Wednesday, October 31, 2007

what kind of cake would you like, noni?

When asked that question, Noni replied,

"Why, I'd like the kind of cake that they have at weddings. Only, on top, it should just be me."

And so begins my quest for a birthday-wedding-bride-only cake. Wish me luck.

And wish Noni a very happy birthday!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

ghost in the bungalow: final chapter

By now, I had gotten pretty used to having a few extra "people" in my house. I heard new noises and didn't think twice. I passed the guy on the attic steps and was no longer afraid that he was going to grab me by the ankles as I gingerly stepped past him. We were all working things out...

Then, one dark evening in November, I was out running errands with baby Via. I returned home to our tiny bungalow with my arms full of baby and groceries and bags of various size and weight. As I struggle with my key in the door, I knew - they were here.

When I walked into my dark home that night, it was like walking into a crowded party. I flicked the lights on. No one was there. No bride. No father-in-law. No man from the steps. But still, that feeling of crowding would not leave. I set down my bags and plucked Via from her baby seat. I stood in the middle of my living room floor with all of the lights blazing, and I said, out loud,

OK. If you've got something that you want me to know, tell me now. Please, don't scare me. If you are just here for a visit, well, some of you are going to have to go. It's just too crowded in this tiny house for all of us.

Then, every light in my house flickered on and off one time and the house was peaceful again.

I never saw the bride or the man on the stairs again. We moved to our new home shortly after this event.

The ghosts didn't follow us to our new house, but I still smell Joe's cigarette smoke occasionally. And I know when my grandparents have come for a visit because there is always a distinctive smell - baked chicken and cookies or grapefruit and aftershave.

To be honest, I kind of miss the excitement, but I'm glad to have my house to myself.
And I'm happy to know that I am still be watched over by my family.

Friday, October 26, 2007


I was tagged awhile ago by Bethany, and I've really put off answering. So, I finally decided that I needed to step up to the plate and let you all have it. Here's how it goes:

"Here's how you play, once you've been tagged. You have to write a blog with 10 weird, random things, facts or habits about yourself. At the end you choose 10 people to be tagged, listing their names and why you chose them to be tagged. Don't forget to leave them a comment "You're It!" and to read your blog. You can't tag the person who tagged you."


I had a fabulous gap in my front teeth until I was 12 years old. Then, the orthodontist stuck braces in my mouth, and now I have teeth that are unnaturally squashed together. I wish that I still had the gap in my front teeth. Instead I now have a wire that is holding my two front teeth together.

I don’t own tennis shoes.
Pathetic. I have a kicky pair of orange Chuck Taylor low tops, but that's it. I have a wide range of fabulous high heels...

I love to drink orange juice when I eat a chocolate chip cookie

I am afraid of the dark I used to vault from my bedroom door into the darkness of my childhood bedroom. Now, I must retain some sense of "mom's in control - there's no monsters in this house - blah blah blah." The dark totally freaks me out! I lay in bed solving random scenarios about escaping from the bad guys in my dark house. That's not just weird. I fear that might be nuts.

I see ghosts – and that freaks people out. I don't usually see ghosts in the darkness. I usually see them during the day. I kind of like it...

My high school boy friend sent me a ‘promise ring’ in the mail I did not marry him. I did keep the ring. Then I lost it. I wasn't sad. It was tiny.

I like the smell of old cars. I mean, I really love that dusty, old, warm smell that only comes from an old car. It's the combination of dust and pleather and warm sunny days. I like to close my eyes and imagine who bought the car and what they were like when they felt so proud to drive around in it. Old cars, old houses and grave yards - love 'em.

I have a Huck Finn talent for getting people to paint my house. I love redecorating. I hate painting. Luckily, my mom and my best friend can't sit around and watch me putz around with the color on the walls thing. They jump up and grab the brush and take over. We're all happy!

I took bowling for my P.E. credit in college. I barely passed. I'm not a great bowler. Actually, I'm not much of an athlete. I sure like to run around and play, however.

I truly believe that any kind of nut in any food totally ruins it – the food not the nut.
I seriously do not understand why people put nuts in cookies or brownies or sweet breads. Why, people, why? I sometimes fake a nut allergy just so I can get the stuff with out nuts. That, and people take pity on others with allergies. I don't have real allergies. Just fake ones.

I didn’t like Terms of Endearment – couldn’t even watch the whole thing one time.
I think this is one of the worst movies ever made. Sorry.

I have a reverse body image – I think I am thinner than I actually am, and I’m often surprised by my reflection in the mirror. This makes it really hard to go on any sort of diet - denial and ignorance. That's my newest mantra. Fat and happy. Has a nice ring to it.

I have deep, abiding love for Q-tips
Oh, my. Oh, my goodness. Oh. yeah. yes. oh, yes. yes. YES. YES!

So, now I have to tag some folks:
Sue @ Navel Gazing At Its Finest
Chris & Rikki @ Chris and Rikki + E3
The Rotten Correspondent @ Confessions of A Rotten Correspondent
emilyruth @ i wonder sometimes
Julia @ Because I Knew You...
Kelsey @ Our College Life

Thursday, October 25, 2007

ghosts in the bungalow: the bride returns

It was a dark and stormy night.
No, really. I WAS a dark and stormy night.
It was the perfect Halloween night - rainy and cold.
The moon was almost full, but not quite.
The trees were void of their leaves, and in the
moon light, they had a perfect Poe-like quality.
Like bony black fingers that were scratching at the
wispy clouds, never getting what they were reaching

As I got ready for bed, I thought,

"This would be a great nights for ghosts."

In our lovely little bungalow, our bed was situated in our room in such a way that I could look directly down the hallway if I lay on my left side.

That night, I lay on my left side.

It was well passed midnight when I woke up. I don't know why I woke up. There wasn't really a sound that woke me. It's just that suddenly I wasn't asleep anymore.

As I lay looking down the hallway, it began to rain. With a giant bang, the thunder struck. I realized that I couldn't see anything in the dark. The moon had been covered by the storm clouds.

There was a flash of lightening. And there she was.

The bride.

The woman that our little bungalow had been built for was standing in the hallway, and I was looking right at her.

I wasn't afraid.

She walked down the hall and into the bedroom.

She was beautiful. Not the scary, undead bride that some movies like to depict as ghosts. My bride was beautiful, pristine. White dress. Lace veil. Dark hair twisted up in a demure little bun at the base of her creamy neck.

She smiled at me patiently as she slowly leaned down to look me in the eye.

Her breathe was warm - surprisingly - She was now only a few inches from my face.
And she said to me,

"You should put a side board in the dining room. A side board and a mirror on the wall. That's what it was designed for."

"Ok," I said.

Then the thunder. A flash of lightening, and she was gone.

The storm ended shortly after she left. The moon shone brightly in our bedroom for most the night.

The bride never returned again.

I put a small table and a mirror against the wall in the dining room. I had to. That's what it was designed for.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

august for noni

Noni is in love.

It is true love.

She talks about him all of the time.

His name is August. His is 'beautiful' and he is 'her friend that is a special boy.'

Noni met August in Kindergarten. To her credit, he is a very hip and groovey young man. He is destined to be a rock star. Or a flight attendant. Or a lazy bum who mooches off of his mother for his entire life while he coaches mini-golf at the rec center.

He has shoulder length blonde hair and looks a lot like the boys in the Polo ads. And she loves him.

She came home from school the other day - oh, I feel like a traitor - and told me that she had a big secret. She told me that she had kissed August under the slide.
When I got over the suspicion that "under the slide" was a euphemism for something that it wasn't, I had myself a little sit down talk with my 5 year old daughter.

So. I said. You've been kissing boys on the play ground...?

Not just any boy, Mom. It was August.

Oh. I see. Where did you kiss him?

On the mouth.

No. Oh. No. Noni, I meant, where were you when you kissed him?

Oh, we were under the slide.

Under the slide. I see. Who's idea was this, this kissing ... thing?

I was pretty certain it was his. Boys can not be trusted, you know.

Oh, Mom.

Note tssk and huffy.

We both like each other. We talked about it. We decided now would be a good time to kiss.

Oh God. I am in trouble.

Should I be happy that we are talking about his sort of thing? Yes, I probably should be happy that we have open lines of communication. But right now, I am not happy. I am mortified.

I am also concerned that yesterday Noni brought a note home from August's parents. Could they please have Noni's phone number? August would like to call her to invite her for a sleep over.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

ghosts in the bungalow: the attic stairs

After my husband's dad came for his first "visit," I just couldn't shake the feeling of not being alone in my own home. I hadn't seen anyone, yet, but I checked out every window and door each time I passed, determined to prove to myself that nobody was really there. Soon, I relaxed and let it go. I chalked up the nervous feelings to being a new mom alone in a new house at night. It wasn't long until I'd forgotten all about that creepy feeling.

Then one night, when Daddyman was at work and I was home alone with Via, it happened.

I was trying to find the double boiler - I don't know why I thought I needed it to make dinner for myself and a 5 month old baby, but I was absolutely distracted with the search. While Via sat in her high chair in the middle of the kitchen, happily clanging spoons and cooing, I pulled everything out of the kitchen cupboards. No double boiler. I searched the shelves in the basement laundry room - no double boiler. Then, I remembered the box of kitchen stuff that was still in the attic.

I flung open the door that lead to the attic stairs. I wasn't paying attention to where I was going, and I was ready to bound up the steps when I looked up and saw him. I gasped and stopped dead in my tracks. He was just sitting on the attic steps, behind the closed door, listening to the lives of a young mom and her baby.

Just listening.

He was sitting about 5 steps up from the bottom, with his elbows on his knees. We were almost face to face before I realized that he was there. But, of course, he wasn't really there. I could see the steps right through him.

We stared at each other for what felt like an eternity. Then, he smiled at me. A sort of sad, lonely smile. It was not an apology for being in my house or an excuse, just a smile.

When I finally caught my breath, I slammed the door closed. I pulled the dining room table in front of the door. I know that a table will not keep a ghost out of the main floor, but the idea of stopping this man from being present in my house was really important at the time.

I ran to the kitchen and scooped Via out of her high chair. I was holding her and crying and then I hear the lock on the front door click.

"Oh, God. Now what?"

It was Daddyman who walked through the door. Reasonable, calm, logical Daddyman. I fell into his giant man embrace and sobbed. When I told him the story of the man on the stairs, he didn't laugh. He didn't look at me like I'd lost my mind. He just held me.

We left the table where it was for a couple of days - in front of the door to the attic steps.

We left it in front of the attic door until one sunny Sunday in October.

I needed to find something that we hadn't yet unpacked, and I was certain that it was in the attic. Rick was raking leaves out side. The windows were open. I could hear him talking back to the game announcers on the portable radio. I knew that he could hear me, and would be inside in 10 seconds if I shouted to him for help.

I took a deep breath. I could do this. I am a grown up, after all. He probably wasn't there, anyway. I have such an over active imagination... I was so tired the night I saw him sitting on my attic steps... I'm certain I just imagined him being there...

I opened the door.

The man was there. Again. Just listening.

He looked at me. And smiled.

This time, I smiled back.

I took a deep breath and said, "Excuse me. I need to get something up there."

He leaned to one side to let me pass. (Of course, there wasn't any need for him to lean to one side. I could have simply walked right through him.)

We continued this sort of polite relationship of smiling and leaning and passing and saying "thank you" and "excuse me" until I moved out of that little Bungalow on Lincoln Avenue. As it turned out, I was sort of comforted by his presence. Knowing that someone else is home when you feel lonely late at night with a brand new baby when you're home all alone...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

leaves falling down

Written be Noni

"It is October with the leaves falling down.
They once were all scarlet, yellow and brown."

The wind smells wet and rainy.
When I walk to the bus, I spy my friend's house.
I like to walk by it and see it up close.
October is a good time to look into windows
because the leaves don't get in my way.

Monday, October 15, 2007

ghosts in the bungalow

With Halloween fast approaching, we are busily playing with ghosts and goblins at our bungalow in St.Paul. The Littles are scurrying about the house, making maps of the neighborhood with asterisks next to the houses that give out the GOOD treats and cobbling together intricate and imaginative costumes for their Halloween Adventure. I say "imaginative costumes" because I am not exactly clear as to what they are supposed to be - a dish towel and a jump rope and a teddy bear and a tutu and a pull-along phone all wrapped around yaya made her a pony...Hmmmm.

We are busily decorating and telling stories and listening to Loreena McKennit, and it made me think about all of the great ghost stories that I have heard. In fact, I heard a good one last night over at Death By Children.

Now, I have a tremendously overactive imagination. After reading this story - which by daylight is not remotely scary - I stood in my dark living room afraid to turn off the lights or look at my dog. And so I stood there. For a really long time. And then, I called my husband. Who was sound asleep. So I called him again. Luckily, after 10 years of marriage he is used to my overactive imagination, and he kept talking to me ... as I climbed the darkened staircase ... to our attic bedroom... mwahahahahha.

(OK, our bedroom isn't in the attic. I've never actually been in the attic of my home. It's a hole in the ceiling. And it's painted shut. I guess that I thought, why bother... I'm just trying to get you in the mood... mwahahahaha!)

Ghosts in the Bungalow: Joe Comes for a Visit

Shortly after Via was born, we moved into a charming bungalow in a quaint neighborhood in the MacGraveland neighborhood of St.Paul, MN. This house was lovely. There was a big Oak tree in the front yard that sheltered our little home and created a magical dappled effect on sunny days. There were built-ins and leaded glass and hardwood floors throughout and a walk-up attic that one day would be converted to the master suite. We loved this house.

One sunny spring afternoon, shortly after moving into our new bungalow, I was changing Baby Via on the old dresser that we'd commissioned as a changing station. I was home alone with the baby, and I'd left every window and the door to the porch wide open. Maybe that was a mistake? Do you know that feeling you have when someone is looking at you? You just know that someone is there? Well, I had that feeling, and it startled me a little bit.

I looked up - in the mirror - and saw, standing behind me, no leaning a bit on the door jam, a tall, dark haired man wearing a little hat and a cardigan sweater. I quickly turned around to confront him, and there simply was no one there. It was then that I smelled the cigarettes. (Neither Daddyman or I smoke.)

Strangely, I wasn't the least bit frightened. You see, while I had never met Daddyman's father, Joe - he'd passed away several years before I met him - I KNEW that he had been in our house. Joe had simply stopped in for a visit: To see his son's new home and to meet his new wife and baby.

When I remember that day, I think of it warmly. I wasn't afraid. As a matter of fact, I wish that he'd stayed longer. I wish that I'd met him when he was alive.
Still, to this day, I know when Joe comes for a visit because my house smells like cigarette smoke.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

minnesota nice

Do you hear the music from that Saturday Night Live sketch with Dana Carvey that signifies that we are going back in time? I had a thing with a clerk at Target tonight. I was nice enough, and she was rather snarky. Imagine what I might have said if I had said what I really wanted to say:

Listen, missy…

OK, I know that I will lose immediate b***h cred when I start out with “missy” – I instantly become an old Norwegian grandma with sausage ankles and G&H stamps spilling out of my pocket book, but I have to say "missy." I can’t say what I’d really like to say because my girls will hear me. So, again, I say,…

Listen missy, Yes, you the sassy clerk girl with the badly bleached yellow hair and that nasty looking scabby nose piercing that you can’t seem to quit touching, you get to be rude to me when you have 3 kids of your very own that you have just dragged kicking and screaming through Target at the height of candy and costume season because you need a tension rod.

(Stop smirking. That's not what I was looking for.)

You can give me a hard time about “asking” if something is on sale to save a lousy $1 when you have a mortgage to pay and 3 kids who won’t quit growing so you have to keep buying them clothing because in about a day it’s going to be so damned cold that your nose hairs freeze together and those same kids simply can’t be naked any longer. It’s just not cute to let your kids run naked in a 3 foot snow drift.

You can roll your big, fat, peacock-blue-lined eyes and give me the big, fat tssk and huffy and judge the booty that I have lain out on your altar, the conveyor belt, when you feel the powerful urge to redecorate your dining room in the midst of a fever because maybe, just maybe you feel like you have no control over anything else in your life and redecorating is the only thing that will satisfy that urge.

OK, maybe not the ONLY thing, but it's the only thing I really like.

Then, maybe, you can be rude to me.

So, what's your problem? I was pleasant to you. I smiled and spoke respectfully, and asked in not-remotely-condescending tones if something that you'd just rung up was on sale. Apparently that was your cue to put on your "Rude Boots" and lay one one me.

So here’s my real question, sister: Aren’t you getting PAID to be nice to me?

Yeah, I thought so. Then suck it up and suffer for the All Mighty Buck. The rest of us do, and that’s called life. So grow up. And take out that stupid, crusty piercing. You look ridiculous.

I wanted to say that. Instead, I waited patiently under the embarassing blinking light - holding up the nice lady who was buying a mop - while sassy clerk girl overhead paged her manager, who, of course, gave me the correct sale price on the Halloween decoration. I smiled when she rang it up. I thanked her. Then, I calmly asked the girls to join me for an early dinner at the food counter.

"Let's go get a hotdog. What do you say?" I asked.

We all pranced over to the mini-cafeteria, like Santa's reindeer behind the red Target cart sleigh. We waited in line behind an impossibly huge family who took FOREVER to decide that everyone (all 486 parents, kids, cousins, aunties and grandparents who were in visiting from Spokane) wanted solo pan pizzas... Finally, it was our turn.

"We'll have 3 kids meals - all hot dogs. And I'd like the hot dog/fountain drink special.

"Oh, I'm sorry," says the kids with a prematurely low voice. "The hot dog maker is broken."



I think I'd better stay out of Target for awhile.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

and the theme for today is, "culture of creativity"

So, I was reading around this weekend, and I linked into this blog/post:

On Oct. 1st earthchick set forth these questions:
How do you build a culture of creativity and imagination in the home? How do you resist convention? What do you think hinders imagination, and how do you deal with that? What rituals and rhythms do you think help nourish the artistic souls of children and families? ... Did your own parents do anything in particular to support your creative pursuits? What do you do to feed your own creative self? Where do you find inspiration for the creative life?

These questions have kept me thinking for a couple of days now - pretty good when I can't normally engage in a complete conversation! Take a look at the flickr group that she has started. Share your ideas here flickr group, or leave them here. It's a pretty important conversation, in my view.

So, what do we do in our house to help create a culture of creativity? Well, we do lots of things - my husband and I are both actors, writers, teachers, musicians, etc. But my very favorite thing to do is: THEME DAYS

Theme Days were born out of boredom - on my part. When I was lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom, I found myself with not quite enough to do (OK, so I am a little Type A). We started our tradition one very cold winter when Via was quite little. It gets really damned cold for a very long time in Minnesota. You've got to do something, or you loose your mind, or drink too much, or both... To save ourselves from the insanity that is winter, we pushed all of our furniture to the sides of the room, put on our bathing suits and the best summer music we could find, and voila', we had Beach Day!

That very first Theme Day has evolved throughout the years. Now, every so often, we have a conversation with the girls about what kinds of things would be good for theme days.

The usual things pop up:
Princess Day, Pink Day, Pink Princess Day...

Daddyman and I throw some that we'd like to share in the mix:
Football Day, Fantasy Football Day, Mommy-Spends-As-Much-Money-As-She-Wants-To-And-Doesn't-Tell-Daddy Day...

Those are sure fun.

We write down all of our ideas, and put them in a jar. Then, when we need to liven up/change the mood in our house, we go to the Theme Jar and pull out an idea.

The ones that work the very best are these:
Everyone Cries/Everyone Whines Day (lasts about 15 minutes until the chaos and trauma is over. For some reason, when Daddyman and I cry &/or whine, the Littles think it is Hi-larious! We don't wait until that one actually comes out of the jar. In fact, we may never even write that one down. Of course, it's getting trickier to pull this one over on The Littles as Via is now reading at an accelerated level.)
Share Everything Day (We bring this one out and flop it on the table when no one is sharing... it helps get the ball rolling, if you know what I mean.)

My favorite:
Opera Day. It's really hard to get bent out of shape when you have to sing everything that you want to say. That, and it's kind of fun to see the reactions that we get in Target.

I really, really love Opera Day. I love to hear all of The Little singing to each other.

Pass the green crayon.

Give me that book, please.

You are a stupid sister and I don't love you anymore. I never loved you anyway. No one in this house loves ME.

It tickles me when I hear Yaya sing - in true Opera Day style: I want more Cheerios. I want more Cheerios. Please, oh please, oh please, oh please. May I have more Chee-e-e-e-e-rios.

Now, if I can only teach them to sing it in Italian.

Voglio più Cheerios. Per favore, potrei avere più Cheerios?

If you try a Theme Day at home, let me know how it works out for you. I'd love to hear all about what you do to create the culture of creativity in your world.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

the tssk and huffy

I have been assaulted, as of late, by roving bands of angry children. They are every where I look, wilding through the super market and loitering with their gangs in the once quiet and idyllic neighborhood streets. Oh, they look innocent enough in their Abercrombie jeans and cropped hoodies and rolling wheelie shoes. But they are far from innocent. They are deliberate in their actions. And they are effective.

What is it that makes these prepubescent people so nasty, you ask? It is simply this: They are black belts at the tssk and huffy. They roll their eyes and stomp their feet and shed the aura of general disdain that rolls like thick Irish fog through crowds of unexpecting strangers, stopping the ones that love them the most in their tracks.

And I'm not going to take it any more.

Understand this: the tssk and huffy sends me over the edge of reason when it is my own children. Strangers bring on homicidal thoughts. Seriously.

Picture this:
I am at our neighborhood grocery store casually skipping through the produce section, filling my basket with organic goodies to take to grandma who is sick in bed. The musak is blaring and the florescent lights are flickering - it's like a scene from Disney. Then, from the end of the spice aisle, I hear it.

Note the change in movie genre. Hear the theme from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly? Good. You're in the right place.

I hear this prepubescent child let go of one giant tsssk followed by an enormous sigh and huffy.

and then, S I L E N C E.

Nobody moves. The fear is palpable. What will this almost-human child-thing do next?

From the frozen section, I hear old Mr.Cranston crush a frozen pie crust in his arthritic hands. (He is picking up the pie crust for his wife of 54 years. They've just returned from the apple orchard, and she is at home peeling and coring their luscious apple bounty...)

Someone in the cereal aisle gasps. Over in the paper and snack aisle, a sweet naive toddler begins to babble, but is quickly silenced by his loving mother's cold hand that clamps tightly over his little mouth so as not to give the tssker any clue as to their where abouts.

No one moves. No one breathes. We all wait. And then,

The stomping.

The terrible stomping. We stand absolutely still - afraid to set down the extra tomatoes or instant potato flakes as we listen to the terrible teenage stomping. Silently, we track her - spice aisle to salad dressing through the flower area and finally, the little, friendly ding of the door as it's motion-detecting eye triggers it's movement. The stomping continues into the parking lot. The end is signaled by the violent slamming of the passenger side door of the Honda Odyssey Mini-Van. And finally, the little, friendly ding of the automatic door as it closes us all inside the safety of the grocery store.

The entire populace of the neighborhood grocery store lets out one collective sigh of relief.

And now, I ask you, why do we - the neighbors and hapless bystanders - have to be the audience for such an horrific display of disrespect?

Note the change in theme one more time: Think Les Miserables. I am standing on a heaping pile of bodies in the grocery store, waving a white flag fashioned from the butcher's apron. Hear the swelling musak in the background? Good. Let us continue.

I say, we don't have to take it any more. Join me as we rally to stop the terrific tssk and huffy. It starts at home, friends. With our own children. Yes, it's true. Our children are tssk and huffers, and they will continue down this dangerous road until we stop them. And stop them we must. Then, we take our cause to the streets. To the post office and the shopping mall and to our idyllic neighborhood grocery stores.

Why? You ask.

Because. Because somebody has to take a stand. And we must do it now, before bad manners and rude behaviors run amok in our world. Go Green and Get Nice! That's my new slogan.

Go Green and Get Nice!

I know, I know... a slogan simply isn't enough to make a change, is it? Cute little bumper sticker slogans are a nice break from road rage, but they don't really make a difference. So. Here's my plan.

Give the old tssk and huffy right back to 'em.

We've all done it at one point in our lives. Heck, we were tssk and huffy masters.

Imagine if you will, the same grocery store. The same almost-human child-thing lets go of a giant tssk and an amazing huffy. This time, instead of crumbling in fear, old Mr. Cranston sends one right back at her. The gasper in the cereal aisle follows suit, the toddle catches on and begins tssking and huffing right along with the crowd. Pretty soon, the whole store is tssking and huffing back at the offender, who is wildly embarrassed that her assault has had no effect. She then, shapes up and is respectful to her mother once again.

I don't know if a dose of their own medicine will have any affect on their wildly self-centered selves, but it would sure make me feel a whole lot better.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


this is my favorite e.e.cummings poem. I hope that you enjoy it.

E.6.1 everyone lived in a pretty how town
by e.e. cummings

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did
women and men (both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed (but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)
they said their nevers they slept their dream
stars rain sun moon

(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)
one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone
earh by april wish by spirit and if by yes
women and men (both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain

Ahh, I love that poem, in all it's wordy weirdness. I understand it, but cannot explain it. Do you like it? I find it oddly worrisome. Perhaps, I am afraid that noone will stoop to kiss my face in this too big, small world.
Here are a couple more from mr. cummings. enjoy. or not. but think. or listen.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

worm: the saga continues or, a tina by any other name would be a bruce

A quick update:
Noni returned from school today with something pink dangling from between her very dirty fingers. Pink, but not a pink found in nature. More of a neon scarlet color. You can understand my 'mom concern.'

"Noni. What d'ya got there?"

"A worm."

"Huh. Another worm?"

"Yep. Tina's dead, remember?"

"Oh, I remember. We've been putting fresh flowers on her grave for a couple of days now."


"So ... who's ... that?"

See, I am pretty certain by this point that this is not a worm, but rather a hair binder. I am treading lightly, however, due to the grief we shared at the loss of Tina.

"Oh, this is Bruce. He's really nice. And he's kind of stretchy."

She demonstrates.

"Really... huh. Bruce is the name of this worm?"


"Where did you get this - worm?"

"Oh, mom. It was so amazing. I was thinking about my best-worm-friend, Tina, all day long. I thought about her while I was working on the beads at school. I thought about her at lunch while I ate my peter-honey sandwich. I was still thinking about her when I got off the bus, and what do you know? I looked down - like I always do so I don't fall down the bus steps - and there was Bruce, just curled up in the gutter waiting for me! Of course, I scooped him up and kissed him and promised to love him forever."

At this point, I don't know if she's pulling my leg or what. I do know that I am concerned with the rate that she falls in love with any cute thing lying in the gutter. This behavior does not bode well for her dating future.

"Noni. What did Bruce promise you?"

I'm trying to play along - appear to be interested, not freaked out that my daughter thinks that a hair binder is a worm.


Note the rolling of the eyes followed by the tisk and huffy.

"Bruce is not a real worm. Duh. He doesn't actually talk to me like Tina did. You are such a mom."

Long silence from both of us.

Noni is busily stretching Bruce and I am trying to decide whether I should laugh myself silly or curl up in the fetal position and sob uncontrollably.

"Can I go outside and teach Bruce how to ride the skate board?"