit web show (and come on, does anyone believe Spencer can afford that apartment in Seattle?). Or Tru Jackson, VP–about a girl who gets her own line at a fashion company. It seems like the last thing anyone would do these days is make a show about some kids growing up in the ghetto–but that was the plot of at least three different shows that I could remember from my own childhood (extra credit to any commenter who guesses all three).

There was a period of time when it seemed like shows that focused on rich people were the exception, rather than the rule. Roseanne was a factory worker (later a waitress) married to a guy who did construction and worked on bikes. Of course, there was Alice–another waitress show. And when there were shows about people working in show business, it was things like The Partridge Family–who were not exactly the most successful musical act in TV history.

Why does it matter, whether the kids watch tv shows that feature people in real-life situations? Well, for one, I’d like my kids to grow up with some understanding of how incredibly privileged they are, and if all they see on TV are people who are fantastically successful & wealthy without seeming to work very hard, what does that teach them? I’d like them to see a show where every character isn’t trying to figure out how to be famous, as if just being famous is an end worthy of desiring.

May 3, 2010. the pop culture. 3 comments.

games to check out

The Potato is home sick from school today. He spent yesterday in a listless haze, rising occasionally to puke. He voluntarily went to bed at 7:30 p.m., and then slept straight thru until 9 this morning, waking to puke again only when I got him up to pee before I went to bed.

Landisdad had taken the Bee to school, and I was sitting at the dining room table, emailing my boss to let him know that I wouldn’t be working today, when I heard a plaintive “hello?” from the top of the stairs. I think he was afraid that we had all just taken off for our days and left him here. It was quite pathetic.

Since then, we’ve been playing rounds and rounds of Racko, while he sucks on Pedialyte popsicles and chomps on dry toast (so far today, no heaving, I’m happy to report). Racko is a game that we encountered at my mom’s house last month, though I definitely do not remember playing it as a child. It’s recommended for kids 8 and up, but the Potato really enjoys it. My kids liked it so much that my mom ended up buying us our own copy, so they could take it home with them.

rackoThe basics are this: each player has a card rack that holds 10 cards. You’re each dealt out ten cards, and you have to put them in the rack in the order in which they are dealt. The goal is to be the first player to rearrange their cards so that they are in numerical order–but you can only move one card per turn. There are some special cards in this version (like “take an extra turn”) that didn’t exist in my mom’s, much older version. It seems to be one of the few board games that my kids can play together without the 4-year age difference creating an insurmountable gap.

It’s hard for the Potato, but not impossible. He doesn’t win very often, but he gets close enough that he doesn’t find it incredibly frustrating. It’s easy enough for the Bee to beat him, without it being too easy for her. I don’t find it that easy to find games that the two of them can play together without him having to have an adult on his ‘team.’

December 15, 2008. the pop culture. 4 comments.

“I’m sick’a the high hat.”

Is there a better movie than Miller’s Crossing?

March 8, 2008. the pop culture. 1 comment.