Oct 31, 2007

Still Sparkly

I spent whole summers stubbornly wearing my favorite blue jeans so I don’t know why I am fighting it when Ella gets up every morning and peels her PJs off to adorn herself with one of her many princess dresses. This child would rather shiver in tulle than revel in denim and somehow that feels like a personal affront to me. I’m sure these aren’t the last fights we’ll have about her dress but I didn’t think I would have to argue about it so soon. When we started discussing Halloween I braced myself for the expensive foofy princess dress with tiny plastic high heels (ug) and sparkly tights and a crown. Behold the chosen Halloween costume:

“Princesses aren’t scary” - Ella


Halloween 2007

Oct 30, 2007

literary work based on the imagination and not necessarily on fact

I got an e-mail from an acquaintance about how awful the new movie The Golden Compass is going to be for our children to watch. She writes (or probably actually just forwards)

“…it is based on a trilogy of children's books about killing God. (It is the anti-Narnia). The series is called HIS DARK MATERIALS and it is written by Phillip Pullman of England , a man who has been described as the writer “atheists would have been praying for, if atheists prayed.” It “follows the adventures of a streetwise girl who travels through multiple worlds populated by witches, armor- plated bears and sinister ecclesiastical assassins to defeat the oppressive forces of a senile God.””

My response? So what, its fiction. Also monsters don’t really go to work under children’s beds, jumping out a window and flying away to live next to mermaids doesn’t work even while thinking happy thoughts and singing orphans rarely get adopted by millionaires who employ mystical superheroes from India. Come on people, its entertainment not church and if you are teaching your kids to find spiritual guidance in every movie they see, then you have bigger problems than The Golden Compass.

While I may not bring Ella to see the movie, it’ll have more to do with its actual content not its storyline. She hasn’t seen The Chronicles of Narnia yet ether. It’s rated PG and there’s a particularly freaky scene filled with creepy greasy animals who ritualistically kill someone on screen. It’s a little graphic for my kid who thinks that crossing your eyes and sticking your tongue out at her is a little scary.

Dan and I will probably go see The Golden Compass, and sans graphic violence Ella will get to see it. If we disagree with the message she gets from it, get this… we’ll talk to her about it. (gasp!)

Oct 29, 2007


I watched Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette last night and investigated some French history shortly after it was over. I had to know what happened between the end of the movie and the end of her life and what happened to her children. It’s not very often a movie inspires me to actually read history so kudos. I also had no idea that Marie Antoinette never said “Let them eat cake,” commenced French couture fashion industry as we know it and supported the American’s effort in our shared revolt of the English, further dwindling the French economy and contributing to the starvation of her country people and giving rise to Napoleon.

Attention History teachers! Wanna get teenage girl’s minds on the French and American revolution? Start with this movie.

Oct 27, 2007


A few weeks ago in Oregon, IL Ella and I attended the fall festival parade and then waked down to the court house and looked at all the country crafts, ducks and lambs and cut outs of ladies bending over in the garden, things I normally wouldn't buy. However in the same vein that propels me to always spend at least .25 cents at any garage sale I stop at, I decided to buy a box of honey with the wax comb still in it.

Oh heaven, in a plastic box! At least twice a week now I feel the urge to run a butter knife under hot water until it’s warm enough to slice a row of octagonal honey comb to shovel whole into my mouth, experiencing the instant sugar rush of joy. It’s the organic equivalent of standing in front of the pantry whilst squeezing large sums of syrup into your mouth straight from the top of Mrs. Butterworth’s head (which I may or may not have done before.) But it’s organic so it must be good for me right? It’s like the hippie version of those little wax bottles filled with colored sugar water we used to get at the Park-it Mark-it for a nickel. Only I paid $7.00 for my chunk of sweet sticky liquid filled wax, so maybe that makes it the yuppie version, or maybe the organic suburban mom version, although my child thinks it’s “not very yummy” and she’s rather have a piece of cheese so I suppose it’s just makes it my own weird addiction. Soon I’ll be standing in Farmer Newcomb’s back forty wearing my wedding veil, a snowmobile suit and dishwashing gloves exhaling Newport 100s into his bee boxes trying to score more H.

Oct 26, 2007

Loud House

It’s taken ten years to get used to all the strange sounds our house makes and sometimes it still gives a start. It’s very tall wooden building and when the wind blows real hard it creaks like the inside of a boat from one end of the house to the other traveling at a rate that sounds like footsteps from the south end to the north end of the floor. When the heat kicks on the ductwork expands it sound exactly like someone walking front the front door eastward to the kitchen. The click click click of heels on wood is especially disconcerting across a carpeted floor. My husband lived here for some time before we bought the house so he knew every noise before I moved in. I on the other hand in addition to sometimes sleeping with the lights on made him ‘go investigate’ a lot. I’ve settled into it quite well now having investigated plenty of noises myself but it’s always made it extremely hard when someone comes to house-sit or when the furnace guy keeps hearing a mysterious moans from the hallway in the basement. After ten years I am utterly convinced this house is absolutely not haunted, it’s just old and creaky and loud and sometimes that's funny.

Oct 24, 2007

Eight Hour Holiday

I dreamt I was at the ocean side and everyone was speaking Spanish. Dan and I were showing Ella a small water tank in the middle of a park containing a single red lobster and a single red shrimp. When she pushed the button on the side of the tank lobster food fell from the top of the tank. Small water worn pebbles placed end to end formed a beautiful walkway in a circle around the tank and flanking that were bushes of green moss and more meandering walkways, one leading to our airy cottage and another leading down to a spiral jetty with water clear and blue splashing rhythmically against the white rocks. We were suddenly in a hurry to get to the wedding reception far up on the cliff among the casinos on the promenade.

We walked up the rocks and found our seats at the reception just before they wheeled in the racks of clothes. Each table of guests carefully walked to the endless racks of gowns and suits and tuxedos and carefully picked a new garment. The mood was jubilant as everything fit everyone perfectly. Dan and Ella found a tuxedo and a most perfect gold dress both very flattering. My Grandma found a maroon silk and beaded gown that seamed to cinch in just the right places. I looked down to find myself wearing a black thick wool pencil skirt and a pink knit double breasted sweater with a yellow stain on the front. I buttoned it up the other direction so the stain was on the inside and someone walking by commented about how perfectly the outfit suited me.

Next we were dancing and playing cards, and deciding which grotto to visit to order more clams and scallops. We sat at tall tables on tall chairs flipping cards up and pushing chips towards the middle, occasionally pulling some back in, laughing with recognizable strangers while snapping photos. Wine glasses clinking in the background and the warm golden hue of the setting sun against the maroon tones of the room seemed to make the different languages sink deep within the velvet we were sitting on.

In the twilight of the evening we walked back to the seaside. Meandering up pathways elusive and familiar I knew the way home but couldn’t articulate it when trying to hard to think about which way to turn. Down limestone stairs, through a short tunnel under the roadway, back up limestone stairs, out into a memorial field of beautiful green moss with sun bleached headstones jutting up in spiral patterns seeming to point again to the ocean. I had to resort to watching the ocean rise and fall with the waves and letting me feet have their own way to navigate back to the rented cottage.

Then the dream was breaking up into chunks and Ella was saying something about breakfast.

Oct 23, 2007

Golden Bonus Day

This morning after waking up to pancakes and coffee, (thanks honey) we stepped outside onto Main St. to walk the two blocks to school, my daughter told me today was a “golden bonus day.” From the looks of things I think she is right, today is indeed above and beyond my usual blessings. I think I will look at this point in my life and say "Now THAT! was a great time!" but I say that as often as I say "This is my favorite age!" about my daughter. So I'm not sure if I just find the good or if the good has found me, perhaps one follows the other.

Though I have lots of work to do today I will slip on Pandora Radio (Thanks KTJ Love this!) and like a modern Disney princess I will boogie while I work and the birds will land in the windowsills and jam out with me and the dog will help me put the toys in the toy box and I will be drawn with flawless skin and an unaturaly almost deformed tiny waist and huge bossom.

…Ok, seriously birds are landing on the windowsill this morning.

Oct 22, 2007

Own SprintNextel Corp (S) - Sell it!

Phone update: we got it all figured out (in the store) but I suggest if you own stock in SprintNextel Corp. (S) sell it. Their customer service is the worst. No wonder in 2005 their stock was down 4.8 and in 2006 a whopping 10.4 and this year to date they are down 5.8. Yikes! I see why. Sprint execs feel free to e-mail me if you want some valuable feed back at Bombadee(at)verizon(dot)net.

Also read:
- Sprint PCS The Clear Alternative to Customer Service
- The Pain! The Agony! Sprint Sucks
- Sprint sucks
- SprintBlows.com- Quotes from real SPRINT PCS customers
- Identity leak with Sprint wireless
- Why Sprint-Nextel is losing customers

Oct 21, 2007

Sleepy Hollow

"...Farther on he beheld greatfields of Indian corn, with its golden ears peeping from theirleafy coverts, and holding out the promise of cakes and hasty-pudding; and the yellow pumpkins lying beneath them, turning uptheir fair round bellies to the sun, and giving ample prospectsof the most luxurious of pies; and anon he passed the fragrantbuckwheat fields breathing the odor of the beehive, and as hebeheld them, soft anticipations stole over his mind of daintyslap-jacks, well buttered, and garnished with honey..." -Washington Irving

Oct 19, 2007

Chop Suey

I’ve recently become obsessed with Edward Hopper paintings. His “Rooms by the Sea” spent an entire summer as wallpaper on my computer screen last year and I keep coming back to his paintings. This morning I pasted up “Early Sunday Morning” I don’t know if it’s the simplistic modern feel to his subjects or the color palate or the substantial shape of his strokes I love so much. His paintings present a certain amount of solitude and dignity that reminds me of a whole generation of people that didn't have Jerry Springer or Blogger, a whole era that put it's ego in the back seat for two wars that demanded the front. So maybe I like Hopper so much because of the romanticized feelings I have about the people I know that grew up during that time period. The stoic face my grandparents held during times of upheaval in my life sometimes helped me find a solid place to be.

Oct 18, 2007

let's see what happens

October 18, 2007

Sprint Nextel Corporation
c/o Jeff

Re: New Sprint service

To whom it may concern,

My husband and I ordered a two year contract last week and are experiencing problems with exchanging one of the phones we ordered. I’ve spent countless hours navigating your customer service phone lines, we still have no resolution. The Customer Service Department transfers me over to the Tele Sales Department who transfers me over to the Web Support Department who says I need to speak with someone in Customer Service. Among this circular journey I traveled no less than five time (just this morning) I’ve occasionally taken a detour to Web Sales, Corporate Headquarters, Oder Support and we even took a drive to Sprint Store in the next city over (45 minutes away) on the advice of a representative at National Sales Support. I spent just today from 8am to 1:30pm this afternoon navigating this quagmire and instead opted to contact corporate sales for resolution ultimately putting me in touch with Jeff.

I simply would like to return my KRZR for a Fusic like the one my husband received. The KRZR doesn’t deliver what is promised on the website however my husband and I both really like the Fusic. We would like to keep the contract we signed up for however we expect to be able to successfully exchange equipment for the equipment we choose, especially within the first week of service. Please aid us with this simple exchange or we will regrettably cancel our service and take whatever future business elsewhere as well as encourage all of our friend’s family and coworkers to avoid Sprint/Nextel.

Thank You,

Oct 16, 2007


It’s getting cooler outside and that persuades me to read. So I have a couple I am working on and the book I find I'm reading very slowly so I may relish every word is

Winkie “...begins with the capture and wounding by a SWAT team of the eponymous, sentient teddy bear in a backwoods cabin; the team thinks it has captured a mad bomber. In jail, Winkie, who no one denies is a teddy bear, must contend with cruel jailers; his stuttering, court-appointed lawyer named Unwin; the 9,678 counts of everything from treason to witchcraft he's charged with; and the intersection of his life with that of the previous possessor of the cabin, an old humanities professor whose bombs never worked. While marking time, Winkie contemplates his past: his ownership by the Chase family, his loneliness when on a shelf, his magical awakening to life one morning—marked by a bowel movement so lovingly described that it recalls Bloom's in Ulysses. The sections devoted to Winkie's trial is a minor masterpiece of ridiculousness, in which the prosecution's move to end the trial after it has presented its side sounds uncomfortably close to what we read in the newspapers…”

I find this book excruciatingly tragic and lovely. Please, understand that I was a child who named every stuffed animal in my room and made sure each one was kept comfortable and well hugged for the good of the very universe. And as an adult I secretly think that if a sock gets lost in the laundry the unmatched sock is actually sad about the loss of its mate. I know this is borderline OCD or something, but here’s the thing… there are whole religions based on the idea that everything in the world has a soul, so it’s not that weird right? Don’t answer that.

So anyway, today Ella and I went with friends to the Build a Bear Workshop at the mall where Ella and the Bear Lady lovingly placed a tiny electronic “beating heart” inside her bear and filled her with wads of fluffy soft stuffing while making a promise to keep “Brookklyn the Wonder Bear" safe and give her lots of hugs. The fluffy haired grandma that worked at build a bear was so excellent at her story weaving both Ella and I were buying it hook line and sinker (Yes, I can hardly wait for Christmas!) Wide eyed and believing Ella placed her wish for ice cream inside Brookklyn’s back and sealed it up with a quick kiss and more sparkles of belief shining through her eyes. When the Bear Lady looked at me from the corner of her eyes and I nodded, she told Ella she was sure her wish would come true right after dinner, I got choked up. I wondered if she would hug Brookklyn enough. I wondered how long Ella would believe her easy wishes for ice cream would always come true. I wondered if Brooklyn would remember the day she was born like Winkie does.

I want to give the book to the Bear Lady after I finish with it. What would she make of a random mom walking in and handing her a book about a teddy bear arrested for terrorist activity? Would she read it? Would it taint her love for her job? Would she relish it and know she will cry at the end like I know I will? Would my bear “Yogi” recognize me if I found him?

Oct 14, 2007

We Are Family

I woke up yesterday morning and walked four miles. Now before you get all impressed with my motivation, don’t. I participated in one of the breast cancer walks where we all wear pink and raise money. Our team did great and my family and friends really contributed a wonderful amount. I heard the whole event raised over $130,000.00. To those that gave - Thank you for contributing and if anyone gives you crap about not doing the dishes or taking the garbage out (or whatever it is you totally slacked off about) yesterday, you just tell them you were busy trying to cure cancer.


I’m ordering tickets to the Broadway show Annie tomorrow. Dan said he’d buy if he didn’t have to take us and I took that deal. Ella and I will dress up in something fabulous and go eat someplace equally sparkly and magnificent and then we’ll walk into the “crown jewel of Rockford,” the golden rococo filled palace that is the Coronado and find our way to our red velvet seats hopefully in the first row of the upper balcony and then proceed to argue about sitting still and keeping hands to ourselves and not talking loud and not throwing candy over the railing and not taking your shoes off and not missing the song and not making eight trips to the bathroom and not kicking my seat and not singing “Tomorrow” until after the show is done. It’ll be an amazing girl’s night out and hopefully I’m wrong about half of my predictions.


Our dog threw her back out last night and I had to carry her up the stairs, poor thing. She couldn’t turn left all last night. Ella considers the dog the “last of the family.” When I asked her to explain she exasperatedly informed me that she herself is “The Beginning,” I am “Second,” Dad is “South,” and the dog is “The Last.” That explains the sleeping arrangements we endure, with Ella across the middle of the bed and me next to her, Dan hanging off the side almost falling next to the dog cuddled deep into the dirty clothes pile on the floor. Although the dirty clothes pile is usually pretty cushy, as the dogs rearranges it as needed and as the pile changes. Last night because she threw her back out, I actually fluffed the dirty clothes pile for her and laid a blanket over it creating a nice little stinky bed for the dog. She wagged gratefully before she groaned and walked awkwardly to the right in a circle and plopped down. I think she’s feeling a little better today, I know because she's turning left again.

Oct 11, 2007

Non Toxic Living

I heard a story on NPR about the toxicity of sunscreen. Apparently I’ve been rubbing carcinogens into Ella’s skin for three years. Yikes!

Healthy Child says: “Common sunscreen ingredients are suspected or known carcinogens and/or hormone disrupters, including diethanolamine, triethanolamine (DEA, TEA), padimate-o, octyl dimethyl PABA, benzophenone, oxybenzone, homosalate, octyl-methoxycinnamate (octinoxate), salicylates, and parabens.

So I’ve gotten to thinking about all the things I rub onto my face, makeup has been described by Dr. Sam Epstein, a cancer scientist at the University of Illinois in Chicago as “a witch’s brew of carcinogenic ingredients,
Epstein told Marketplace.” See partial list here

Wash it off you say? I’d like to but

Wiki Cancer says: “Dove Beauty Bar: It's 99% water, but watch out for that other 1%. It includes quaternium 15 and formaldehyde, known carcinogens, as well as irritants to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.

Johnson's Baby Shampoo: Contains carcinogens quaterium 15, FD&C RED 40, which can cause dermatitis.

Crest Tarter Control Toothpaste: This best selling toothpaste contains saccharin and phenol fluoride.

It's odd that I've never thought about my pores beyond zits. Of course my skin absorbes what I rub into it! Why wouldn't I care if those things have cancer causing agents and poisons?!

What’s the answer? Well, my mom once told me olive oil was great on your skin and baking soda on your teeth. As far as soap and Ella, I think I’ll just opt for a good long soak in a hot bath and maybe next summer we’ll do a little more research before investing in sunscreen or we’ll just stay in the shade and roll in the mud.

Oct 10, 2007

Blogging for the Environment

October 15, is Blog Action Day, and the theme this year is the environment. If you have a blog and want to join in, all you have to do is use that day to post something related to the environment, in whatever way, shape, or form you prefer. You can pick an environmental issue that has meaning for you and let us know why it's important. Organize a beach or neighborhood cleanup and tell us about it. If you're into fiction writing, give us a story with an environmental theme. Have a podcast, videoblog, or photoblog? Join the fun! The idea here is to have a mass effect on public awareness by sharing as many ideas in as many ways as possible.

If you're game for participating, go register your blog with the 7,000+ other blogs (with 5 million readers!) that are already signed up. Also, see the Blog Action Day blog for more on how bloggers can change the world.

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

As of today, total number of blogs: 9,236 Combined rss reach of blogs: 6,797,617

Oct 9, 2007

Monster Mash

Well the search for the perfect Halloween costume has begun and here are the contestants that didn’t make the cut:

Conspiracy Theorists: Aluminum foil hats, surgical masks, flannel shirts and other survival gear.

Tom-kat: Suit sunglasses and giant smile, couch cushion to jump on, mod dress and robotic smile with several “Help me!” notes to pass to people when Tom isn’t looking.

French Kiss Army: Black and white striped shirts and berets with KISS makeup on.

Sam Adams and St. Pauli Girl: Elaborate expensive costumes and wigs involved here.

We need something that we’ll be comfortable in while sitting on a log next to a bonfire or inside sitting on a couch. Something that isn’t too elaborate or flammable or itchy and easy to slip on and something that we can feel comfortable wearing into the grocery store while we stop and pick up a six pack.

Oct 8, 2007


Three people were out for dinner and thier meal cost $10 each, they all gave the waitress a $10 note each which comes to $30. When the waitress took the $30 to the boss, he told her to return $5 to the three. On the way back, the waitress put $2 in her own pocket as she did not know how to split $5 between 3 people. She then gave the diners back $1 each.... Now because the diners got a $1 discount each off thier $10 meals that is a total of $27, plus $2 the waitress stole is $29. Where is the other dollar?

Oct 5, 2007

$80.00 Wedgie

Remember those polyester disco jumpsuits from the seventies that only fit you if you were the exact measurements of the jumpsuit and if you weren’t they rode up your butt every time you reached for something? Well, if that was your favorite JC Penny’s has got something for you this fall!

Oct 4, 2007

Tennis Balls or Peas?

The park district has installed these neat little play equipment vignettes at the mall we frequent. I’ve spent hours over the last few months contemplating who designed them and what Freud would say.

The first is this nifty oversized tennis racket next to a basket ball and a football and what seems to be a pile of peas.

To the left of it is painfully contorted, wild eyed and over zealous horse jumping a hay bale.

and lastly a cute little waterfall slide on the side of the slide are some red… um breasts?

It seems most kids like to climb the slide and play the red bits like bongos and it seems most parents try very hard not to look at them very long.

Oct 3, 2007

Nothing Teevo Worthy

I sat down and watched the last 10 minutes of “Cavemen” last night and the whole episode of “Carpoolers”. The first was utter idiocy; it was just the same old sitcom only with cavemen and lots of racism. The latter seemed like it had a good premise and was actually funny for the first 5 seconds and then there was some juvenile joke about loosing ones virginity. There are some funny writers out there, I read their blogs on a daily basis and none off them work at ABC. ABC just needs to fire their writers and hire some bloggers. Someone fresh that doesn’t write sitcoms, or “jokes” someone that doesn’t even watch sitcoms, these shows need to stop feeling like sitcoms, the sitcom is dead. People don’t have punch-lines in real life, but real life is plenty funny. This new season is really disappointing. For now I’ll just stick to cable and Thursday nights on NBC. Dang.

Oct 2, 2007

American Life

Dan is at work and Ella is at school and the house is picked up, dishes clean and coffee made. What am I doing with my time?
If I had a portable MP3 player this is what would be on it. Hours and hours of it.

Oct 1, 2007


Ok the e-mail I posted earlier bounced back and so my assumption is this man's e-mail box is FULL. That's good.

Today's News:
Burmese monks 'to be sent away'
Thousands of monks detained in Burma's main city of Rangoon will be sent to prisons in the far north of the country, sources have told the BBC.