Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Charles & Kelly This Sunday Night

Hope you can join us at New Deal Cafe this Sunday night for one last rockin' celebration before we start having to set the alarm clocks again (sigh). It's an early show, so come eat dinner and hang out!
And while you're there, tell me what you're doing for Inauguration Day! We're still trying to decide about trekking downtown for the big event...

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Wii Fit is NOT my friend.

Okay. We got a Wii for Christmas (thank you, Momstone!) It's awesome -- we played the bowling game as a family for about an hour, until Maggie could not handle her brother's competitive tendencies any longer and had a series of meltdowns. Up until that point, we were like the Waltons. Or the Ingalls. Or the Cleavers. Or maybe the Simpsons.
The next day, Paul and I went out to procure presents for Maggie's birthday (she turned four two days after Christmas) and, while we were out, Paul accompanied me on my very first trip to a game store (some might say "virgin trip"; there seem to be a lot of them -- destined to stay that way -- in those places). Well. We came away with a winter sports game that, unbeknownst to me (because I forgot to read the package) requires a Wii Fit balance board. Now, the smart person would return the game. I am not that person. I am the person that went to nine -- nine -- different stores in two days searching for what appears to be the most popular game of the Christmas 2008 season: the Wii Fit. I sure do wish I was that smarter person and not, well, you know. Me.

Sunday morning at 8:00am, Paul and I succeeded. We joined the gaggle of middle-aged women with looming resolutions -- only 14 games in the store and we got one. Home again. Later Sunday, Charles took Paul and Maggie out. (After Charles laughed at me doing the Wii figure skating until I thought he might soil himself.) I opened the Wii Fit disc. Oy.

The Wii Fit assesses your body and assigns a Wii age. I do not like this. The Wii Fit did its thing, sending me through a brief series of balance tests. It asked if I fall down a lot. It did not give me the opportunity to reply. It told me that I am 57 in Wii years. I hate that thing. But, I figured, why not give the exercise thing a go. I went for about 45 minutes (it asked me if I wanted to take a rest -- I noticed that no rocking chair was offered, or a shawl for that matter.) I got to the running part. The Jeff Tweedy Mii that I created (I am working on the entire band. And yes, thank you, I do realize that's a little weird.) passed me -- twice. Thank goodness it didn't ask me any questions (Paul has noticed that I seem to forget a lot of small words lately.)

You would think that I'd had enough humiliation for one day (obviously not, since I'm telling you all about it)... But noooo... After we watched The Big Lubowski last night, Charles stayed up to try out the Wii Fit. His Wii age? 34. Thirty-four! 34! And when I told him about the falling down comment, all he could say was "Well, you do."

Humiliation. Complete. Total. Stunning.
In other news, Paul's got a blog.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stealing post ideas from my friends...

Okay, two posts in a day. Yep. For real. This one isn't nearly so touchy feely (I'm trying to lead a balanced life.) Post idea stolen from my friend and neighbor, who stold it from someone else...

Go to Music Outfitters and type in the year you graduated from high school (or first year, if still in high school) into the search function.
Retrieve the top 100 songs from that year.
Put the songs you hate(d) in red, italicize the songs you like(d), bold the songs you love(d) and leave alone the ones you either don’t remember or don’t care about.

The Year was 1984. Here's the list. An (i) indicates the song are on my iPod:

1. When Doves Cry, Prince (1)
2. What's Love Got To Do With It, Tina Turner
3. Say Say Say, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson
4. Footloose, Kenny Loggins
5. Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now), Phil Collins
6. Jump, Van Halen (i)
7. Hello, Lionel Richie
8. Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Yes
9. Ghostbusters, Ray Parker Jr.
10. Karma Chameleon, Culture Club
11. Missing You, John Waite
12. All Night Long (All Night), Lionel Richie
13. Let's Hear It For The Boy, Deniece Williams
14. Dancing In The Dark, Bruce Springsteen
15. Girls Just Want To Have Fun, Cyndi Lauper
16. The Reflex, Duran Duran
17. Time After Time, Cyndi Lauper
18. Jump (For My Love), Pointer Sisters
19. Talking In Your Sleep, Romantics
20. Self Control, Laura Branigan
21. Let's Go Crazy, Prince and The Revolution (i)
22. Say It Isn't So, Daryl Hall and John Oates
23. Hold Me Now, Thompson Twins
24. Joanna, Kool and The Gang
25. I Just Called To Say I Love You, Stevie Wonder
26. Somebody's Watching Me, Rockwell
27. Break My Stride, Matthew Wilder
28. 99 Luftballons, Nena
29. I Can Dream About You, Dan Hartman I have no clue what this even is. It probably should be in red.
30. The Glamorous Life, Sheila E.
31. Oh Sherrie, Steve Perry
32. Stuck On You, Lionel Richie
33. I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues, Elton John
34. She Bop, Cyndi Lauper
35. Borderline, Madonna
36. Sunglasses At Night, Corey Hart
37. Eyes Without A Face, Billy Idol
38. Here Comes The Rain Again, Eurythmics
39. Uptown Girl, Billy Joel
40. Sister Christian, Night Ranger
41. Drive, Cars (i)
42. Twist Of Fate, Olivia Newton-John
43. Union Of The Snake, Duran Duran
44. The Heart Of Rock 'N' Roll, Huey Lewis and The News
45. Hard Habit To Break, Chicago
46. The Warrior, Scandal
47. If Ever You're In My Arms Again, Peabo Bryson
48. Automatic, Pointer Sisters
49. Let The Music Play, Shannon I have no clue what this even is. It probably should be in red.
50. To All The Girls I've Loved Before, Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson
51. Caribbean Queen, Billy Ocean
52. That's All, Genesis
53. Running With The Night, Lionel Richie
54. Sad Songs (Say So Much), Elton John
55. I Want A New Drug, Huey Lewis and The News
56. Islands In The Stream, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
57. Love Is A Battlefield, Pat Benatar
58. Infatuation, Rod Stewart
59. Almost Paradise, Mike Reno and Ann Wilson
60. Legs, ZZ Top
61. State Of Shock, Jacksons
62. Love Somebody, Rick Springfield
63. Miss Me Blind, Culture Club
64. If This Is It, Huey Lewis and The News
65. You Might Think, Cars
66. Lucky Star, Madonna
67. Cover Me, Bruce Springsteen
68. Cum On Feel The Noize, Quiet Riot
69. Breakdance, Irene Cara
70. Adult Education, Daryl Hall and John Oates
71. They Don't Know, Tracy Ullman
72. An Innocent Man, Billy Joel
73. Cruel Summer, Bananarama
74. Dance Hall Days, Wang Chung
75. Give It Up, K.C.
76. I'm So Excited, Pointer Sisters
77. I Still Can't Get Over Loving You, Ray Parker Jr.
78. Thriller, Michael Jackson
79. Holiday, Madonna
80. Breakin'... There's No Stopping Us, Ollie And Jerry
81. Nobody Told Me, John Lennon
82. Church Of The Poison Mind, Culture Club
83. Think Of Laura, Christopher Cross
84. Time Will Reveal, Debarge
85. Wrapped Around Your Finger, Police
86. Pink Houses, John Cougar Mellencamp
87. Round And Round, Ratt
88. Head Over Heels, Go-Go's
89. The Longest Time, Billy Joel
90. Tonight, Kool and The Gang
91. Got A Hold On Me, Christine McVie
92. Dancing In The Sheets, Shalamar
93. Undercover Of The Night, Rolling Stones
94. On The Dark Side, John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band
95. New Moon On Monday, Duran Duran
96. Major Tom (Coming Home), Peter Schilling
97. Magic, Cars
98. When You Close Your Eyes, Night Ranger
99. Rock Me Tonite, Billy Squier
100. Yah Mo B There, James Ingram and Michael McDonald

1984 sucked. At least the charts did. I notice there's no Replacements here. Or Bauhaus. Or the Cure. Or Bowie. Or Talking Heads. Or REM. Or the Clash, or Devo or Siouxsee or Specials or Madness or Buzzcocks or Joy Division or Soft Cell or Violent Femmes. Or a whole lot of other great stuff that made me a giant vintage-wearing, black tutu-clad weirdo in high school. Now I'm thinking about high school. Thanks alot, BA.

Winter Wonderland

Well, not the snow part, but the rest of it? I think I'm finally on it. I should probably write something profound about the spirit of the season or something, but I'm really happy with little things these days...

This has been a week of school activities: parties, performances and pageants. Maggie had her very first taste of performing on Tuesday night with Weekday Nursery. Mrs. McGuirk, Mrs. Carr and Mrs. Bellamy are amazing -- year after year, they somehow manage to get about 20 three- to four-year old kids to sing a about 20 songs and recite several poems. Frankly, I don't know how they do it (even though Maggie practiced for weeks and weeks and weeks, that's a lot of memorization for such little kids!) She told Mrs. Bellamy before the program that she would "be fabulous" and confirmed it to us after the show. And she wasn't the kid digging for gold, which I count as a big win!

Paul's school had their Christmas pageant on Wednesday night. All grades (pre-k through 8) perform, and there's a reenactment of the nativity story, too. Paul was great -- a very engaged, active performer (and focused, which is always a surprise with the boy), but I think the part he liked best was hanging with the ladies while they waited. In all honesty, the ladies seemed to enjoy it, too. He is soooo much like his dad.

So I'm not ready for next week at all (still trying to get through party preparations for Paul's class!) Our tree has lights but no decorations (and I finally remembered to water it today), I haven't done much shopping or baking (weird, I know) and the house is a mess. But the Christmas pageants have once again worked their magic, and I'm feeling filled by the Christmas spirit. It's possible that I might rethink that once I take a look at the house and the tree and ... and... but for now, Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas, Alive & Well in Whoville.


It is, I'm pretty sure, the most wonderful time of the year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm thinking...


"And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so? It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!"
And he puzzled three hours, `til his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store."Maybe Christmas... perhaps...means a little bit more!"
Just sayin'...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why Paul Wins

I get the impression that it's kind of tough being a seven-year old boy. Especially a seven-year old boy who's... let's say athletically-challenged. A seven-year old boy who has a weird sense of humor and who guffaws when a giggle would suffice. A seven year-old boy who already loves girls and cannot not let them know. A seven-year old boy who, try as he might (or might not), is unable to stay out of the little world in his brain during school -- couldn't do it if his life depended on it. That's my boy.

Well. Said boy's class is doing a long-term reading project -- Read Across America. The class earns mileage for each time increment they read, and the point is to make it all the way across the country (hence the name). For each major stop, there's a worksheet, and the first one was about Maryland. We worked on it last week, and got to the part about well-known people from the state, so we looked that information up... Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Tubman, Babe Ruth... Paul could have picked any of those. Who does he pick instead? Last name on the list: Frank Zappa.

And that's why Paul wins. He will always choose the answer in the far left field. And I hope he always does. Now, if he could just focus...

(He made a fantastic little Zappa drawing, too. I'll post it soon.)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Soul Revolver @ The Surf Club, November 22

That was fun. We were all looking for a certain mtnest...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What are you reading?

Specifically, what books are you reading? Since I'm sort of in over my head these days, I plan to live vicariously through you...I bet you're regretting our friendship right now, aren't you? Yep, I thought you would.

What's that? What have I been reading? Honestly (and somewhat shamefully), I read (too many) blogs in the middle of the night. Daily Kos, AmericaBlog, MediaMatters, Smitten Kitchen, PostPunk Kitchen, Gawker, Wonkette, Via Chicago, Sorry I Missed Your Party...I'm all over the place (which explains alot, doesn't it?) As far as books go, I'm not trying too hard lately. I've just finished Kurt Vonnegut's A Man Without A Country (he was sort of a coot near the end...) and a really truly trashy book about the Rolling Stones: Exile on Main Street: A Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones (which could not have been worse if sheep wrote it -- a.w.f.u.l.), so I'm sort of at loose ends. There's a stack (of smart books) next to the bed and another stack (of even smarter books) in the living room, but I'm just not really feeling any of those books these days (also, I seem to have the attention span of a newt).

So I'm hoping that you can help me out with a few great recommendations. I'm not looking for a big "commitment" book but not another rock band book, either. I'd like an engaging read, yet something that I won't feel guilty about falling asleep on, night after night. Because that's what will happen. Any advice?

I'm a bad band wife.

I'm failing in my mission to become Cheverly's answer to Sue Miller Tweedy if I forget to tell you that Soul Revolver is playing Saturday night! I've been told that there's a very special encore, though -- try as I may -- I haven't been able to figure it out yet. I guess we'll all just have to go to the show.

Did you know about my mission? I'm trying to be the second best band wife of all. There are plenty of bad ones (I'm looking at you, Yoko. Lisa Bonet? You too. And definitely you, Nancy Spungen.)
Big goals here at pricklygirl central. Big goals...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The DMV is my friend.

pricklygirl is getting old(er) and had to go renew her license. This follows the indignity of being informed that -- after age 40 -- a documented eye exam is required. Needless to say, it's been a lot of fun in the pricklygirl household (even more than usual) of late.

Well, here's a tale that will warm even the coldest of hearts. I saw a great optomistrist Sunday -- no appointment (he had some stuff to say about my background and age-related eye stuff, but I'm choosing to ignore that for now.) Picked out glasses Sunday afternoon and was told 10-14 business days to get them, though sometimes they arrive in less time. Tuesday was notified that glasses were in. Wednesday, went to DMV armed with papers, work, iPhone, etc, expecting a loooong wait. They were sooooo nice. Twenty minutes later, I was out the door, renewed license in hand.

The moral? Get your eyes tested. You probably do need a new prescription. Get those new glasses. Go to the DMV. You'll be happy you did.

This heartwarming tale has been brought to you by notions of age-related responsibility. Notice I said "age", not "maturity".

Friday, November 14, 2008

November 15 is...

National Clean Out Your Fridge Day...



and while I'm sure there are a million better things to do (catching The Hot Noodles at Mayorga Coffee Factory in Silver Spring between 7:00 and 10:00pm springs to mind), this wouldn't be a bad way to spend at least part of Saturday...
Fortunately for us, we recently inherited a relatively new fridge from people who were fastidious about fridge cleanliness, so I'm not going to be partaking in this national exercise...sometimes things work out my way. Rarely, but sometimes.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

This makes us seem so difficult...

From wikihow...

How to Feed a Vegan for Three Days or More
The following series of steps will help you to feed even the pickiest vegan coming your way. Be prepared to visit your nearest natural food store, eat some of this grub yourself, and thrill your vegan beyond words.

Steps
Prepare the first meal. You'll need to ask the vegan a bunch of questions outlined in the next step, but your guest might get hungry before you get a chance to do so. In that case, a great first meal option is spaghetti. You can get vegan noodles (easy, just check the package to make sure there aren’t egg whites or dairy in them). Check your tomato sauce to make sure that there isn’t Parmesan or other cheese in it. Mushrooms are a great vegan sauce addition, like your meaty meatballs, they can be cooked separately and added to the food at the end. One fun processed food product is vegan Parmesan cheese in a shake can. It is a fun addition to the table as a condiment for vegans. Make your own garlic bread with fresh garlic- instead of butter, use olive oil or vegan margarine (check for whey on the label) to mix and spread the garlic and salt. Get a simple sourdough or French bread; check the label for dairy or eggs. Steamed vegetables make a healthy side dish (use olive oil, don't use butter). This is a simple meal, and over dinner you can subtly find out most answers to the questions below.

Find out how strict your vegan is. The way to a vegan’s heart is through his/her stomach. There are a few questions that you want to ask a vegan before deciding what food to make them. Be prepared for your vegan to not be a true vegan, it is difficult to avoid every single animal by-product, and some people use the title “vegan” because it is easier than saying, “I am a vegetarian that eats no animal products, mostly no dairy products, no eggs, but I am not vegan because I eat honey and casein, and questionable milk chocolate if I am PMSing.” Onto the questions!

Do they eat cane sugar? (This question may result in a long treatise about how they sometimes use animal bones to bleach conventional cane sugar, even brown sugar, just stop them in their tracks and say, “I know, I plan on using unbleached organic cane sugar, I just want to know if you have a sweet tooth.”) If they do eat cane sugar, you are home free, almost everything you make for them the rest of your omnivorous family will be happy to eat. If they respond that they only use a little agave nectar or stevia, don’t have a sweet tooth, or don’t like sweets, we can still help you feed them, just be prepared to have two levels of sweetness, one for your family and one for them.

Do they eat casein (milk protein)? This will show you how serious they really are. Many people eat tofu cheeses with casein in them (sometimes as much as 20% casein). The casein tastes decent (to vegetarians), and melts when heated, separating it from much of the vegan cheese on the market. If they do eat casein, ask them what brand of “cheese” they eat. Buy that brand, it will make them very happy. If they are true vegans, they only have a few options. Your vegan may not want any fake cheese, this is a way to understand if they like processed foods at all. Some don’t. Many people find any soy cheese vile tasting and unsatisfying. This is not a good food to feed your family as an example of “vegan food,” they won't like it (use vegan ice cream instead).

Do they like fake meats? Some vegans have strong opinions on this subject. Others were raised on meat and potatoes, and those habits die hard. Tofu, Tempeh, and Seitan are great meat alternatives, but they require knowledge of how to make them taste good (this might be too much of a challenge for you). If you cook meat alternatives, cut them small, marinate, cook thoroughly, and serve hot. Fake meats are already flavored and can be a great time saver that can make a meal seem heartier.

What kind of milk substitute do they drink? Soy, almond, rice or none of the above? You can get specific enough to ask about brand if you want. Soymilk is easy to find, you can buy it anywhere now, and most major brands taste good. Many contain ample amounts of sugar, keep this in mind and apply the answer to the question about sugar. It is rare for vegans to drink a glass of soymilk with dinner; water, tea, carbonated beverages, (or in rare cases) coffee and alcoholic beverages are more likely to please. Soymilk in a vegan house is often used for baking, on cereal, in tea and coffee, and not for drinking.

Do they have any allergies or strong dislikes to other foods? If you are going through all of the trouble to make them vegan food, make sure that they are going to like it, and be able to eat it. Some vegans don’t like fruits and vegetables, so feed them what they will like, and then they won’t have that starved/pinched expression that will force them to jump ship for the nearest natural food store to eat packaged food in the aisle before they pay for it.

Proceed with purchasing and cooking food for your vegan, after answering all of the questions above and below.

Do they eat honey? If you're tired of asking questions, just don’t use it. Maple syrup and agave nectar are fine alternatives when you need a liquid sweet, just remember to check labels: granola, bread, and cereals are three places you often find honey. The vegan won’t care that honey isn’t around, but some will really care if it is in their food.

Do they eat whey? Just don’t buy products with whey in them. Whey is usually one of the last ingredients on many labels. Whey and gelatin can be sneaky ways you can feed your vegan things they really don't want to eat.

If a label goes on for a mile, many of the “natural flavors” as well as other ingredients you won’t recognize, can contain animal products and by-products. Stick to simple, less processed foods, your vegan will be happier, and you won’t go blind reading the fine print on those labels. Some packaged foods even have a V on them for vegan, this is rare but thrilling when you find one.
Do they eat non-organic foods? When cooking for a vegan, organic vegetables, fruits, and oil can be really important ways for them to feel at home in your home.


Do they eat white flour? Your vegan might prefer alternative flours like spelt flour (white spelt is amazingly light and yummy, but more expensive), whole wheat flour (prepare for hockey puck cookies and cupcakes) or no flour. Again, this goes back to the processed foods issue. Some vegans refer to white flour and sugar as “white death,” needless to say, you might think twice about feeding them these substances.

Discover a few different breakfast options. Breakfast can be very easy. Toast with peanut or almond butter, berries and tea is an excellent breakfast. Oatmeal with soymilk, raisins, berries and ground flax is also a great breakfast. Muffins can be easily made vegan. Granola or cereal with the milk substitute of their choice is a great option. Pancakes and French toast are two easy meals to make vegan. French toast in particular is amazing, no sulfur egg aftertaste, vanilla flavor rules, if you have a picky kid, they might prefer the vegan French toast recipe to normal French toast (just don’t tell them that silken tofu is involved).
How to Make Vegan Pancakes
How to Make a Vegan Smoothie

Have a few lunch and dinner options on hand.

Once you have an answer to the cheese question (casein, vegan, or no processed foods) a great lunch meal is tacos or enchiladas. The excellent thing about this meal is that you can have multiple kinds of shells (corn, spelt, or wheat) and multiple cheeses (dairy, casein, vegan, or none). People can build a taco or enchilada to their own food preferences and you don’t necessarily have to know exactly what those preferences are. Refried beans (watch for lard on the ingredient list) are a wonderful high protein food for all of us. Mushrooms, olives, tofu, tempeh, and walnuts are other excellent foods to add to this meal.

Summer grilling is a great way to feed your vegan. Clean a portion of your grill to be veggies only. Corn grills beautifully if soaked in a water-filled bucket for an hour first. Steamed artichokes are great for grilling. Portobello mushrooms become a burger themselves when grilled. Kabobs with a mix of veggies and meat alternatives marinated in teriyaki or soy sauce mixes are great. Vegan sausages and hotdogs are great, as are vegan veggie burgers (some veggie burgers have egg and dairy products in them). Make sure your burger/dog buns are vegan; check the labels for egg, whey, and milk products.

Soup and sandwiches can be a great lunch. Tomato soup with rice, miso soup with green onions and tofu, minestrone with veggies and noodles (make sure the noodles aren’t egg noodles). Veggie sandwiches lightly grilled with olive oil, avocado added after. Crackers to break up in the soup, or French bread with olive oil are a great way to fill out a soup meal. Sprouted grain breads (freezer section of natural foods area) for those with the healthy vegan gene can be used to make quite delicious sandwiches.

Curry is an excellent meal that can easily be made vegan but still really rich. Coconut milk, garbanzo beans, cauliflower, garlic, ginger, and tofu or tempeh work great for this dish. Most recipes are already vegan or can easily be altered to be vegan. Check chili paste ingredients for fish products. Curry powder is vegan. Use white or brown basmati rice to go with this meal.

Pizza is an excellent choice for most vegans. Buy or make pizza dough as usual. Great toppings for vegans include: basil, pine nuts, olives, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, spinach, onions, and peppers. Pesto made with basil, garlic and pine nuts without Parmesan is a great sauce, as is marinara. Even without cheese this meal is great for vegans, but if you have their fake cheese of choice, this meal becomes even better. Vegan cheese needs to be next to the sauce in order to melt effectively so make it the second ingredient that you put on the pizza if you are using this type of cheese substitute.

How to Make Basic Vegan Nut Roast
How to Make Hazelnut & Split Pea Vegan Roast
How to Make Vegan Vietnamese Summer Rolls

Make dessert. Vegan desserts are an area that has seen vast improvement in the last 10 years. The quality and quantity of available products alone is huge. For dessert, you can easily purchase a vegan version of whatever you eat for dessert yourselves. If you are having ice cream, get a pint of vegan ice cream. Some vegans report that Rice Dream is not as delicious as other ice creams on the market. There are also rich coconut based ice creams that are decadent. Vegan cookies are also widely available, both locally made, and commercial varieties. It is a great idea to have a pint or two of in season organic berries or fruit to offer in case they don’t eat processed foods or sweets. Those berries can easily be incorporated into breakfast if they do eat the ice cream and cookies. There are also some great cookie recipes on-line, just Google “vegan cookie recipe” and check the sources and citations below. Dark chocolate is often vegan (check labels for milk products and butter). Vegan chocolate chips are available in the bulk and baking sections of most natural foods stores. Vegan cupcakes are also very easy to make and extremely gratifying; the whole family will enjoy them.[1]

How to Make Vegan Cupcakes
How to Make Princess Cake (Vegan)
How to Make Cookies and Cream Vegan Ice Cream
How to Make Vegan Cheesecake with Tofutti

Remember that few vegans are alike in their food tastes. Do not expect that the next vegan you run into will have the same food tastes as your current vegan. A person may be vegan for nutritional reasons, for ethical/religious reasons, and/or for environmental reasons. In addition, they may be “freegans” (people who will only buy vegan, but if something is about to be thrown away, or is offered for free, they will eat it, even meat). They may be “raw foodists” this means they will only eat foods that are cooked below 110 degrees F, or are raw. Vegans may be really strict or not true vegans at all, they just use the label to simplify down to food choices that they prefer to eat as mentioned above. All self-described vegans are trying to do something that is very difficult, and it can seem like they are thwarted at every turn and treated like a second-class citizen at many restaurants. Imagine not being able to order 95% of the menu, or being told something is vegetarian or vegan only to discover it isn’t. It would be like if you were on a diet, and someone offered you a piece of cheesecake and promised you it was diet cheesecake with only 50 calories, and then after you ate it, they said it wasn’t diet and it had 500 calories, and they laughed. So if your vegan is a bit gun-shy about trusting others with food, it is usually with good reason.

Tips
Avoid mixing their food with meat residue. Some foods are processed on the same machinery as dairy foods, meaning they may contain trace amounts of dairy foods in them. If your vegan is willing to eat off of your pots and pans they will probably have trace amounts of dairy/meat products in their food anyway, so take this one whatever way you want, unless they said “no” to the first three questions above, in which case you will need to avoid most packaged foods anyway, and you may want to purchase a pot strictly for their food to be cooked in. If you never clean your cast iron pan, assume that your vegan will be able to taste some of the meat that you have cooked on there over the years. Try to use predominately one pan for your vegan during the duration of their stay, and make a point of keeping it somewhat separate from the meaty pans. If you hand wash dishes, clean their pan first before you clean the meaty dishes; the vegan will be so overwhelmed by your thoughtfulness he/she will not hesitate to return to your home again. (Which you may or may not want.)


Well, at least they got the part about breakfast and dessert right (we do like them!) But we just seem so...difficult (I wouldn't like me either with this list.) Gee, I know a lot of meat eaters that have waaayyyyyy more food issues than I do.

Now, back to
The Joys of Vegan Baking...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A neat thing...


Cheverly Weekday Nursery/Mother's Day Out is starting a new concert series featuring parents and other family members of current and alumni students. The first concert is this Saturday, and it features pianist Naoko Maeda (mother of Mother's Day Out student Hinna). The idea with this benefit series is to bring a wide variety of music to children in our community through their families. Many kids don't know any professional musicians personally, so this is a great opportunity for kids to expand their horizons as they see familiar people doing extraordinary things. Future concerts in the series will include a Serbian choir, as well as two rock bands (Cheverly's own Soul Revolver and The Hot Noodles) in addition to (hopefully) performances by local jazz musicians and a former opera singer (guess who...)
If you're in Cheverly this weekend, I hope that you attend Saturday's concert. Your donation is tax-deductible (so you get a jump on next year's charitable giving), childcare is available for kids under five, the music will be great...and there are treats after the show, which is always a good thing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Night

Well, the Prickly Ranch is full, and we're gathered around the warming glowing warming glow of the teevee. Thing One is keeping track and coloring in blue and red sections on his electoral map, Thing Two has finally agreed to get out of costume and into jammies (and her eyes are getting very, very heavy...and there she goes...out. Thing 2 will have to celebrate tomorrow) and I'm thinking about the next Halloween candy I can flout veganism with....
We're allowing Paul to stay up late tonight -- this is a once in a lifetime event, and he will remember this (and probably save his colored map for posterity...)
I hope we have enough Twix to see us through tonight!


Today's the Day!

You know what to do.
(We just got back from San Francisco and I'm too tired to write much right now. Red-eye flights and middle age do not mix, but you can see pictures from our trip... And if you're looking for an activity to do while waiting for election returns tonight, grab your crayons.)

Friday, October 31, 2008

It's the best holiday of the year!

(and we're going to see them December 13 in Baltimore!!!!)
Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What are you doing next Friday night?

I'll have my mom & dad and things 1&2 in tow...
a friendly face or two (or fifteen) not related to me would be very welcome!

Get on myspace and become a friend of the hot noodles...

they want lots of friends. And I can attest: they make very good friends.

You won't be sorry.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I am breaking up with you.

Dear Starbucks,
We've been together for a long, long (long, long) time. I've loved you through thick (Chantico) and thin (you got rid of Chantico...and valencia orange syrup!) I've defended your honor against serious, well-reasoned attacks. But I can't do it any more. You've changed, Starbucks. You. Have. Changed.
What were you thinking with the new soy milk? What is that?!
And, despite inquiries at three -- three -- different stores this morning, your partners insist that the new signature hot chocolate cannot be made with soy milk even though I've read that partners have been trained to make it with soy milk. I tried a tall signature hot chocolate with regular milk and tossed most of it. It's not a creation you should be proud of. Really. All style, no substance. I expected better from you.
You used to be so right. Now you're just, well, wrong. And so our love is at an end. I will no longer pay $5 for a dry soy venti cappucino. I will no longer giddily celebrate the return of summer with a venti iced americano with an extra shot. I just can't. I thought we were happy together, but I can't take this anymore. You take and take and take and never give back. You've made me so sad, Starbucks.
I'll miss you, but I'll get by. Somehow.
Sincerely,
Me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

REGISTER & VOTE!


Are you registered to vote? Did you know that the last day to register to vote in the state of Maryland is Friday, October 14? That's just over a week away!

Learn more about voter registration from the Maryland State Board of Elections and make sure that you're registered.
And, if you visit my favorite band on their website and pledge to vote this November, they'll give you a special gift...
Also visit HeadCount.org for PSAs and more from some very cool bands.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Turning over a new leaf...you heard it here first.

I have decided to try something new...taking care of myself. No, I don't mean massages and reflexology and manicures and haircuts and stuff like that. I mean actually going to the doctor, getting my eyeglass prescription updated, going to the dentist twice a year...you know. Taking care of myself.

This is a big deal. I have **conveniently** put the needs and schedules of other people (yea, kids!) ahead of my need to go to the dentist, the doctor, the optometrist... I know I'm not the only one who does this. It's just that I am -- right now -- stopping this practice. I went to the dentist this morning, and by golly, I'm doing it again in a few weeks. So there. And the optometrist, too. And, pretty soon, the doctor. I am all over this.

Now to get down of my high horse. It's a big one, so this may take awhile...

(By the way, I do realize that this picture depicts a kid in a costume, not an actual doctor. I'm fairly certain that my doctor is a little older. and she has a real jacket and office and stuff like that.)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Very Own Personal Fairy Princess

Gratuitous photos of Maggie, because I am soooooo tired.

If you don't already have one of these, you really should get your own personal fairy princess. They're a lot of work and they get awfully messy and can be a little temperamental, but every so often, they rock. Actually, mine usually rocks, but then she spends most of the day not being my friend anymore, with chocolate ice cream coating her front and mud coating her back. Today was one of those days...but she's still my girl.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sigh. School.

Paul started school on Tuesday... School seems fine, except that I've already learned that Paul is having difficulty focusing in 2nd grade (when asked, he told me that he's having a really hard time not thinking about the pool...I can't blame him.) Also, when checking through his work yesterday, I came across "wiski" (known to grown-ups as "whiskey") as his "w" word. How, you may ask, did I know what he was trying to spell? I asked. He told me it's "something that Daddy likes to drink." He's wrong. Mommy likes to drink whiskey. Daddy likes beer.

But my real problem? Maggie starts preschool in 30 minutes. She's excited but nervous, as evidenced by the increase in crying jags, potty accidents and an unwillingness to eat breakfast. I know she'll have a great time and she's certainly ready for it, but I can't believe she's already this big! This was my 6 lb. baby. Now she's going to school? How in the world did that happen?

There should be some magic wand that will, whenever you want, take you back to when your children were tiny babies and you spent the days (and nights) holding their little sleeping bodies on your chest while listening to them breathe and counting their fingers and toes over and over to make sure everything was there. When your kids are that small, it's impossible to soak up all the details you're going to want to remember when they're going off to nursery school, or second grade, or college.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Dad, A Senior Working for Other Seniors

My dad is very active in his church community in suburban Denver (Spirit of Christ, Arvada CO). He heads the senior group, Young at Heart, and has innovated all sorts of outreach programs for older people there because he knows that the best way to stay young is to stay engaged. He gets lots of complaints when he starts new programs, say lecture series or computer classes, but the complainers always come around and everyone is happy (and learning something new). I'm so proud of him for forging new paths and for expecting more from his community and himself.

Last week, there was an article about his 400-member group in the Denver Catholic Register. My nephew Sam thinks that his grandpa is famous... Me? I just think he's awesome. In fact, as he gets older I think he becomes even more active, and he continues to challenge himself to do even more for the people around him. There should be more people like him who are active in their communities and show the real spirit of the Catholic faith.

Friday, August 22, 2008

What's on your iPod, part 3

You can tell when I'm procrastinating (again) because this little bit of humiliation suddenly seems like such a great idea...

First 20 in random shuffle, no skips:

1. A Method, TV on the Radio Confession. I really liked TV on the Radio but we were listening to this album on the way to my first Wilco concert and I've been distracted ever since. Sigh. They're cool. But they're no Wilco.
2. Noise Annoys, Buzzcocks. One of my favorite bands from high school. Got to see them at 9:30 Club a few years ago, and we had to leave because it was so painfully loud. But I still like them.
3. All the Nasties, Elton John. Enough said, Tiny Dancer.
4. You Were Right, Badly Drawn Boy. I really like this guy and every time that he's come to the DC area, I've been dissuaded by some worrywart who thinks that he can't possibly be as good in person. Sometimes I think I live with an elderly woman.
5. Mr. Tambourine Man, Bob Dylan. Of all the Dylan songs, why this?
6. Higher Ground, Red Hot Chili Peppers. I hate the no-skip rule.
7. Love Reign O'er Me, The Who. Now we're getting into it. This takes me back to rainy afternoons driving around Denver wondering why it wasn't cooler. And pining away for boys who played in punk bands but where obviously all wrong for me. (See? I'm maturing -- perspective.)
8. Sheep, The Housemartins. I gotta delete some of this stuff.
9. Night Walks, Black Mountain. V.cool.
10. Eddie's Ragga, Spoon. We got to see Spoon at Black Cat right before they really broke. Manomanoman, that was a good show.
11. Pale Blue Eyes, Velvet Underground. I don't know why, but I associate Velvet Underground with Sunday mornings.
12. What Goes On, The Beatles. It took all this time for the Beatles to arrive on this shuffle? New record.
13. Nowhere Man, The Beatles. Two-fer! Paul and Maggie can sing this song...almost all the way through. There's something a teeny bit disconcerting about a three-year old warbling this one.
14. The Sky Is Fallin', Queens of the Stone Age. Guilty Pleasure Band. Much like Guns n' Roses. And Van Halen. And Poison.
15. 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, Paul Simon. I no longer believe that the iPod knows what it's doing. My little sister used to sing this song over and over. Without understanding what it meant.
16. Coma Girl, Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros. I'm still sad that he died.
17. In Between Days, The Cure. High school. I wore black tutus, striped tights, turtlenecks and witch shoes to high school. And that was a subdued day. I'm looking forward to my own children enjoying their uniforms.
18. Glory, Television. Tom Verlaine's voice reminds me of a friend of ours. It's hard to get past that.
19. Reflection, Prince. I really liked this late-era Prince album.
20. Sky Blue Sky, Wilco. How can it take *#@!!&*^ 20 ##*(&!! songs to get to my favorite band?!
Okay, your turn. I have to get down to work now. And I have to get rid of some of the junk on my iPod. It's true. I've actually run out of room.

What to do with the bounty?

We're at that point in summer where the vegetables are so plentiful and so good that there's a little overload. What to do?Why, minestrone, of course! This recipe from the New York Times is a great starting point. You can use pretty much any vegetable you have on hand (I'm making it with zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, sunchokes, carrots, celery, garlic and onions, plus basil, thyme, oregano...) And you can forgo the Parmesan rind if say, you're a vegan or some sort of freak. (Like me.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I bet you're wondering where I've been...

I did not fall off the face of the Earth.
I did not fall asleep in a ditch somewhere.
The children did not win (though it's been close...)

I've been busy...

First, we spent a lovely weekend at Lake Gaston, Virginia with our best friends. The prettiest member of several Cheverly bands that you know and love and her very kind parents opened their house to all of us for the weekend. By "opened their house" I mean fed us, housed us and took us on the boat. Repeatedly. At all hours of the day and night. (Actually, I slept through that...)

And why, you may ask, did we go all the way down to the VA/NC border?

So that Things 1&2 could see their very first WILCO show!!!!!!!!! They had a great time. We all had a great time (even though the crowd, as Jeff Tweedy mentioned repeatedly, smelled very nice...but not like the pine trees surrounding the amphitheater. You know, concert nice.) Cary, North Carolina, has a great concert venue -- the Koka Booth Amphitheater. If you ever have an opportunity to see a show there, do it. The band was great, and Bon Iver, the opener, was really cool. I want to see them again.

On the drive between Lake Gaston and Cary, we went to Raleigh, which has a great comic book store. Any comic book store that employs nerds willing to find the perfect comic book for a three-year old girl is tops in my book. They had one copy of a Barbie comic book and we all made a big deal about it being rare in in plastic. Maggie was thrilled. The boy needed no help in the store... there was also a good used bookstore and lots of coffee shops. Fun, fun, fun. (But not as cool as Richmond, where we stopped on the way down to the lake.)

So we had a terrific long weekend with great people and I got more sleep than I have in months. Fantastic. And then...

JURY DUTY.
Okay, I'm one of those people who think that jury duty is a good thing. I've been called several times, but was never put on a trial. Until this week. All I'm going to say: Do not do drugs. Do not use guns. If you have to use drugs, do not use guns at the same time. We'll all be alot better off if you just take my advice.

Monday night, after a quick yummy dinner at Eat First, we went to see Grizzly Bear at the 6th & I Synagogue in DC. A band I'd never heard of, Violens, opened (but I will seek them out!) It was the most polite show I've ever attended, and we were probably the only people there who had to get home to a babysitter (thanks, Abby!) Also, Charles said that every guy in the restroom while he was there washed their hands. Impressive fans, Grizzly Bear.

My jury duty ended early (plea deal) and I went to a little coffee place in Upper Marlboro that I've driven past so many times: More than Coffee! They make an incredibly good black bean and corn salad -- warm, tossed with oil and lots of cumin, and served over lettuce. (And really good soy cappuccino...) So after a relaxing lunch and a stop to buy school supplies for the boy, we got to spend Tuesday afternoon at the pool. You know those days when the cold water is especially welcome because you've been laying in the hot sun? Yeah. And we ended last night with a fantastic vegan meal made by some new friends and shared with some old ones.

So. In less than a week, four bands. Three states. The pool. Lots of great friends and food. Civic duty. Not a bad way to wind down summer...

Monday, August 4, 2008

What to do with 50 tomatoes...

* Slice. Season. Eat.
* Chop. Make into salsa. Eat.
* Chop. Stew for several hours to make marinara. Eat.
* Slice. Make vegan pizza with pesto. Eat.
* Eat.
* Eat.
* Eat.
* Eat.

Did I mention that we got some peaches, too?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Blogs I love...

This morning while waiting for a bunch of photos to upload to flickr (a bunch meaning 144), I was catching up on a few of my favorite websites. One of those is craftzine, and I don't think I've ever left that site without sending a link to someone or being inspired to try something new. It's a goldmine. Today I really struck gold. And inspiration. Elsa Mora makes beautiful things. And I love her writing -- simple, honest, self-aware and occasionally funny. She did a great project with her mom using a blank book. Reading through the thread, I found two fantastic quotes:

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give".Winston Churchill.
We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”
Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

You know how sometimes something really obvious hits you over the head? Elsa's writing did that for me this morning. (Okay, okay, it may also have something to do with the weird lovey feeling I have because our house is full of peaches, tomatoes, sunflowers, and other fantastic things from a day spent at the Cheverly Community Market and Clagett Farm. Also, I made salsa at 10:00pm last night and our house smells great!)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Funniest blog.

Philippe
Do you read Achewood? It's a (near)daily online comic strip that just gets better and better (and seems to be getting more popular, too). The characters are consistently well done and the story lines are fantastic and weird.
Philippe is a five-year old otter who lives in California and has interesting friends. I frequently think that Chris Onstad (bacon lover) has somehow gotten into Paul's head...or I did when Paul was five.
Now I just love Philippe for Philippe.

Trying to Have a "Smart" Conversation Goes Nowhere

We went out last night to celebrate the birthday of a the coolest girl in the band, and returning to the Chev, I tried to strike up a conversation with MasterP about the recent discovery of water on Mars. (Note: I am overcompensating for days of partial parental neglect due to overwork, so I'm really trying to pull out all the good mommy stops. I feel like Homer Simpson when he started paying attention to the kids... and they asked him to stop.)

The conversation:
Me: Did you hear that they got a thimbleful of water from Mars?
Charles: Really?
Me: Yeah, the NASA scientist said that the champagne was flowing in the lab. (See how I can work champagne into so many conversations? It's a gift...)
MasterP: Does that mean that there are little green martian men on Mars? I'm going to go and get one and come back and scare people with it!
LaMag: I'M going to go get a PINK one and she'll be a princess named Strawberry Shortcake!!!
MasterP: MAGGIE!!!! You can't have a pink martian. They're GREEN. The pink ones are from someplace else. Pfeh.
LaMag: MMMOOOMMMMMYYYYYY! Paul is mean and he says I can't have a pink martian and I want a PINK one!

At this time, the headache that I'd been battling all day returned. With great vengeance.

Monday, July 28, 2008

What's on your iPod? Part 2

It was so fun the first time that I'm doing it again...and I learned about some of you. Hidden depths, people, hidden depths.

Also, I'm procrastinating.

First 20 in random shuffle:

* Outkast, Dracula's Wedding: I love Outkast. I like to sing along when I'm alone in the car, but most of the songs are not singalongs for children and it's really hard to stop singing when Outkast is on.

* Bob Marley & the Wailers, Work: This makes me think of working at Glimmerglass Opera and staying in scary housing with a ghost cat who left fresh pee markings every time I left the creepy old house. Oh, and it was across the street from a graveyard.

* Parliament, Chocolate City: When I was in 6th grade, we moved from NYC to Denver. I got invited to my first party with dancing. I could not dance. Parliament was playing (the song was Flashlight). I was mortified. Shudder...

* David Bowie, Try Some, Buy Some: Let me count the ways...

* Pat Benatar, Hit Me with your Best Shot: Here's my big embarrassment for the day! And you thought it would be that I couldn't dance in 6th grade. Silly you! I like to sing along with this one, too. There. I have no pride left.

* Mos Def, Ms. Fat Booty: Not sure if I've even actually listened to this. Why, oh why couldn't something familiar and cool -- like Psapp or Phospherescent or Big Star...even Spacehog -- come next?

* Billy Bragg, A New England: I used to frequent a great show venue in Denver in the early-mid '80s -- the Rainbow Room (like my youth, long since dead). I saw fantastic shows there (Halloween night with the Cure and Siouxsee & the Banshees opening, front row for Psychedelic Furs and Richard Butler singing Pretty in Pink to me -- I was wearing a bright pink '50s cocktail dress with rhinestones, many early REM shows...) Billy Bragg opened for somebody (a band that obviously made a big, big impression). A lot of us would wait out all day for these shows, and Billy Bragg came out and played a one-man band contraption for the crowd waiting to get in. Amazing. And he gets extra points for his work on Mermaid Avenue.

* The Clash, The Prisoner: Also in Denver, I got to see The Clash at Red Rocks on the Combat Rock tour. I tried to sleep in the next day. Unfortunately, I was on the cover of the Rocky Mountain News Sunday edition and many of my parents' friends felt the need to call. I'm embarrassed to say that I had a total Molly Ringwald getup on. I was in the front row, though.

* Radiohead, Optimistic: We have tried to see Radiohead what...four times now? Tibetan Freedom Festival (stopped mid-show due to lightning striking a girl across the field during Herbie Hancock & the Headhunters' reunion performance of Watermelon Man; a 9:30 club midnight show announced at the last minute -- we happened to be in front of the club but had to go get someone at the airport; a field that flooded; and a near miss at Merriweather a few years ago -- what band starts on time? We were stuck in a long line of traffic waiting to get in...made it for the encore). I've given up on ever seeing more than 30 minutes of Radiohead live. Didn't even try this year. Charles thinks he spent time in a pub with some/all of them at Oxford. Call me crazy, but I have a feeling that there are a lot of pale, pasty shoe-gazing intellectual teenagers there.

* The Beatles, Thank You Girl: Yeah, yeah. I know. There's a whole lot of Beatles on my iPod. Actually, I really thought Wilco would be the winner. I may have to rethink my allegiances.

* Neil Young, I Believe in You: When we lived in San Francisco (Haight & Stanyan), Neil Young and Pearl Jam played a free show in Golden Gate Park. It was so loud. I was so annoyed. I was a music school snob. I am an idiot. The Grateful Dead also played a show in the park that you could hear from the Conservatory (19th & Ortega). I may not have been the right person to be living in San Francisco in the late '80s/early '90s...

* The Jam, The Place I Love: Loved the Jam, liked Style Council. Not so big on Paul Weller solo...

* Paul Westerberg, Something Is Me: I swear, he could breathe and I would love it. And listen to it over and over. And be oh so grateful. I am so easy to please.

* Blondie, X Offender: Do you remember when Debbie Harry was a guest on The Muppets? I do. We watched that show every Sunday night. I still can't really figure out how CBGB spawned such a wide variety of acts...

* David Bowie, Queen Bitch: Don't you feel just a little tough but glamorous when you listen to Bowie? My best friend in 7th grade and I certainly did. I still do.

* Chaka Demus, Twist and Shout: Ska, ska, ska.

* Echo & the Bunnymen, Rescue: I can still smell the aquanet. By the way, do you remember the old aquanet can? Long ago, it used to have a wavy top. My dad designed that can. I tried to find a picture on google, but no luck. But I did learn that you can make fairy dust using dried hairspray. So that 15 minutes wasn't a total loss.

* Skankin' Pickle, Turning Japanese: High school. A long trip on the bus from Denver to Muncie, Indiana for the International Thespian Conference. A lot of dramatic teenagers and one teacher. What in the world were our parents thinking? I did meet a great guy there -- Jim from Grosse Ile, Michigan. Jim actually came to visit me in Colorado. For some reason, I couldn't come out of my room that week, and poor Jim spent his whole trip with my mom in the living room. I am so sorry, Jim from Michigan. And Mom, too. I'm really sorry.

* Loose Fur, Carnival Knowledge: Charles tells me that the only reason that Autumn Defense is on my iPod is because of Wilco. I'll have to admit that I never would have picked it up without the Wilco cred. But I do like it. He says you can just imagine the sweaters and Ovaltine (note that he doesn't say "tea"). And poetry books and mumbling. I really like Loose Fur. They sound like the bar band you wish you'd tumble upon in a seedy bar on a winter's night. Glowing review, eh?

* The Who, I've Had Enough (from the Quadrophenia soundtrack) There used to be a theater on Colfax in Denver that did the midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show (more nights that I care to admit...) For a time, they also did Sunday afternoon Quadrophenia showings. Denver in the early to mid-80s wasn't all bad...

So, what's on your iPod? And no skipping!

A Tale of Summertime Woe

If you have a school-age child, you may be spending part of your summer getting your kid to do workbooks in preparation for the coming year. Or, if your school-age child is like mine, you may be spending your summer in a circle of useless, endless negotiation about the aforementioned workbooks. You may be hearing a lot about what summer is supposed to be, and how you're "ruining my life" and how they "really hadn't put work in the plan for today." Sound familiar? If not, I envy you. Oh, how I envy you.

Until today, that is. This morning, MasterP (pretty much) voluntarily did his work without (too much) complaining. I was as surprised as you! He even asked me to take pictures so that we could remember this day. There were some conversational gems...

Working on sight-recognition words (the text was a little smudged so he missed one or two that he normally would get):
"Not quite. It's 'could'."
"Oh yeah. 'Could.' That's a classic."

The conversation after he finished:
"Mom? Mom, would you say this was the best I ever did workbooks, an average time or worse than usual?"
"Hmmm. Well, it was pretty good."
"Mom. I really need to know your full answer here."

What do you suppose he has up his sleeve? A survey?

I pushed my luck, though. I offered him a bribe -- I mean incentive -- to complete additional pages each day. He ran (and I can hear the lovely strains of Lego xBox now). I knew I was going too far.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Technically, right now I really should be working...

but instead I am going to let you in on the highlights of the weekend, because otherwise it'll never happen. My procrastination skills seem to be at their apex this weekend...
Friday:
Because P&M were good all morning (and I was busy and I'm a big treater) I took P&M through the McD's drive-through. I was told by the elderly man working the window that I "could make a man stop watching football". P&M have been repeating and giggling ever since. I'll have to remember that in the fall ... or maybe not, since I do not actually have that power in our household.

I took pictures at the Cheverly Community Market's Potluck, which was really charming. About 70 people came out and, though I didn't get a chance to eat, everything smelled and looked fantastic. Can't wait for another one!

Saturday:
We made it out to Target (for a cooler so that we don't borrow E&K's cooler for a second year), Clagett Farm (for our -- I have to say -- pretty teeny share) and Landover Liquor (thank you for stocking Sofia -- it's been a source of slow mornings more than once for several Cheverly mommies who shall go unnamed...you know who you are.) That was all a leadup to Soul Revolver's performance at the Surf Club. Fun night -- Ladies' Night was originally scheduled, but got pushed back (the band was only supposed to play 7:00-9:00) in favor of a second set by Kelly, the Brians and Charles...and a very special two-man finale around 11:00. There was lots of dancing (I'm sure I'll regret that...) and some people were rather surprised at how much dancing and drinking the parents were able to do...not sure if those people were impressed or horrified. Oh, you'll see when you're parents. I hope the band gets to play there again very soon! After finding my glasses (under a table, sorta wrecked), we had an after-party of sorts back at the house until 1:30am. Thank you, babysitters of Cheverly. You do important, meaningful work and your service to your town and the parents therein is valued. I salute you.

Sunday:
Things are a little slow and sleepy around here today...can't imagine why. I think we need a week to recover from our weekend.


I really do have to work now. Pfeh.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What are you doing Saturday night?

I know where I'll be.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What's on your iPod?

If you are in shuffle mode, what are the first twenty songs that come up on your iPod? And no skipping past the embarrassing stuff. (My comments aren't necessarily about the song that comes up, so don't email me to inform me that I'm referencing the wrong album/period/whatever. I already know that you're very smart. And stop pushing your glasses up on the bridge of your nose that way.)

* The Specials, Rat Race: In high school I loved LOVED The Specials, then Fun Boy Three. It was really Terry Hall.
* The Beatles, Your Mother Should Know: C'mon. If you know me, you know that the Beatles have like a 98% chance of appearing in random shuffle (even with 4,465 songs currently loaded.)
* The Roots, Sacrifice: Charles gave me this album when it came out. I really want to listen to it, but most of it isn't exactly appropriate for the seven and under set, so I usually have to fast forward.
* Bob Dylan, Can't Wait: Okay, I admit it. I really didn't "get" Dylan until a few years ago. Then I was driving alone one day and his lyrics just smacked me in the brain. I had to pull over, close my eyes and listen to the whole song. Twice.
* Cheap Trick, If You Want My Love: Charles has wooed me more than once by singing Cheap Trick songs. Also, even though they're old (well, older than me) they're still cool and they still rock.
* The Beatles, Revolution: See above.
* Elvis Costello, So Like Candy: High school. I really should go back and thank my friends' older siblings for turning me on to some cool stuff.
* The Police, Demolition Man: You know what I hate? Sting. But man, can that guy sing.
* Outkast, My Favorite Things: Paul & Maggie know more Outkast songs than they probably should. This, however, makes me think of Paul McCartney singing Till There Was You. I bet he got lots of girls on that one.
* The Talking Heads, The Overload: "Stop Making Sense". Best movie date. Ever.
* Gary Numan, Cars: God, I hate iTunes. It allows you to buy old crap you shouldn't have enjoyed so much in the first place. This was Paul's favorite song for a time (it's currently Nowhere Man).
* Billy Bragg & Wilco, Another Man's Done Gone: Frankly, I'm surprised that this is Wilco's first entry on this shuffle. For the amount that I actually listen to Wilco, they should be about every other song here.
* David Bowie, Please Mr. Gravedigger: I'm a great fan of Bowie's later work. He just keeps getting better and better.
* Paul Simon, Kodachrome: Gets stuck in my head for days.
* Sonic Youth, JC: Thurston Moore.
* The Cure, Lullaby: They were -- for a time -- my favorite band. Now it feels like reading the diary of a fourteen-year old.
* U2, All Because of You: I dunno. I hate to admit it, but I'm pretty lukewarm on U2.
* Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nobody Weird Like Me: "Mother's Milk"-era Peppers remind me of moving back to San Francisco when I was 21.
* Violent Femmes, Confessions: Charles and I have very different views of the Femmes, in that I love them. He does not.
* Led Zeppelin, Heartbreaker: For some reason, the string dudes at the conservatory really, really loved Led Zeppelin. Watching cellists and violists try to be cool is funny.
* The Replacements, Nightclub Jitters: Another thank you to the big brothers and sisters in high school.
* Psychedelic Furs, Sister Europe: I love Richard Butler's voice.

(Okay that was 22. The next thing that popped up was Siouxsee & the Banshees, Hong Kong Garden.)

So...what's on your iPod?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

What do princesses do when it's 95 degrees and a code red day?

I have absolutely nothing to add.