May 31, 2006


Davy Rothbart of Found Magazine are going to be in Rockford tomorrow night! I'm going to go have my book The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas (really good book) autographed and watch the show. They will let people take the stage and tell about their found items.

I have a found item that I've hung onto for years. It's odd that I found it in the pocket of a leather coat bought at the Goodwill and just last week I returned the coat to Goodwill (it didn't fit anymore) but i still have the found items. They are a two grocery lists written in beautiful old lady hadwritting, on it are items like evaporated milk, one yellow cake mix, 10oz of currant jelly, folded into the grocery lists were those little stamps one collects from the grocery store, and a tiny spoon like from an ice cream social. A childs purple hair tie carefully wrapped around all of it and finally also found in the pocket an amazing little paper doll.

I can't help but think about the lady who's pocket this came from. I imagine she's passed away and her familiy piled her clothes into the car and dropped them off at the Goodwill to be sorted and sent to the store were I found it. Nobody thought to check the pockets but she knew exactly what was in there. It's a snippet of her life, a little treasure. I keep all these things in a small box in my junk drawer, I keep meaning to send them to found - now I will hand deliver them, or maybe I'll just keep it all.

Come on folks! Who wants to see Bombadee take the stage and explain why the contents of some lost little old lady's pocket is a treasure. Dan's going to stay home with Ella and I'm going even if it's by myself.

If you go
What: Found Magazine’s Cavalcade of Thrills Tour 2006
When: 8 p.m. Thursday, June 1
Where: Krypto Music Lounge, 308 W. State St., Rockford
Cost: $5
Information: 815-965-0931;


Dan and I moved back to the town he grew up in about a year after we were married. I was working as a telemarketer and making obscene amounts of money at it. Yeah, I was a telemarketer, the kind who calls you at home during dinner with some great deal you just have to take advantage of. I’m good at getting people to talk so it was an easy job for me; I made manager within the year. I went on to help the general manager open a franchise of her own and when it became the top office in the nation she recommended me for a position with corporate as a consultant. I was 24. A lot of what I got paid to fly around the United States and tell people seemed like common sense to me but apparently people who run telemarketing offices need only have two requirements to fill and common sense isn’t one of them.

I took the job seriously. I found myself reading books about sales in the evenings and watching televangelists trying to analyze how they sell to the masses. Just because those guys have everlasting grace to sell doesn’t mean it’s an easy thing to do, those are the pros right there. They have rhythm and passion and tactics and they sell to a crowd all at once with no merchandise to stock – no warehouse to manage – no goods for your money. The phenomenon is still amazing to me and now if you ever borrow my van and upon turning the key hear “InTouch Ministries” emanating from the speakers you’ll know why.

Leaving every Monday morning for St. Petersburg, or Salt Lake City with a suitcase and a Stephen King book for the plane started out fun. Expense account, nice hotels, and company cars, all that was great, but after a while I missed my new puppy, my new husband and my new house. It didn’t help that when you are the axe-(wo) man suddenly your jokes are SUPER funny to everyone in the room and no one really wants to get closer than they have to during lunch for fear you will notice them. I was lonely, my stomach hurt and I couldn’t sleep, but we had gobs of money. After a year and a half at the top of my game I refused an offer for my very own office in Chicago and I came home to my dream house and the two loves of my life Dan & Wednesday.

Shortly after, the neighbor lady said to my Mother in law “I see that Dan’s girlfriend finally moved in” and my startled Mother-in-law said “What girlfriend!” The neighbor lady said “The one who shows up with a giant suitcase every Friday."

May 30, 2006

Is it Tuesday Already?

Our long weekend was wonderful. My niece graduated on Sunday and we saw some very dear friends from very far away yesterday. We had our 13th annual Memorial Day party. The parade passes in front of our house and every year we say we'll keep it small and we’ll keep it just close friends and family and let me say we are blessed because this year we did keep it just close friends and family and we had 42 adults, and 23 kids (16 of those kids are under the age of four) at our place yesterday. Ben and Jaime made it with their darling baby daughter Emma all the way from Twenty Nine Palms California over 2,000 miles and Chris and Olivia with their gorgeous boy Alex 2 ½ came 3,622 miles from Ireland. We also caught up with a few close friends we hadn’t seen in ages. It was wonderful. Here’s our little chunk of parade route as seen from across the street. Hope all of you had a relaxing weekend.

May 29, 2006


We cherish too,
the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies

-Moina Michael

Photo from: Chris Higgins - Now it's a Photo-Blog

May 28, 2006

Certain Searches for Certain Subjects

Last week I got a call from Pat Cunningham. Those of you who only know me from the internet will not know that I have spent many work hours listening to him talk politics on my local AM station. He writes for the local paper now and he wanted to talk to me about blogging. I agreed to do an interview and have my photo taken and then immediately had to review every embarrassing thing I’ve ever posted here and oh yeah, there’s a lot of ‘em and no I won't point them out, you'll have to find them on your own. Yes, I realize I was the one who chose to publish it out here for all the world and God herself to see so I’ll move on.

Pat called me for the interview and I’m pretty sure I just babbled endlessly on the phone. You see, the best part about writing is the reviewing process (and thesaurus) but when you have to actually speak, well any ol’ thing can just pop out of your mouth and then if you’re nervous you may not quite remember how ludicrous you sounded until you read it in the Sunday paper. I actually said to him "...If people in government do searches for certain subjects on the Internet, like subjects I’ve been blogging on, then I’m one more voice." I must've said it because there it is on page 2D. I swear, I smart too!

What I meant was - If politicians want a good measure of what people actually think for starters they can find today’s hot links. In a world were polls are pushed and pulled in any direction you like and one can find statistics to support any asinine thing, an actual real life opinion is invaluable… to some.

Get this - Winnebago County Board Member and Republican Majority Leader, Tim Simms said "he's seen no influence from local blogs and doesn't expect any: 'What you get from blogs is worth exactly what you pay for it - nothing.'" This is the same yahoo who voted last week to give himself a 50% pay hike on the backs of the tax payers. I was going to try and post his e-mail so you could all let him know exactly what you think but alas this representative of the people doesn't have e-mail.

Back to me. The photographer came on the day I woke up to the Mount Rushmore of zits between my eyes. I named the zit Herman and promptly troweled some makeup on him while I frantically cleaned up my desk and surrounding area. They wanted a picture of me blogging and would you believe, he took photos from every angle except the one that included the part of my house that I cleaned. I believe I may have had a load of laundry I was trying to fold somewhere in one of the photos. I asked him if I could see the photo and he mumbled something about against policy or national security but I think he just didn't want to deal with a raving housewife claiming she can smile better if he would just take one more. I didn’t tackle him down on the way to his car and steal his film– so my half folded laundry and my zit and my heap of toys and my closed eyes and half open mouth because I’m babbling again photo sits right there on 2D.

and I’m now going to go buy copies for my Grandmas.

PS I think my cover is blown, my semi anonymous blogging career is over and a new era will begin. So let me now give you this disclaimer:

Upon reading this blog, if you think I’m talking about you and it’s bad – I’m not, it’s someone who may be just like you but I assure you it’s not. If it’s good, then yeah it’s totally you. Also, if you are appalled by my behavior and or writing and you are my Grandma, Aunt, Uncle, previous teacher or anyone who has thought nice things about me in the past please just tell yourself that I am probably exaggerating for the sake of the story. That is all.

May 27, 2006

Discovery on a Hot Day

Yesterday it hit 80* so I decided it was time to fill our new pool. I knew I couldn’t tell Ella until she had at least two bites of breakfast or she would lie on the floor in agony instead of eating. Anticipation is exciting - but when you’re two, not so much. It’s more like persecution, if you say to a two year old we are going to have some ice cream, you had better have the ice cream already in your hand behind your back or you will spend the next moments of your life hearing “Ice cream? Mom we’re having ice cream? Mom, Mom,Mom,Mom,Mom,Mom, ice cream? Where’s the ice cram? I want some ice cream? Mom,Mom,Mom…” The anticipation of the pool was very exciting for me though, and finally I said it “How about we go swimming today?” her eyes lit up and she said “I’ll get my swimmy suit” and she took off running. She didn’t ask where, why or how she just knew there was going to be water she could get in. In about 4 seconds she stripped naked, put her swimmy suit around her neck and headed for the back yard.

Little kid’s willingness to sit in a perfectly ice cold water cracks me up. When she hopped in it took her breath away, even I couldn’t bear to dip my feet in, but this child was determined and got her bootie all the way in and then sat there stunned by the cold.

She splashed for a little bit before she found fun in playing pseudo beach by getting the lid off the sandbox and rolling in the sand, then jumping in the pool and then again rolling in the sand. This went on far too long for me, it made my butt itch just watching.

The game soon changed, Ella decided to grow a flower. She picked a dandelion, poked it firmly into the sand and spent the next twenty minutes watering the poor thing remarking “It’s gonna grow big big big and tall and be beauty-full”.

I didn't tell her it wouldn't grow, just like I didn't stop her from getting sand in her crack and I didn't tell her the pool water was frigid. Somethings are better discovered.

May 26, 2006

Something Pink with a Paper Umbrella Sticking out of it Please

I started “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” last night and I think it’s in all our best interest if I put down the very serious book and slowly back away. I bet I shouldn’t move onto “Flowers for Algernon” or Jimmy Carter’s “Our Endangered Values” which are next in queue. I’m going out this weekend and purchase something with a pink cover and perhaps a high heel or a shopping bag and a café on the front. So I am now taking suggestions for a trashy beach read. I need it to dilute the Grim and Tonic I’ve been serving my brain. I am also not going to watch CNN until Tuesday, no NPR and absolutely no Daily KOS. (maybe)

PS Tom DeLay and company don't realize Stephen Colbert is a liberal satirist.

May 25, 2006

Rainy Day Ella

Excuses excuses

We are having guests on Monday to eat and watch the parade that goes right in front of our house. Even before we owned this house we used to come and sit on the front porch with the previous owners during the parade. We've been doing this for 12 years. It’s practically an institution now. If we weren’t here, we’d be at the Brookfield Zoo celebrating the opening of a New Carousel and listening to Justin Roberts. How cool is that for a kid; new carousel, a zoo full of animals and the new dude from the Noggin videos. If any of you people go please take pics and tell me how fabulous it was.

I used to spend all weekend cleaning in preperation, this year I started early and hope to have the house in sparkling before the weekend so I can relax a little. But that means today and tomorrow are going to be a mad flurry of Mr. Clean and Lemon Wax.
It also means I am rambling today - no point - brain on auto pilot.

May 24, 2006

Extolling the Virtues of a Poriferan Encephalon*

Remember when I wrote about how Ella and I weren’t speaking the same language anymore, well it was a phase. Recently she has developed the superior ability to pronounce words like “Madagascar” and string together sentences like “Mother, I need to watch Madagascar again because it makes me amazingly happy.” No joke on that one. People have stopped me in the grocery store to tell me they never expected such a small child to enunciate such big words. Well, actually they say things like “Wow, she can talk good!” or “Was that you or her talking?” to which I usually respond “She’s the only one I have to talk to all day” and they laugh and nod, but I’m not really kidding.

We used to go to the
Discovery Center on Thursdays or occasionally we’d run errands on a Tuesday and lunch with Dan at McDonald’s but since gassing up the van too often may require us to eat tuna and ramen noodles for the week, we have relinquished our little field-trips for closer expeditions; places like the amazing back yard, or the incredible front yard and sometimes we even walk to the park up the street. This proximity revolution has replaced my latte & Dan with ice cream & Ella and so I taught her to converse. It turns out that toddlers like learning new words and using them. Who’d have thought?

It entertains me to no end to hear Ella spring new words on Dan. Often in the evening Dan says “Do you know your daughter just told me that potato chips aren’t healthy for my metabolism?” or “Ella says Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Did you teach her that?” and I respond “No, she must’ve read it somewhere.”

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PS Thank you to the
Irreverent Antisocial Intellectual for the inspiration for this post.

*ode to spongy brain

May 23, 2006


Most of you know that I was an artist at one time but have never seen anything I've created (aside from this bloggy stuff). So instead of funny blurbs about child rearing and my sporadic political rant or rare housewife breakdown, you‘ll now on occasion be subject to photos of my art.

You may wonder where the artist in me went… when I used to make art for a living it went in a direction that wore me out. I was pretty successful, making album art, painting motorcycle tanks, designing tattoos, teaching an art class and doing court room sketches. Here’s the thing – one can only paint sooo many skulls, naked fairies and dragons before one is ready to strangle a biker, teachers make diddly-squat and I told you all about the court room thing. So I quit, I took an office job in sales and became wildly successful at that. Made tons of money and sketched things in my journal.

It’s been about 10 years since I held any paintbrush besides the one that comes with the hard little crayola ovals. I haven't missed it, but I want to get back to it. I have a giant canvas I built in college and I hate the painting currently on it, so I need to repair the canvas and buy about a gallon of gesso and find a subject. This one will probably end up a landscape. I feel an Illinois countryside landscape in me.

Sketch 1 - Boy eating sushi

May 22, 2006

Housewives on Waterskis

Wisteria Lane has more crime happening on it than some of the worst neighborhoods I know. I would've moved away a long time ago. I really hoped Desperate Housewives was going to be about real things like the desperation and mind numbing antics of being home all day with 4 kids or the identity crisis one can experience from living in the suburbs, the hilarity and mediocrity of a bar-b-que interspersed with a suicide or an affair ruminating under everyone’s nose. It expected it to be subtle and real and was looking forward to it. Alas, it jumped the shark ages ago, I don’t know why I am still watching and given the summer break I probably won’t tune back in.

Here's some cute for your Monday I call it - Ham with Orange Crush Moustache

May 21, 2006

Happy First Birthday to the Little Fox!

J. & T. please give your Little Fox big hugs from all of us at Bombadee's Garden and Congrats young man you have some fine parents.

(The Little Fox almost one year ago)

Saturday Night Downtown

Starting with pizza,

continuing with fancy martinis up the street,

ongoing with jazz next door,

lasting through telling Bartender Joe all our best dirty jokes,

even though playing pool wasn't everyone's favorite,

and winding down with 17 police cars, one ambulance, one fire truck, lots of M-16 and many revelers,

it was an exciting evening out with the Casseroles.

May 20, 2006

The Catcher in the Rye

I finished it last night and have realized the teen angst that Holden Caulfield is full of is similar to the housewife angst I am feeling lately. On the other side of my angst is my transformation into a Mom, which is totally like adolescence in itself. Like Holden, I also have a fear of becoming what I despise; a minivan driving, skirt wearing, pie baking, stay at home mom in a bubble, who votes how her husband thinks and has no cares beyond her scrapbook/blog/knitting/kids. Yet as I redefine myself as a mother I can’t help the feelings that come with that. I am appalled at Holden’s dangerous actions. Why doesn’t anyone see how self destructive he is? What allows him to go trop around in New York with hookers and pimps and Jazz players and who is serving him alcohol! Where is his Mother! Is she so blinded by the loss of a child she has disregarded Holden? Poor boy, needs some home cooked pasta and a good old hug from someone who will look in his eyes and just listen for a bit.

I also feel like I want to be the catcher in the rye, keeping the child (my child) from running off the edge of the cliff, erasing the proverbial "F*ck You" from every wall she can see and all the while wondering how anyone makes it through the relentless world and why adults don't see the tragedy of it all and crying at the joyous site of my dearest little one enjoying the carousel. Reliving, reminiscing and simultaneously mourning the loss of childhood through Ella/Phoebe. The story is as old as can be, it happened in the Garden of Eden and the lament of our loss of innocence is both tragic and magnificent.

I say that the book goes beyond teen angst and is relevant to anyone who is trying to redefine oneself during major life changes. I recommend it, it’s a quick read and subtly powerful.

May 19, 2006

What really matters to moms

Last night I sat reading “Parenting” magazine. Their tag line is “What really matters to moms” I used to like to read this fluff once in a while but I can’t hardly digest it anymore. It didn’t help that Dan was watching the Colbert Report at the same time, so in my peripheral consciousness I was hearing news items. It went like this:

June 2006 Parenting

Reality Check - Do clothes make the mom?
Some of the fashion-conscious mothers at my kindergartner’s school made jokey comments about my clothes
Libya… I feel pressure to dress up for morning drop off Gaddafi… Should I? Prison camps...

Wondering what to get you your child’s teacher for and end of the year gift?
motif…Palestinians…department store… Middle East… impressive present…
President Bush...

Your Time - The Joy of Shopping
Grown up break…
Zacharias Musawi…cute sandles…Death Penalty...

Your health
When not to diet…

This is when I had to put the magazine away and sit still for a moment…

“What really matters to moms” is what it said.

Go read Bitch PHD today, it'll matter to you.

May 18, 2006

What a Crock of Hooey! she said

Mary Cheney was on Diane Rehms this morning while I was trying to have my coffee. I don’t know if I really expected the Republican to disavow her VP and Father on NPR or if I expected her to pick a fist fight with Diane, but apparently I can’t listen to the Right spout the party line in front of my daughter. It makes me say things to the radio that one shouldn’t say in front of children eager to learn to words.

May 17, 2006

Ella Speaks

"No Grandpa, it's not Obey, it's Ebay!"

"I peed in the potty not in my underwear and now I'm a hottie."

"What was my brain thinking?"

"I hit Nika and you louded me" (translation: I yelled)

May 16, 2006

National Guard - Federal Control?


Police State

Invasion of Privacy

Patriot Act

National ID Card

Federalized National Guard

Yeah, ok I might be flying off the deep end. I am now standing on the corner with the man with the long beard yelling “The end is near!” Turns out that crazy bearded guy served in Viet Nam and knows my parents, we’re practically related. Who’s’ ready to start a militia with me? We’ll march to the top of the hill waving our pitchforks and swiffers in the air screaming “Freeeeedooooom!” with our faces painted blue (or maybe just sparkly blue eye shadow).

Ok how about I just volunteer for a campaign.

May 15, 2006

Great Grandma & Ella

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Great Grandma & Ella at the piano on Mother's Day Weekend.

The Cabin

When you start to see the bluffs you know were getting close to the Cabin. We're here! Here's the driveway

and there's the cabin. The part on the left was built in the 70s with no running water or electricity and a big fireplace for heat. We used to have to put your booty on a cold outhouse seat first thing in the morning back then. When Grandma finally retired and they moved in permenantly, they built the part on the right, wired everything and now they have all the luxuries of modern eco-living, including hot water on demand which I love. (You know you're a grown-up when you get excited about a water heater)

Grandma and Grandpa will come out onto the porch in a minute and we'll have hugs all around. They always meet their guests on the porch.

And what'd I tell you - it's cocktail time. We'll go gather up around the island in the old kitchen (the older part of the cabin) and Grandma will put out a fabulous spinach dip made from scratch, starting with growing the spinach last year and ending in creamy goodness spread on a whole wheat cracker. Grandpa will make any drink you like, go ahead ask him for a
Brandy Old Fashioned - he makes the best one's in all of Wisconsin.

We'll have an hour or so to kill between cocktails and dinner (they always eat late) and there is no TV here so I'll take you out to see the orchard. That's where all these little seedlings started in the cabin will go live next.

This is the orchard; apples, grapes, raised veggie gardens and a small greenhouse live here as well as a wild flower garden and statue of St. Francis for my dear cousin who passed away.

There's a chicken house too but there hasn't been chicken for a couple of years - it messes up one's travel plans when you have to feed chickens every day and Grandma and Grandpa are fond of taking off for Ireland or New Zealand for weeks at a time.

Dinner is probably ready so we won't have time to walk a trail in the woods, maybe tomorrow if it's not raining. This is the new part of the cabin, the bathroom is to the right of the piano (or the outhouse is still out back down the little path if you feel adventurous) We'll be staying upstairs at this end. You will get the loft in the old part of the cabin that's were the spiral staircase leads and if anyone else comes they'll get the pull out in the living room and if anyone futher comes they better have brought a tent.

After dinner we will talk politics, tell jokes and hear stories about how Grandpa once threw a shot glass through a bar wall on a bet or what happened to them during the Korean war or how my uncle Joe once covered himself in mud in an attempt to join the circus as a monkey and when we can barely keep our eyes open any longer it'll be time for bed. You are welcome to play tea party with Ella and Grandma. And no, I don't know why Grandpa calls her "Granny Good Guts" nor do I think he remembers how she got that nickname, but it kinda fits doesn't it.

Good night

Church at 9am! We've got to be ready to get in the car it 8:30 so get up early. Grandpa's whistling is always more fun to wake up to than an alarm clock.

The priest was from Ghana, I guess the guy from India was transfered. I just love listening to his accent. Can you imagine moving from West Africa to Wisconsin? I was pretty surprised by all the politics that was discussed. If you noticed we didn't put anything into the collection it was because of that bigot from the KCs and his little speech about making sure everyone signs a letter to the Senator about all his Republican hooey. That's why Grandpa quit the KC after over 40 years as a member, I was a little surprised to hear that, but cripes they just wouldn't stop arguing with him about politics.

I guess my Dad and my brother Andy are comming up today so Ella will have plenty to keep her busy, feel free to nap or walk in the woods, whatever you like. We'll start driving back in the afternoon and we'll stop at A&W in Madison for dinner.

Hoopla to Come

Happy Monday people. We had a wonderful weekend and I am currently working on a post that is taking for-ever. Lots of photos of Mother's Day hoopla, and it all get posted I promise. I just didn't want to leave you all hanging this morning with nothing so here's my Grandpa's new favorite joke -

What happens when you give President Bush Viagra?

He gets taller.

May 13, 2006

Over the Hills and Through the Woods

Today we are headed up I-90 to my Grandpa & Grandma's cabin in Wisconsin. It’s a three hour drive so bring something to do in the car. I can't wait for you all to meet them. Grandpa's kinda like Santa Clause crossed with Baby Face Nelson he'll tell you dirty jokes that start with "A Priest and a gopher walk into a bar.." and he says phrases like "see here, pal" but he will entertain any kind of fun you propose including axe throwing which I learned when I was 8 on his suggestion. My Grandma is a nurse and at the forefront of the woman’s movement since the 1940s and leading the fight for equal rights for seniors since the 1980s. She’s that lady that went back to college at 65 before she started her 4th career, Grandma accepts no excuses. None.

They are democrats who walk the talk. They drive a Hybrid car, grown their own fruits and veggies, trade with local farmers for milk, eggs, and meat, recycle everything and send money to their sponsored families in Mexico and Sudan. They do the crossword every morning, cook everything from scratch and cocktails will start at 5:00pm. Grandpa only buys the good booze (he says he has not enough time left in life for a hang over - he's 79) so I encourage you to have one, but not too many because we’ll be going to church with them in the morning. They have an “exchange priest” – I believe he’s from Africa or maybe they have a new fella now and he’s from India, I’m sure well get to meet him all up close and personal when Grandma introduces us to half the congregation.

Did you remember your mosquito spray?

May 12, 2006

She Likes Butter

Ella and I were out playing in the yard last week and I remembered how when I was a girl, the first order of business before actually playing was to make a dandelion crown for yourself. So we did and then we rubbed yellow dust all over our chins to see if we liked butter. Ella picked a small bouquet of dandelions and violets that I had to find a vase small enough for. I didn’t teach her the little rhyme that went "Momma had a baby and its head popped off!" upon which you'd pop the head off the dandelion with your thumb, but I did try (to no avail) to remember who taught me that morbid song. When the grapes and the weeds get bigger I’ll show her how to make a bracelet out of grape vine and fly catchers out of tall grass. We used to play for hours outside doing these things and I also used to believe if I ran away and had to live in an alley I could live on dandelion greens, grapes, mulberries, rhubarb and sweet clover for the summer.

May 11, 2006

Date Night

15 reasons we went to the books store last night

Akeelah and the Bee – Not ready to spend 15.00 to see
American Haunting – Yuck
Benchwarmers – Saw it
Hoot – No way
Ice Age 2 – Not on Date night
Mission Impossible III – It’s my turn to pick
RV – Not ready to spend 15.00 to see
The Sentinel – Michael Douglas, Eva Longoria, Secret Service - BLECH
Silent Hill – Saw it and wish I hadn’t spent 15.00 to see it
Stick It – Who gives a crap?
United 93 – Will watch this one from the sanctity of my own couch
The Wild – Not on Date Night
Inside Man – It’s my turn to pick
Real Dirt on Farmer John – Don’t really care
Take The Lead - Not ready to spend 15.00 to see

Five movies I’d like to see that aren’t playing near me:

The Lost City
Hard Candy
Art School Confidential
An Inconvenient Truth
Kinky Boots

What did I buy at the bookstore? Don't gasp at the fact that I haven't read these yet - "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and "Catcher in the Rye".

May 10, 2006

Spectacle of Preposterous Proportions

In honor of my 33rd birthday last month we sent Ella to Grandma and Grandpa’s house and went drinking with the intent of creating a spectacle of preposterous proportions. We went to the Road House to have steak and after, karaoke and lots of beer. Those that have never been to the Roadhouse should check out the online tour and history of hauntings at where you can also get directions and a copy of the menu. I can tell you they have a great steak, really nice waitresses and a karaoke lady who wears gold lame pants! What else can a person ask for on her birthday – except friends to share it with?

By popular request I will now present the evidence:

Tater Tot, Punky Mom & Mrs. Bombadee cheese it up

Tater Tot & Mrs. Bombadee sing "Cheek to Cheek"

Mrs. Bombadee and Tater Tot shake their groove thang

The Best Birthday Present EVER!

Mr. Bombadee drags Mrs. Bombadee on stage and they sing some Cake together ("we were like Sonny & Cher, only not as good and with way more love, so maybe not so much like Sonny & Cher...")

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

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May 9, 2006


Blogger was down again this morning. I had to wait until 12:00 to try and post and I surely wasn’t going to try and post a movie and some photos – blogger would’ve blogged it all right back up into my lap. Its mornings like this that make me wonder if the universe is telling me to slow down and watch cartoons with the kiddo. Now you are asking yourself “How in the world could she slow down any further?” Well, it’s not easy, instead of being washed and dressed by noon, we settle for brushing hair and teeth and covering our butts with something clean. With that, I’ll leave you all to your own devices - today, I’m slacking with my kid.

May 8, 2006

Top Secret

My dear friend D.P. used to work for the Government and so sometimes he knew things that the rest of us weren’t privy too. A couple of years ago he let me in on a little secret that I’m about to blow wide open right here on the internet…

Super Heroes and Super Villans are among us. You have seen them already and are so accustomed to their presence they have become virtually invisible, disguised by the every day din of life. I will point them out to you now by posting these photos and it will all become clear to you.

Here's The Killer Tan summoning his strength

Notice Cyborgo-man has the word RESCUE on his belt posted right above his emergency phone number.

You can often spot them on the side of the road running to the rescue. Here we have Karma Woman and Sanjeet fighting osteoporosis everywhere.

Where's Waldo Man in his humble apartment posing for a comic book

Chronotronic synchronizing his watch during some kind of large scale rescue operation.

Coalitions and groups are common, pictured here Lady Paragon and the Warriors in action

Señor Moustachio and his sidekick Señorita Snooze

Blizzardo leaves mayhem in his wake as shown by the ambulance

Now you try... See if you can correctly identify this fantastic duo?

How about this defender?

And now that you've had some practice, next time you drive by a hero going to the rescue make sure to point them out to the kids, they'll appreciate it.

May 6, 2006

Beware of the Cat

My child is a computer junkie. She often pulls up her own chair in front of my computer and asks for the folder called “Ella’s Stuff” in it are various links to NOGGIN, PBS.Kids, Barney sites and BooBaas; all things I have posted before. However the last two days we have had to watch the coveted “Hello Kitty Moobee” over and over. It has become stuck in my head now playing its cyclical lyrics ad nauseum. I have my dear friend KTJ to thank for this – she collects all things Hello Kitty and I swear when I make my first million in Vegas I will buy her something from here just for fun because after all, it’s not such a bad video to play in one’s head over and over.

So without further ado here is the “Hello Kitty Moobee” aka “hello kitty thuy video” by


May 5, 2006

I Smart - Part 2

After singing her ABCs Ella looked at me and said “Do you know that song Mom?” I replied “Yes, sweetie, I do.” And she said “You’re pretty smart Mom.”

Ha, ha! I have thwarted would be burglars once again and put my money in this thing they call a savings account. We had been saving money for our trip to Vegas in September by putting cash in my jewelry box. Last week I realized keeping over a thousand dollars in a small unlocked box along with my valuable jewelry on top of the hutch we keep our silver in, is not very top secret or secure. So yesterday I set about finding a safe place to put the cash. It turns out my bank was happy to take it but they don’t want to give it all back, there’s a $200.00 minimum to a savings account so I went to the bank next door. They also have a minimum but the banker said “If it drops below $100.00 you just have to pay a $6.00 service fee for the year” “Done” I said. I figure six dollars isn’t to much money to rent a little apartment for my savings. In fact if my savings has a guest bedroom in the little apartment perhaps my checking will come and stay too.

I smart - Part 1


¡Viva México! ¡Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Post it on Your Blog Today

Dear Friend,

I am writing to let you know I just signed a postcard to President Bush asking him to take action to stop the genocide in Darfur. Will you join me? Visit

We must put pressure on our national leaders to take immediate action. President Bush and the United States Congress have recognized the situation in Darfur as "genocide," but it will take much more than words to end the violence and suffering in Darfur. In fact this recognition imposes a legal obligation, let alone the inherent moral obligation, upon the U.S. to take action to stop the genocide.

Visit to send your postcard today!

If our leaders made Darfur a priority, hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved. Please join me in calling for immediate attention to Darfur and more robust action on behalf of the U.S. to support security efforts in the region.


Thank you, Bombadee

May 4, 2006

Gregory Street

I grew up in a beautiful old Victorian home built by a doctor in the late 1800s. We loved its big rooms its long curving staircase and the way there wasn’t a 90* angle in the whole place and we were also spooked by it. We were convinced it was haunted, sometimes you could just get a creepy feeling or sometimes you would have to spin around and see if someone was behind you. My parents bought it as their first home for $10,000 and commenced to fixing it. They hauled piles and piles of junk out of it filling the curb entirely in front of the house at least 5 feet high. The neighborhood buzzed through the garbage salvaging old tables and scrap metal. Then my parents painted every room and spackled and sanded floors and remodeled the two kitchens and two bathrooms and cleaned top to bottom and then we had the run of the house.

The exterior was next, blowing insulation into the siding, painting the entire framework changing it from black to a dark olive green. My father tore down the old porch and replaced it with a big wrap around with pillars and spindles and the second story door opened out onto a balcony with a porch swing again. We built a rock garden in the front with boulders that returned form a vacation with us. We planted an Apple tree in the front yard, we put up a fence in the back yard and a sand box and a tree house. We installed a raised vegetable garden; we landscaped the sides of the house with wildflowers.

Mr. Lawson owned and lived in the house next door. He was a widower whose father had built the old brick he lived in as well as the four houses next to it. He was a little scary in that he yelled at us for stepping on his tiger lilies or picking his pears sometimes and he had crazy white hair flying every direction, but little did I know he kept the neighborhood. Mr. Lawson owned most of the houses on the block except ours and a few others. He rented them out to single divorcees, families and old ladies, quiet and reserved people.

Mr. Lawson died and they held an auction at his house. I was told among the beautiful furniture that came out of this house were two original Picassos. I don't know if that was true, I was only 10 or 11. A developer turned all of Mr. Lawson’s houses into apartments and rented to anyone and everyone. The struggling neighborhood fell into oblivion and we sold our house to the same developer making our getaway. Let me say here despite th beautiful homes, it never was the best neighborhood. There was always someone fighting in the front yard of the big yellow house on the corner, there were gangs just blocks away and a girl once got stabbed in the stomach at the local park - but people were trying to make something of it back then.

Today I opened the
paper to read about a city’s 8th homicide. At 2:00 in the afternoon yesterday, a shooting victim was dumped out of a car into the gutter in front of my old house. The neighborhood was outraged and protested. I see they are still trying to make something of it.

I said of where I grew up "There is a story in ever crack in the sidewalk" and today one of those stories made the front page.

Front page RR Star
Cease Fire Illinois

May 3, 2006


What would it take for you to flee your country and leave your children and family behind in hopes you will find the means to rescue them? What would it take to force you out, poverty, sickness, corruption, disparity, natural disaster? How helpless does one have to feel before abandoning one’s whole life? Wikipedia includes a definition of refugee that encompasses people who “often risk their lives on dangerously crude and overcrowded boats to escape oppression or poverty in their home nations”. Do they really have to be on boats or can they be crammed into the backs of semi trucks crossing an ocean of sand? Let me ask, how desperate would you have to be before you fled into the arms of a sweat shop where you don’t speak the language in a neighborhood that welcomes you with feelings of resentment and disgust? How cold hearted does a person has to be to turn that refugee away? How do we tout ourselves as nation founded on Christian ideals but still trade people lives for higher profit margins and flatter cell phones that play better ring tones? How can people trust a woman to raise their children but not afford the same woman the dignity of having health insurance or citizenship? If companies can’t afford to pay a living wage to all their employees and this influences how we legislate then why don’t we give child labor another go, I’m sure that would be extremely cost-effective?

Who benefits from steeling our attention to debate a problem that has such clear cut moral resolutions?

May 2, 2006

How it Feels to Want

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I recently accepted a challenge from Mr. BlahZeeBlah to make a 60 sec. narrative. This isn't it. This is another 2 minute video. But, really I love making these.

May 1, 2006

Growing Like a Weed

She has bad eating habits and I don’t mean she won’t eat veggies. I mean she likes to finger paint with her mashed potatoes, she likes to put ketchup on like lotion and she cannot resist squishing macaroni between her fingers. The exception? She treats her peas like precious little pearls; she delicately counts them and lines them up before eating them one by one.

We tried giving her a time-out which involves getting her down from the dinner table and washing her hands and sitting her in the time-out chair. It doesn’t seem to bother her at all, it feels like we’ve done exactly what she asked in the first place when she said “I wanna get down? I’m all done.” our reply has been “Please eat some more dinner. You cannot survive on fourteen peas and the juice from your steak!”

Although somehow she is growing, perhaps she absorbs nutrients through osmosis like a plant gleaning everything she needs from the squash smeared on her cheeks. This would explain her desperate need to cover as much of her skin as possible with food. My little weeds legs are poking out of all the little pants I planned for her to wear this spring and the next size up is falling off her hips. If she would just gain a little weight in the middle she'd be set for pants. Perhaps I need to give her a PB&J wrap accross the belly.