Jun 30, 2006

Ps and Qs

The parents carefully warned my then nine year old brother and his best friend Jeremy to be on their best behavior while spending the weekend at my Grandparent’s cabin. “Remember to use your ‘please’ and ‘thank you’” my Mother reminded them as she dropped them off. The boys were as polite as nine year old boys could be which became evident upon their tearing back and forth through Grandma’s galley kitchen while she was trying to make dinner. Finally she could stand no more and yelled “If you boys don’t stop running through here I’ll never get dinner finished!” to which Jeremy very politely replied “Oh, That’s ok Mrs. C. we’re not hungry anyway.”

Jun 29, 2006

The American Way?

In 1938 FDR establishes a minimum wage, Hitler is named Time magazine’s man of the year and the first Superman comic gets published. Things are easy, a bad guy wears a black hat and cat burglars wear masks over their eyes, you know right from wrong because your parents and your scout leader and your Sunday school teacher and Superman told you so.

Over the years Superman has came to represent everything that is wholesome and good about America. Orphaned as a baby and raised by good ol’ farmers, he doesn’t lie, he is decent, moral, honest, upright, law abiding, and trustworthy. He is in the same category as baseball, apple pie, the Statue of Liberty, puppies and jazz. He is an icon of America he is our mascot. He stands for Truth, Justice and All That… yeah that’s what the movie said… I saw
Superman Returns last night and the line is “Truth, Justice and All That”.

“The American Way” what did it mean when it was written and why don’t we say that Superman stands for The American Way? Is it possible we have sunk below Superman’s standards? Would Superman be ashamed of being for today’s The American Way? Would Superman be fighting against his own country in the name of fighting for Truth and Justice? What would Superman make of Guantanamo Bay? Our lack of involvement in Darfur? Our zeal in arguing over gay marriage all the while Hurricane Katrina displaced more than 2,300 foster children in Louisiana, and state officials say about 158 are still unaccounted for. Ok, maybe it wasn’t a political statement, perhaps it was just the same fun as the line “Look, it’s a bird, it’s a plane no it’s…...” funny because is just alludes to the original.

Perhaps we should throw reality out the window and say that Superman lives in a world were we only worry about a train derailing or a bank robber shooting at cops. It’s a nice little movie world made for children where the bad guys get caught and often throw their heads back with maniacal laughter after revealing evil plans. One were gangs and drugs don’t exist at all. Ok, I can escape to that world. I like that world, I still know what The American Way is in that world! Yes, I can totaly accept Metropolis... until... I had to watch Superman be in love with Lois Lane. If my brain has to reside in a wholesome universe were Superman isn’t fighting insurgents in Iraq then I absolutely refuse to believe he would love a woman who not only sleeps around before she’s married but smokes, treats Clark Kent like dirt and drags her child along to commit felonies (that would be breaking and entering into a known villain’s evil lair). I don’t buy it; Superman would fall in love with a woman who has more class, I just know it.

I give the movie 4 stars anyway because it made me cry and Lex Luther is awesomely evil.

Jun 28, 2006

9 Talents

Talents I have that are kind of pathetic

  1. My internal clock knows exactly when to stop fixing my sandwich and run back to the TV because the commercial is over
  2. I make fairly accurate snap judgments about people by assessing their shoes
  3. I have a super power called “guilt” activated with a heavy sigh or the phrase “Never mind”
  4. I am no longer self conscious about using the bathroom in front of an audience of family members
  5. I can change a poopy diaper with the one baby wipe I remembered to bring
  6. I can spot a good garage sale by doing a drive by
  7. I am totally invisible to boys between the ages of 14 and 27
  8. I can fully function on three hours of sleep as long as they are in a row
  9. I can put lipstick on by holding the tube of lipstick with my cleavage and yes, it was something I practiced

Jun 27, 2006

Short Calves, Slide Whistles & Activism

Raising WEG Posted a wonderful rant about little girls clothing called “I damn well blame the patriarchy, too”. In it she echoes my frustration with finding appropriate shoes for my very active healthy child who just happens to have two X chromosomes which doesn’t automatically mean we have to put her in tiny heels so her little Calf muscles and Achilles tendons shorten enough to walk comfortably in those Jimmy Choos when she's of breeding age. WEG even points out how flimsy little pink t-shirts are compared to rugged little blue t-shirts perpetuating the need to constantly buy more clothing for girls; “Imagine what might happen, if my daughters' Target t-shirts had held up to more than a season's worth of washings. Their drawers might be filled with two-year old t-shirts, as their brother's are -- and we certainly can't have that.” And don’t think that the implication of sun damage for our daughters goes unnoticed. It’s well written and exactly how I feel, so just go read it already.


Surfing Free posted a most hilarious piece entitled “Discoveries” that reminded me of the time we lived on Sherman Avenue and my brother and I were playing in the bathroom and found these really cool slide whistles under the sink. You just had to get the wrapper off and the stuffing out and then you could put the slide part back and to our delight there was a whole box of those pink whistles. We must’ve assembled 10 of them before my mom discovered what we were doing and got really mad. Ever after I always looked under the bathroom vanity to see if another box of whistles would appear.


Gen-Xers don't write songs of protest, we make movies...

America Freedom to Fascism

Road to Guantanamo

The War Tapes

Who Killed the Electric Car

Thank You For Smoking

My Muse

Title: Watcher
Medium: Pencil
Artist: Bombadee
June 26, 2006

Jun 26, 2006

Rock Star Weekend

I had a pretty overwhelmingly great weekend starting with a rock star. Way back in the 90s when I was creating art for a living my most favorite and famous patron was Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick. Bun E. is just a truly nice guy and he would always play drums for me when I can to drop off or pick work. He rarely asked for anything specific and so I had free reign of my paint and ya gotta love that. Gradually over the years I quit painting for a living and hanging out with musicians and artists, moved away and took a life that was more pedestrian, one in which people said “My, what a beautiful cake” instead of “Wow that’s a bad ass tattoo design”.

Before our big Memorial Day party this year, I cleaned house in a way that hasn’t been since we moved in and guess what I found… a lone drum head waiting for paint, given to me by Bun E. 7 years ago. In 7 years he moved and so had I and he’s not exactly listed in the phone book, I had no way to call him. So what else could I do but paint it and return it to him at a public appearance. The new album is called “Rockford”, so I put a
Rockford (Nelson Knitting) Sock Monkey on it and waited. Friday night Bun E. did a drum workshop at Guzzardo's Music Store.

We went and brought the drum head. The place was hot and packed with kids and enterprising drummers. Ella loved it; she wanted to play the bongos so bad during the workshop. We stood off to the side until afterwards and then we talked to Bun E. for a bit, gave him the drum head and left. Kind of anti climactic, I know. Hopefully he liked it, hopefully it’s a size that makes it usable this tour and hopefully you will spot it out and about this year. So if you see Cheap Trick this summer and you see the sock monkey drum, drop me a line and let me know.

What else this weekend? Boat rides, eating out, casinos, friends, family it was all great.

One of my drums on tour found through Google at Gingrich Photography

Bun E. Carlos 2006 in Rockford

Jun 25, 2006

Jun 24, 2006

Nature Calls

It's beautiful outside. I'm going to be out in the world today, catch all you bloggies later.

Photo from Worth1000

Jun 23, 2006

Ode to 346 Calories

Six crackers brown and crumbly,
Lie there very humbly.
Three marshmallows fluffy white,
Chewy sticky round and light.
Six chocolate squares,
Lined up in pairs.
Alone quite inconspicuous,
Together simply delicious.
Gooey yummy,
Sticky crumbly,
Tastes that I adore,
Makes me want s’more.

Jun 22, 2006

The Longest Day

How we spent our Summer Solstace

I took Ella to the park next to the big river yesterday. There was a nice cool breeze so despite the temperature in the 80s and almost 100 % humidity it was mostly nice. We looked at the ducks and ran and slid and swung and listened to several other parents yell at their children about how they should play. Now, I believe it’s really just your families business if you yell or have time outs, I really don’t care if you require your children to say “Yes, Ma’am”, “please” and “thank you” or weather you let them say “Gimmie that!” they are your kids – mess ‘em up how ever you like (within reason of course). I'm sure, personally am raising a precocious, domineering little person who hates to get her hands dirty. So to each their own, but I have a pet peeve about parents who want to control every muscle their kid flexes. Not only is it not very healthy for the kids imagination to be told how to play but it drives me insane to have someone you are chatting with stop mid sentence to yell “That’s not how you play with that!”, “Stop running!”, “Don’t swing so high!” and “You’re going to wear yourself out!” Yes, I heard all of these phrases yelled at the park yesterday and not all by the same people.

I’m not sure when society changed from ushering kids out into the neighborhood streets to play Tag and Kick-the-can and invent games involving worms and waffle ball bats to the current over-controlled Gymboree outing and I’m not saying either is terrible I’m just saying give your kid some space – you’re driving them and the rational parents around you mad when you say “Don’t sit like that, straighten up. Play with your cars now, but not like that honey they drive on the table and say ‘vroom’, look like this…no, no like this.” Can you say overbearing? How about early heart attack? Your kids are not our possesions, they are only given to us on loan from God*, please treat them as such.

*This is Rabbi Rabbi Shmuley Boteach's idea, and I like it.

Jun 21, 2006

Your Butt

When I’m annoyed and have to answer a question I don’t want to answer I often use ‘Up your butt’. I know, not very mature or very nice, but I gave up swearing, smoking, junky food, and watching R-rated entertainment of any type, I figured an occasional "butt” insult could be afforded to one frustrated Mom. It’s usage:

Me: Can you brush Ella’s hair please?
Dan: She’s gonna cry if I do it.
Me: She cries when I do it too, you just have to be extra gentle and fast
Dan: Heavy sigh
Me: Just do it
Dan: Where’s the hair brush?
Me: In the medicine cabinet
Dan: Which brush?
Me: The black one
Dan: Which black one?
Me: It doesn’t matter really
Dan: Where are her hair ties?
Me: In her jewelry box
Dan: Where’s her jewelry box?
Me: UP YOUR BUTT! Gah - never mind!

Unfortunately sometimes Ella takes things quite literally and so I had to cut the favored phrase from my lexicon, especially after this last exchange. I was working very hard on a painting trying to use up the last of the brown before it dried (I was working in acrylics) and trying to cover a mistake before it was all too permanent. Dan arrived home from work and asked “What’s for dinner?” to which I shot at him “Your butt! I don’t know give me a minute!” During the next few minutes Ella had a little break down. When I finished repairing my paint crisis and sat down with her, I asked her what was wrong. Her sobby reply, “I don’t want to eat booty, it’s gross.” Between stifled laughs Dan and I explained that I was kidding and I vowed to be more mindful of what I say - to EVERYONE in my family.


The song Ella sang today during lunch:
“My fairy lady locked me up, lock me up, lock me up, on the bridge, we are fall down”.

Jun 20, 2006

Happy Birthday Dan

Birthday Wishes for my Best Friend

I wish that you have a very busy morning where everything goes your way and the day just flies by
I wish that the lady who rings your lunch up will accidentally only charge you $1.50.
I wish you have some errands to run in the afternoon
I wish that you get the company car with the air conditioning
I wish you have a great idea while out driving solving a long thought about problem
I wish all your favorite songs to be on the radio
I wish someone will tell you a joke that will make you laugh until your sides hurt
I wish your meeting after work will be so productive you won’t have to think about it for the rest of the week
I wish for the house to be nice and cool when you get home tonight
I wish everything you bid on at e-bay will sell for starting bid - to you

I wish for something unexpected and wonderful to happen
I wish your next year on this planet to be twice as wonderful as this last year has been

I love you

Jun 19, 2006

It's 2006? Are You Sure?

Our little town has a cute little summer festival that I can no longer support. Before I comment further, read the article from the paper:

The Gazette
Serving the communities of Pecatonica, Seward, Winnebago, Durand
June 15th, 2006
Volume 133, Number 24
Page 12

Peeketolika Festival mascot naming winner announced

Pecatonica – The Pecatonica Improvement Association held a name the Peeketolika Mascot Contest at the Pecatonica Schools. The festival features an Indian Theme. Sixteen names were submitted with Tommy TeePee being chosen the winner. The name was submitted by Jeffrey Baker and he will receive a bag of coins on the children’s stage, in the Family TeePee, at the festival that will be held on June 23 and 24 at the Winnebago County Fairgrounds. The mascot will be played by members of the Pec Playhouse Youth Group. Other names submitted were: Chief Thunderbolt, Chief Magnifico, T.P. Pete, Petecolicico, Chief Pec Man, River Runner, Chief Peeketolika, Chief Keto, Chief Peeketo, Ronnoc, Noidam, Tommy Tee Pee, How-ee, Chief Featherhead, Chief Pecahotas, chief Wanna Win. The festival is sponsored by the P.I.A. for the purpose of offering not for profit groups to fund raise.

Peeketolika Mascot
The Peeketolika Festival mascot’s new name is Tommy TeePee. Shown is local student Jessica Barkdoll in the tee-pee and headdress. Tommy TeePee will be a featured attraction at the Peeketolika Festival on June 23 and 24.

I will not support the Peeketolika Festival solely because of their mascot “Tommy TeePee”. I find it incredibly offensive and bigoted and will not attend the event. I want to clarify that while events such as Festa Italiana and the Swedish Midsommer Festival are fun they do not promote degrading stereotypes against the wishes of the people they are trying to celebrate.

Shame on
Pecatonica Improvement Association for promoting this

Shame on
Pec Playhouse for participating

Shame on the
Winnebago County Fair Board for allowing it

Shame on the teachers who didn’t stop this

Shame on the
Pecatonica School Board for allowing such a contest promoting and teaching our children how to be racists. Racism is not a game.

The United States Commission on Civil Rights
Commission Statement on the Use of Native American Imagesand Nicknames as Sports Symbols Issued: April 13, 2001

Jun 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day!
To all the Dads in our lives.
Love, Jenny & Ella

Jun 17, 2006

Photoshop Fun

Here it's 5:00 and I am finally able to sit and write for a bit. Holiday weekends can be crazy for us sometimes.

I've got nothing,

and it's freaking 95 degrees,

and I'm tired from just thinking about any activity.

Ok, maybe I have a photo to post, sometimes I keep a thing or two in reserve for days such as this. A-HA!

Can you imagine how much easier my days would be if they looked like this? Or not, what a conundrum - I don't know if I could live with myself. Maybe only if we were telekinetic. Could you live with yourself - literally?

Jun 16, 2006

Mothers Unite

In response to the New York times article Breast-Feed or Else By Roni Rabin June 13, 2006, I post this from MomsRising.Org

"...Demand a ceasefire in the so-called “Mommy Wars.” Help send a strong message to the media that uses this headline grabbing fiction to divide women...

The Mommy Wars are a media concoction designed to sell magazines and to increase ratings. This distracts us from the real issues and unnecessarily divides mothers. Mothers in the paid labor force and mothers who are not have vastly more in common than what separates them. In fact, a majority of mothers who are out of the labor force ultimately go back to paid work.
Simplistic “us versus them” rhetoric does not reflect our experience and needs. This isn’t a playground and we don’t have to choose sides. The Mommy Wars promote ill will where we should be fostering connections. The truth is there are no sides.
Let the media show us programming that reflects our true needs. It’s time to focus on the real problems that average Americans face every day. A quarter of American families with children under six years old live in poverty. How about some in-depth feature coverage that explores solutions which benefit us all? Solutions such as quality universal pre-K and paid family leave for all workers who need time to care need more coverage. We spend more per person for health care than any other nation yet rank a low 37th for our mortality rate of children under five years old, and are the only Western nation without a national health program. These are just a few of the issues that impact all families and should be broadcast nationwide.
As a country we give lip service to family values, yet we fail to recognize the value of family care giving, and give only nominal social support.
It’s time to get the media’s attention and tell them they are missing the real story."

Enough of the cat fight - unite!

Jun 15, 2006

Watch for Deer

I really am a city girl at heart and it becomes apparent in my own mind every Wednesday night while driving home from my Mother’s house. You see she lives over the hills and through the woods in the next town over. It’s a 30 minute drive through the country from my small town to her large suburb and consequently a long and very dark ride home past a lot of weeds and cornfields with an occasional farm or silo. I am ever so more comfortable driving through the worst part of the city than these late night journeys through the country side. For starters in the city if your car breaks down and your cell is dead then you can go knock on the door of the house with the most manicured lawn and ask to use their phone, in the country you have to walk on the side of the road, past whatever dead thing is flattened out and festering in the gravel on the shoulder to the nearest homestead were you may have to track down some crabby farmer working in his barn. Worse yet, you can stay with your car were someone will pull over and offer you a ride home claiming they know your neighbors aunt’s second husband and therefore proving they are trustworthy enough to not kill you or molest you or talk to you about Jesus or Gays ruining America the whole way home. Let’s just say I keep my cell phone charged.

Then there’s the deer. Anyone who’s left our house has heard the phrase “Watch for deer” upon their departure, we say it so frequently, it’s a phrase mastered and used often by our two year old. Jamie & her daughter were leaving our house not that long ago and while we stood on the front porch Ella shouted “Thanks for coming and WATCH for DEER!” while they walked the whole one block to their house. Seriously, if you hit one just right it can total your car and then it may have the audacity to lie on the side of the road bleating in pain while you wish you had a gun rack in the back of your minivan for just such occasions. When you see their glowing eyes you just have to slow down as the whole herd is hanging about double-dog-daring each other to run out into the road. I think it’s like an extreme sport for Bambi, I imagine after a particularly close call, the daredevil deer is standing in the next field over laughing and saying to his deer buddies “Damn what a rush! Who’s next? I see more headlights! Wahoo!” This constant scanning in the weeds next to the road makes me a little jumpy. It’s just field and field and field going by and you start to see shadows and sometimes a mailbox has a little reflective tape on it and you’re nerves amp up to high alert waiting to see if the reflection moves. It’s just not as relaxing as driving under pleasant predictable neon glow of street lamp every 100feet.

Then there are all the Stephen King books, camp fire horror stories and urban legends to keep one’s mind busy when driving through a veritable Midwestern desert known as prairie. The legend of the Corn Monster and all those UFO sightings and of course the totally true one about that woman who was raped and murdered and left in a ditch and now her naked ghost hitchhikes on Trask Bridge Rd. wearing only a red scarf around her neck, are all enough to scare the beejesus out of a city girl but if you add a little fog to that and then drive slow and scan, scan, scan for deer you can just poke me in the rib and watch the grey hairs appear before you. Give me a monster I can see over the one’s I can imagine any day. At least I can hand my keys over to a carjacker and report my credit cards stolen later, I don’t even know what the Corn Monster wants other than to claw me to shreds, and drag me screaming into the fields to suck on my eyeballs.

Dan wonders why I have to stay up on Wednesday nights to wind down before I can get to sleep.

Photo from www.billemory.com

Jun 14, 2006


When going to bed:
"I love you when I sniff you and I kiss you"

While Mom is dancing:

Just in general:
"You don't eat me, I'm gross"

Jun 13, 2006

Trump Possible Nihilist?

I may have already mentioned that we are taking our vacation in September and renewing our vows in Las Vegas. As a result Dan has been reading Casino Player magazine in an attempt to learn how to break the casino. I think the magazine is great for all different reasons, I mean knowing that one should stand on a 16 against a dealer's 10 if one has drawn 3 cards is I'm sure the rule that will lead us to millions but I also like to read about all the places to eat and dance and see art you know all the things my husband doesn't even know happens in Las Vegas because he is so blinded by the clay chips. I swear to you I have heard him say "what lions... I didn't see any lions." while we were at MGM.

Ok, well Dan's been reading Casino Player and I casually peruse it but the first thing I noticed this month is how much the people on the front look like us in that weird kind of "if we were ever casting our characters in a TV miniseries" kinda way. I guess I'm trying to say this is the Crest commercial version of me and Dan right here.

Next thing I noticed (because Dan opened it up and said look at this) was the article about Trump Taj Mahal Casino on page 145. It looks seriously posh, but there is a nightclub that is seriously... well... let's just say not. It started out good, first of all I would totally visit a night club called the Casbah with big pink words proclaiming Rock the Casbah written in neon across the bar, but then I saw the picture. Either Trump's hired some Nihilist to wonder about and cool up the place or this is the most pathetic disco ever suddenly making it a must see.

Ok, we shall zoom in so you can all see the shiny silver pants on the... ehem... person making the funky disco face next to the girl walking like an Egyptian in her snake skin camel toe huggers.

Um yeah, go ahead click on the picture; look at this train wreck up close. I was already planning what to wear to this bastion of bad taste and everything Trump when I realized it's in Atlantic City NJ. My wedding reception thwarted by proximity problems - damn.

Lunch - Portrait of a Small Town

Bath time, breakfast, blogging and getting dressed happened before we knew it and soon we were walking downtown for lunch at our little diner. The lunch special today was tuna melt and bean ham soup for $5.00. We’ve learned if the special sounds good - order it, you’ll get it sooner than anything else because the big guy in the back dressed in all white is ready to cook it and fast. The soup came immediately along with an extra mismatched bowl ready for Ella’s portion of soup and an ice cube. All the dishes there are mismatched, after the last fire they just didn’t have the heart to buy another set and so it seems they picked up what they could and took donations filling in the rest leaving every table looking like some wild country jazz classical fusion of pottery, glass and china.

I looked around the little eatery to see the same sort of mix happening, an old retired gal with the standard old lady perm and reading glasses checking out the local weekly paper, her nylon socks pulled just up to her knees beginning at the hem of her flowered polyester skirt and ending inside her orthopedic shoes, she smile and waved at Ella when we walked in, I’m sure she knows who I am yet I couldn’t match a name with her and it really doesn’t matter, we smile and wave at everyone here. Her paper thin skin showed a bruise on the forearm; no doubt a recently removed IV caused it. She sat nearest the window to witness every event on Main Street no matter how insignificant, it would be talked about later at coffee clutch, she would say “I saw that Danny’s wife today with their little girl in the diner, good looking baby but her mother, she had a hole in the knee of her jeans, shame people don’t know how to sew a patch anymore…”

To my left towards the back was the typical working guy, you can imagine his name was Mac or Henry, he had a baseball cap with the name of a fertilizer embroidered on the front, the bill was curved perfectly to frame his forehead and was even a little frayed, clean but frayed it could’ve been a archetype for the ones they are selling at Abercrombie & Fitch except those Abercrombie kids would never do half the work Mac had done to get his hat like that. He wore a cotton work shirt, the grey kind with a patch over the pocket I couldn’t see, the sleeves rolled up past his elbows and tucked into a pair of jeans held up by a veritable utility belt. On it was a tape measure, a cell phone, a buck knife (none of that sissy Swiss Army crap) and a hook for an absent hammer under that belt hanging half way out of a back pocket a red handkerchief and of course well broken in leather work boots. His face had stubble and wrinkles and a smile for our waitress who brought him heaps of beef, potatoes, apple pie and coffee. What I watched Mac eat for lunch I think I could’ve served my whole family for dinner, but he wasn’t fat – not Mac, you knew he would work all that off this afternoon doing whatever it was he did.

We were the last part of the mix we were neither country nor classical, neither pottery nor china… we were the jazz, we were glass; so completely new and strange to the ol’ diner but still wholly appropriate. We were both dressed in blue jeans, sandals, red t-shirts and sunglasses. I carried a little brown messenger bag filled with $10.00, a diaper, a sippy cup, my cell phone, my digital camera, a pencil, and the crossword. We ambled in ate our soup, the best tuna melt in all of Northern Illinois, some peach slices and pickles in that order. We paid for our $5.00 special and left a $2.00 tip on the table waved and smiled at the old lady again on the way out and made our way to the park by the river to try and work off our lunch on the merry-go-round.

Jun 12, 2006

Jun 10, 2006

Lone Wolf

I’m going grocery shopping today at the big grocery in the next town over. by. my. self. They have wonderful produce and today I’ll be able to REALLY shop without anyone in the cart manhandling the fruit before we get to check out. I’m going to get a cappuccino for the way home and on my radio someone will NOT sing about kitty cats and the number five and I’m going to turn it up very loud – maybe the Kinks or Marilyn Manson. I may even challenge some other unsuspecting lady to a minivan drag race on the way home.

Jun 9, 2006

Waiting to Exhale

What happened to us yesterday? We were shanghaied off to our local water park for a day of sunscreen and chlorine. Upon arrival we found a long line of teenagers rolling their eyes and waiting to escape the grip of their parents and hoping to go snog with each other in some hidden grotto. Behind them were a line of parents rolling their eyes and waiting to escape the grip of their nine year olds and hoping to go read a book in some quiet hidden grotto. Then there were a handful of us excited and happy to be hanging with our toddlers.

Our dear friends Heather-M and her two sons Cutie (age 5) and Cutie-pie (age 2) arrived shortly after us (thanks for the extra ticket M Family) and Punky Mom and her brood arrived later. Heather suggested we begin in the wave pool, meander around to the other attractions ending at the toddler pool. She said once we arrive at the toddler pool the giant frogs and tiny slides steeped in 6 inches of water will beckon our children like sirens and we will be held captive in the midday heat for the rest of the expedition. I agreed, the last time I had visited the water park I was wearing a bikini small enough to floss with and there was only the wave pool and a single water slide, she held season tickets and so she knew better than I.

After paying a small fortune for a tiny locker and stowing as much of our gear as we could we made our way to the faux seashore. The waves run in 15 minute intervals meaning 15 on and 15 off and when we arrived they were off. Ella was delighted with the “big-big pool” until the waves began at which point she clung to me like an octopus until I waded back inland so just our ankles felt the ebb and flow of chlorine and finally she relaxed her grip. We soon retreated to our tiny base camp under a plastic coconut tree to forage for cheese squares and juice boxes and reapply our sunscreen for the four hundred and eighth time.

The next adventure was the Lazy River. It has all the white trash charm of toobin’ down a river only without beer, mud, cut off shorts or turtles. I loved it. Ella and I went around that little Beverly Hillbilly river enough times to notice a nest of baby birds under the foot bridge and 4 baby ducks in the reeds next to the life guard stand. I could’ve floated around in that big yellow donut all day but Ella grew weary and it was inevitable she was feeling the lure of the toddler’s play area. I attempted to divert her attention with the giant play island but the kids that played there were wild and unruly I think I clearly saw one tan sinewy boy push a smaller plumper one towards the edge of the plastic cliff urging him to walk the plank and when I saw a group of boys trying to make fire with Piggy’s glasses I knew Ella was a little young for the clutches of Jack and Simon and we departed for shallower water.

The toddler pool is ingenious. Giant foam frogs and snakes and slides wading in six inches of cool clean bubbling water surrounded by lounge chairs filled with women in tankinis and short hair reading books and encircling all of it an un-climbable fence with a childproof gate. Ella rode the giant snake while I looked around to discover, not a single flat, tan, pierced tummy in sight and there were even a few Daddy types happily splashing around oblivious to nurslings latched on to exposed breasts shoreside. These were natives I could live with. I finally exhaled and sat down with my feet in the water where we spent the rest of the day, relaxing among the good people of Wet Willy's Little Lagoon.

Jun 8, 2006

Pirate Booty

We've got the wind in our jowls and adventure afoot, there will be stories to enlighten and entertain soon, just not this morning. Right now I am out doing something worth blogging about. I shall return with a heaping pile of valuable bloggy treasure - or at the very least a sunburn. So please stay tuned.

Jun 7, 2006

No Spell Check Today

It might surprise you people to know I am an atrocious speller. I learned to read very young as a result of phonics and when I had to learn things like when to use a 'w' vs. when to use a 'wh' my brain some how made connections that cause me to misspell things all the time.

Here's the kicker - it's not the big words I misspell it's the little ones. Today I am typing this post without spell check. To prove to you I can spell the big words I will now attempt to spell the hardest words I know. Please stand back while I put my safety helmet on: hippopotamus, moustache, vacuum, millennium, and pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. TAADAA!

Now I will attempt some smaller words:

wich which - both of those look right to me and now that I have looked at them this long, I can’t tell you wich/which is right.

tomorrow tommorow tommorrow tomarrow - I have no clue, lets just say Thursday and be done.

humorouse humorous - In fact anything ending in 'ous' or 'ouse' confuses me.

It's like being able to jump the Grand Canyon on roller skates but falling on your tush/toosch/tusch(???) while trying to maneuver the cracks in the sidewalk.


Go read Tater Tot's Thoughts today and give her some support.

Jun 6, 2006

The Post that May Offend

She called strictly in a social capacity and we gabbed for some time. Considering the age difference, we had lots to talk about; she’s a writer of children’s books looking for an illustrator, she lives in an underground home, her kids don’t appreciate the antiques she so adores, she fell and hurt her back recently, I have allergies she had them. We had been talking for about an hour and I was thinking how cool this all was when she said she knew how I could get rid of my allergies. I told her to lay it on me she told me how she wrestled with Satan and defeated him one afternoon in her car while driving down a dirt road. There was much crying out and yelling things like “I rebuke you! In the name of... (Insert all kinds of religious text here)”…

The woman, whom I had barely met, whom I was making friends with on the phone, just casually mentioned that she duked it out with Satan one afternoon and now her allergies were gone and that she highly recommends it. I was stunned. I’m never sure what to say when someone announces the super natural like they are reading a grocery list. There was no preface, no “You may not believe this but I swear it’s totally true…”

Now, I want you bloggies to understand that I respect a large variety of religions and beliefs, being a democrat, raised by hippies – there is no other way, but I just about choked on my coffee that afternoon. What does one say? “Well, good for you.” Is what awkwardly fell out of my mouth. I still like her and will talk with her again for sure, but now I have an idea about where she’s coming from. I suppose if I had wrestled with such a formidable opponent I might want to casually brag about it too, but I can’t help but want to keep my most obscure beliefs in my pocket until asked about them and you will get a little speech about the relativity of Truth and Religion before I show them to you. My point? I will be relying on Allegra this allergy season.

Jun 5, 2006

Snippets from the weekend

Judo Boy: I drew her and me, see?
Me: Yes, I see you drew her eyelashes
Judo Boy: Yes, she loves me so much they are on fire.

(Later) Me to Dan: I love you so much my eyelashes are on fire.


Dan: No comments from the peanut gallery?
Me: Like what?
Dan: Nice drivin’… Gross …. Something
Me: Oh honey, the way you avoid dead raccoons in the road is so impressive it makes me more attracted to you than ever before


Ella: That’s my giraffe, he talks to me
Me: What does he say?
Ella: Give Ella a cookie


Bad News Hughes Link to post that made me laugh so hard I drooled. (Rated NC-17, but all text so feel free to read in front of the kids as long as they aren't reading over your shoulder)

Jun 4, 2006

Why I Can Never be on Survivor

I’m blind. I wear contacts, but without them I am doomed. When the eye doctor says “Read the uppermost line on the chart” I say “Am I pointing towards the chart? I think I faintly see a grey smudge on the wall… oh, that’s you Doctor.” My glasses are very thick, when I was a kid I always had a little bump on my nose where my glasses sat and calluses above my ears and I could never pick the cute little wire frames I wanted. I was always shown over to the case with the big plastic frames that would hold lenses thick enough to burn ants in 2 seconds flat. Even now I try to pick ultra chic lenses but they just look icky once I get my great hunks of glass fitted into them and yes, I even pay the extra for the feather weight stuff. I’m telling you I can’t read my watch without my lenses. So only when my eyes are tearing up and screaming at me “Get these contacts off we need oxygen NOW!” do I get my glasses out. I try to wait until Sunday's because I could never drive with my glasses on. My world bends into a giant fish-bowl, I stub my fingers and toes on everything thinking the world is further away than it actually is, the floor bends in a permanent down hill slope wherever I go making it impossible to comfortably look at my feet while walking and Dan and Ella morph into my very own life size Bratz-Dolls with their giant heads and eyes boggling all around the house. It’s like being stuck in a Tom Petty video, it gives me a headache. Someday I’ll save up to have them shoot lasers into my eyes and carve them back into shape and even then I’ll probably still need glasses but maybe then I can get something in a cute little wire frame. But until then I'll just spend my Sundays in my fish bowl.

Jun 3, 2006

The Curly Slide for Big Kids

Ella approached the top of the giant curly slide with trepidation. She sat with her feet dangling into the shute trying to work up the courage to start her decent when she slipped and slid down without being ready. On the way down she yelled to me “Help! Help!” With her feet firmly planted in the gravel at the bottom of the slide she announced “That was a little scary, but it was fun” and began to make the long arduous climb back up to the top. Again with feet hanging into the slide the anticipation was unbearable, she talked to herself “It’s kinda scary, but it’s fun… but it’s BIG BIG BIG…” finally she concluded “nope it’s toooo curly” as she stood up to trace her steps back down the jungle gym.

Bombadee’s Having the Best Week EVER

Sunday: Appeared in the news paper
Monday: Giant Party at my house walked in the parade, threw handfuls of candy

Tuesday: Slept in
Wednesday: Anderson Gardens and Riverhawks grand opening
Thursday: Met the guys from Found Magazine
Friday: Krepe Park (picnic, carousel, ducks), swimming, date with husband at bookstore/coffee shop acoustic guitar
Saturday: Picnic in Oregon

Jun 2, 2006

Unexpected Night Out

I put Ella to bed and picked up Punky Mom. We entered Krypto Music Lounge at about 9:30 and were delighted to watch some art films until 10:15. “Ok class, were going to watch a film strip” came above the crowd from somewhere in the room and the format of our entertainment changed. We watched a film strip called “Our Changing Bodies” narrated by a lady in the crowd. About the time I finished my drink our host walked over to our table and asked us to pick the next filmstrip. It was a toss up between “Paul Bunyan”, “The Wonderful Uses of Radiation” or “Personal Hygiene and You”. We picked “Personal Hygiene and You” and at Punky Mom's insitance, I narrated. “Ladies, comb your hair until it shines like a halo”.

I ordered coffee and watched the Found guys unload their minivan outside the plate glass we sat next to. At about 11:00 Davy took the stage and started reading found notes and talking about the trip across the country. We ate it up. His brother took the stage and sang a few songs culminating the mini concert with “The Booty Don’t Stop”. A few more finds read and then some from the audience and they were good. One fella took the stage and handed over a trunk filled with someone’s life’s treasures he had found on a bus he bartered for. They opened the trunk for the first time and splayed the items out onto the stage – it was interesting and sad. We all gathered around the things and took mental notes. Does anyone in those pictures look familiar? Is the handwriting identifiable? We peered into the top drawer of someone’s soul; ballet slippers, one baby shoe, stacks of unrecognizable photos, a diary, a statue of Mary, a dress… sad.

I talked with Davy for a bit, he remembers most of the finds and everyone standing near told him about their favorites. Mine is a little egg with an eyelet hinge on the side, when opened a little chicken was there. It was entitled "Joy". I saw it on the website in 2002 and stole the image. I imagine it was some 3rd graders art the project that fell out of his backpack on the way home. I looked for it on the website - it's gone and I had the image on C drive three computers ago. So there you have it "Joy" is lost.

Punky Mom bought a CD, I bought issue #3 of Found. I asked Davy for a picture and an autograph and I handed him my meager boring ol grocery list found in a pocket. He thanked me and we left. It was great.

Jun 1, 2006


“We need a pitcher not a belly itcher!” Came the yells from the freckled boys sitting next to us. I looked to the two year old sitting on my lap expecting her to repeat, she didn’t she was enthralled by the cup holders and their holder-ness. I love watching baseball, but only at the stadium. Put one on TV and it’s strictly Yawnsville. Baseball moves at a speed designed for swigging beer and munching nachos. Plus the game starts with the whole crowd belting out the national anthem, hats in hands and over hearts, young and old, bearded chin or botoxed brows we all sing together in earnest. It makes me cry every time – every time. I’m not one who cries at movies easily or even upon a reading those Chicken Soup for the Soul books – but damn if a crowd of people singing the The Star Spangled Banner does turn my into a soppy mess before the rockets red glare. I have no explanation for this – none. All I know is if I were ever acting in a movie I wouldn’t need those eye drops to help me cry and I wouldn’t need the director to make me think about something sad I would just need the camera crew to sing.


Yesterday we went to Anderson Gardens with Punkymom and her family.

Later we attended the grand openeing of the new RiverHawks stadium.

The Rockford Peaches were in attendance

Our day ended like this