Archive for November, 2010

Buckskin Nostalgia…

November 29, 2010

Where to begin?… let’s just start at the end. Sofia and I (Mom stayed home this year) were in central NY last week from Monday until Sunday and look what I got (not only the beer)…

Now, I don’t get excited about haberdashery, ever, but… a buckskin jacket! Of course, I showed it to Mom and she laughed and then got a concerned look on her face and said, “you’re not going to wear that in public?” to which I replied, “I’m gonna wear it everywhere”. Then a bit later, she changed strategies and calmly said, “you know, it’s really not you’re style”. What, does she think I just rode in from New Jersey on a pickup truck?… what’s my style? Maybe she means the style I represent in all the men’s magazines called the “limping, hobbling, curmudge with plantar fasciitis sneakers and wrangler jeans look”. I don’t have a style, I live in a style vacuum… of course, this buckskin jacket is gonna change all that. I went to lunch today and already received an offer for it (kinda). The devoted reader may already know this because I’ve said it before but despite my age and infirmities, I still have catlike reflexes and so I figured since I rarely get a pic taken for the blog, I would include one that shows (without having to use your imagination much) how the buckskin will enhance my lightning quick reflexes even more…

So we stayed at my sister’s house, it’s the one with no internet. Anyway, she had this picture on her refrigerator that I had never seen and depicts my grandparents in a rowboat in Ontario somewhere about to go or coming back from fishing…

This is more how I remember grandpa than the picture in the post I did about him here. The day after I noticed this picture I went to my cousin’s house for a day of beers which I will post about soon. He had this book…

It’s strange to have a book published about where you grew up but there it was with a chapter on Chadwicks, which was the tiny town that I grew up in. Of particular fascination to me was seeing pictures of how the town looked even before I was born. Here’s a pic of the street I grew up on…

Our house is circled and of course the two paths with trees planted betwixt were eventually replaced by a somewhat paved road and American Elms planted. The elms were destroyed by dutch elm disease when I was young and now the street looks like many neighborhoods in America. Sofia and I did a drive-by and the house is in great disrepair and the back yard looks like a junkyard… but it happened so gradually that probably only someone who drives by every ten years or so would notice. The street was named school street because there was a school on it and coincidentally the clever originality of this naming scheme was somehow absorbed by me as a child and I still wield it today to do my bidding. Here’s the school which was an apartment building by time I came along…

The apartment building was owned by Charlie O’Connor and he didn’t like children or maybe he just didn’t like us but I’m eternally grateful for his use of a plow attached to his pickup truck which created large snowbanks at the end of our sled run down the hill into his parking lot. But the most remarkable thing about this book to me was this picture…

The girl on the far left is my aunt Eleanor (who I got to see twice while visiting) and the third child from the right is my dad. A motley crew no doubt but as I don’t have many pics of my dad as a boy, I was thrilled to see it. So Aunt Eleanor married Uncle Leo and had Marcel, amongst others and he was also at my cousin’s drinking beer this year. I have never called Marcel anything but Jib and here’s a pic of Jib (not a very good one but we were imbibing and of the 2 I took, this is the better one, Jib’s on the left, my brother Ken on the right)…

To make a complete circle and end where I started, Jib and my aunt play a game where she tries to throw things away and Jib tries to keep her from throwing them away and one of those things was the buckskin jacket that his dad, my uncle and godfather Uncle Leo, had made a long time ago from a deer that he had killed hunting. Apparently the jacket was in a bit of a state of disrepair after being neglected for years and Jib wanted to know if I was interested in having it. He spent some time nurturing it back to health with various leather restoration products and I think it looks pretty good… thanks Jib. Posted some more pots in the etsy store today (clicking goes to etsy)…

No Leaving Your Baby In The Store…

November 21, 2010

I hate to belabor a point, no matter how entertaining it is to me personally, but things happen and they tickle me and I guess we’re in a kind of sign vortex lately. Yesterday the bug and I went to Vietnam Kitchen and on the way home we stopped at a grocery store to pick up a couple things. Unfortunately after three 32 oz. glasses of iced tea and a large bowl of zuppa, it’s usually a rush home to relieve ourselves. Anyway, as we entered the grocery, we made a beeline for the rest room and since the bug is only 6, I do not leave her unattended outside the rest rooms in a busy grocery, especially when the nickname of the grocery we were in is the “dirty kr0ger”. Regardless, since I do not go into the women’s room, we headed into the men’s room and straight for a stall in case anyone came in while we were there (someone did come in and left while we were there). In the stall, there was a baby changing station attached to the wall. Normally, they are folded against the wall to be out of the way but someone had left it open like a small table… a baby changing table to be exact. While I was occupied Sofia stood there captivated by the stickers across the back of the unit and eventually said out loud, “no leaving your baby at the grocery store”. I could see the stickers but didn’t have my glasses on and although I thought her interpretation of the little “international symbol man” was funny, I couldn’t think of what it really said or meant. So as we were about to leave, I put on my glasses and saw what she was looking at. I g00gled for quite some time and although this is the exact model we were looking at, I couldn’t get a closeup of the graphic itself and I’m simply too busy to try and duplicate it (although I was so frustrated in g00gle that I almost got the camera and went back down to the store) (click to enlarge)…

You see it circled… a man walking away from the baby? Here’s a similar graphic of the same thing…

So… “do not leave your child unattended”. Hmmm… really? We need a sign to tell us not to leave our child in a bathroom stall? Then I start thinking what kind of stupid culture are we living in where we need signs to keep us from doing things that, in my younger days, I would’ve thought no one would do. To the curmudge, it’s akin to having signs that say don’t jump out the window on the 4th floor (defenestrate yourself), don’t chop your fingers off with the paring knife, don’t run out in front of speeding cars or trains. While g00gling I was musing about all this in the context of our culture but then I noticed we’re not alone…

Apparently people are leaving their infants in public places all over the world and just going about their business. Sure, I hear the stories same as everyone else about the parent that left their kid in a car with the windows rolled up but I really don’t think that a sign will either convince them that maybe they should think twice about leaving the child there or break through whatever the problem might be that would warrant such a lapse of attention. Of course I’m not the first to find amusement in the signage and its proliferation. There are plenty of phony signs that use the graphical standard as a way to sarcastically convey a message or just to break through all the other signs (sign, sign, everywhere a sign, blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind… whatever the hell breaking my mind means). Here’s a sign and I’m not sure but believe it’s for real, on the other hand, c’mon…

On the other hand, although I’m sure these are a joke, part of the joke is that they are not that far off from the “checking the diaper” one above…

OK, enough of that. Let’s proceed to the recent report based on the 2010 census that ranked the 50 smartest U.S. cities “from first to worst” is how it was reported. This is also another way of saying that they ranked the cities to see who’s the stupidest… and Louisville came in at a blistering 4th worst (out of 55 because apparently there were some ties) or in the top 4 stupidest, depending how you read it. “Louisville performed poorly on almost all measures: Book sales and college-degree rates were especially bad.” But take heart Kentucky, we still have bragging rights over San Antonio, Las Vegas and Fresno. Remember the Alamo!… and forget about all that book lurnin’ nonsense. In the meantime, I posted a couple new mugs to my etsy shop (clicking goes to etsy)…

Last but not least, the other day I posted my fledgling beer glass poster and later received and email from Derek Moore, a Vancouver potter who makes very cool vessels, and he had taken it upon himself to take the poster idea a bit further and sent me this…

I liked his slogan and feel like it strikes a cord with beer aficionados because it’s about the quality of the beer that’s being imbibed. I decided to alter Derek’s a bit but keep the tag line…

Thanks for the suggestion Derek.

Beer Posters…

November 19, 2010

Just a quick post and the results of a quick search for beer posters… man, those poster people are uptight about having an image of their poster online where you could actually read the labels of the beers. For the photoshop uninitiated, a 600×800 pixel image is not large enough to make a do-it-yourself dorm room poster. There’s a really nice big Belgian Beer poster but I can’t find a file where you can actually see the bottles and what they say. Anyway, here’s what I found without spending too much time…

And of course, here’s a nice chart that’s been floating around the internet (click to enlarge enough to read)…

OK, so last night I couldn’t sleep and ended up fooling around in photoshop a bit and made this…

I know it doesn’t have that “poster” look but that was really not my intent… I just wanted to see what they all looked like together. But then I thought what about a slogan…

Or maybe something like, “craft beer drinkers don’t let clumsy friends spill” or “porcelain… it’s as old as beer”.

Eureka, Buika…

November 17, 2010

What’s the revelation?… BUIKA! I have been a longtime fan of female vocalists, especially jazz vocalists. In college, I had a “boom box” and only 2 90 minute cassette tapes which I played incessantly for years in the ceramics studio at Murray State University. One tape was a live two-LP recording of Al Jarreau which I posted about quite a while back here. The other was a live two-LP recording titled “Duke and Ella Live at the Cote D’ Azur”. Both of these records were my early explorations into scat and I played them literally hundreds of times. Ella Fitzgerald is still my favorite with the most pure voice I’ve ever heard and I used to say that one thing I’m thankful for is that I was born after Ella. I know that many people will disagree and say that perhaps Sarah Vaughn was better, or Billie Holiday or whoever and those opinions are well taken but Ella has always been the best to me. Since college I’ve included many other female vocalists to my favorites list like Sarah and Billie, and would definitely include Aretha, Dinah Washington, Patsy Cline, Dakota Staton, Diana Krall, Sade, Omara Portuondo, Clara Nunez and maybe some more contemporary singers like Ani Di Franco and Tori Amos. Sure there’s more but listing them is not my point. My point is I don’t know what planet I’ve been on but my friend gave me a Concha Buika disc the other day and I’m spellbound. How did I miss Buika. Hell, she won a grammy (of course I don’t watch awards shows… gag me with a spoon). Oh the voice, it’s like a wonderfully mellow, smokey, acrobatic, nuanced female version of Cigala. Unbelievable! I can’t get over it and it is all I’ve been listening to for days. Here’s a video but really… good speakers and some volume and it will give you chills (or maybe not)…

Here’s a couple pics of new pots I got pics of before my rechargeable batteries went on the blink (click to enlarge)…

Closeup…

Humpfph…

November 16, 2010

Every once in a while, I guess, a parent recognizes a tiny genetic fleck’s behavior being passed to the offspring. In this case it happens to be the propensity to endlessly repeat original nonsense phrases that eventually, because of the repetition, come to have meaning. Of course this doesn’t exclude other nonsense sayings that I’ve come to admire, a famous Kentucky one (or at least southern one) is “like a hair in a biscuit”, which I’ve mentioned in previous posts. When I was a freshman in college I used to say… “eh, bushida in a backhouza”, backhouza being Italian English for outhouse and bushido meaning “the way of the warrior” or something like that in Japanese. Of course when I was saying it I didn’t know that or care. In graduate school, instead of saying “shee-it” like many of the people around me, I would say shee – ite, pause and add moslems to the end. This was in the early ’80’s and the political correctness surrounding such a saying now would probably have made me reconsider but one of my bosses, Richard Musgraves (who was an erstwhile beatnik), used to laugh every time I said it and it made me feel as though I had somehow achieved a pass into the sense-of-humor-of-older-men club. There were other vulgar ones that, mostly because of search engines, I won’t elaborate here. So anyway, a couple days ago, the bug started saying “humpfph” and over the last few days she’s said it at least a couple hundred times. It seems to be a flexible expression that ranges in meaning from mild displeasure at what she’s being told to do to absolute discontent of the current situation. She’s also said it so many times that I think it has just started coming out in the place of her exhaling. We unloaded the kiln yesterday and she had almost 3 shelves full of stuff which she enjoyed unloading and examining. I had to wait till she got home from school to unload which was excruciating for me to have to wait because I had pots on the shelves below her shelves. Anyway here’s some shots of her pieces…

Here’s the bug with one of my favorites (sorry it’s a touch out of focus)…

So now that almost all the work I had is fired, the photography begins… tomorrow. Here’s a couple shots from the first kilnload…

In other news, I decided that I might have to swim during the winter because I don’t want to ride my bicycle in the cold weather and swimming seems to be one of the only activities that doesn’t hurt my heels. Anyway, I’m not a swimmer and haven’t swum in years and never laps in a pool. So I showed up this morning and gave it a try. I decided that I should swim 20 laps, having no idea how difficult that might be, how long it would take and how far the distance is. After about 18 laps (and I could tell it was gonna take its toll on my shoulders), I stopped the pacing lifeguard and asked, how many laps make a mile. To my surprise the answer was 32… wow, that would make another 14 and then that would only be one mile. So at 25 laps I figured I might as well make it an even mile. Of course I did take a short breather a couple times. Not sure if I will pursue this further because I’m the kind of person who is unable to do the laps and not keep track and it starts to become tedious after a bit and that’s exactly why I don’t want to go somewhere and ride a stationary bicycle all winter. But you never know, maybe I will grow to like it. OK, so photography starts tomorrow.

More International Confusion…

November 11, 2010

The previous post about the AIGA international symbols and their subsequent misinterpretations got me thinking and although I understand that the intent of these symbols is to clearly convey what an elaborate sign with words might convey in a simple and, more importantly, easily understood pictograph, it seems to me that some concepts are just too complex to capture effectively and convey to, let’s just say, an 80+ percentile of international travelers. So I set to work on one that has not yet been accepted into the AIGA symbol library and it has a personal connection to events in my life. Here it is…

Hmmm… not clear? The following explanation should help but I’d like to preface it by somewhat defending (making excuses) a certain series of events that I refuse to refer to as a trend but that nevertheless Mom seems bent on characterizing as an endless, incredible, hard-to-fathom and yet now inevitable kind of clumsy stooge behavior. Readers of this blog for a while are probably aware that one of the things I openly and proudly acknowledge is my cat-like reflexes but in Mom’s defense, I have to relinquish on a couple of incidents just since I’ve been blogging. First and foremost is the ongoing plantar fasciitis problems that cause me endless pain when standing or walking and have been elaborated on more here. And let’s not forget the incident with the coffee table resulting in a lower leg hematoma here. Oh yes, and the bicycle accident that had me out of commission for 3 weeks here. In my defense the combination of aging, declining eyesight and foot pain can be dangerous to one’s health as I hobble around in a blurry world in which I mistake bonsai maple trees for cannibis sitting in its own private pot (no pun intended), I sometimes wonder what else I’m not seeing or how close I may have gotten to narrowly escaping injury without knowing. So on to the story… two post before this, I mentioned the cherry tree being cut down in the back yard and my friend that was coming over to gather up the wood to use in his fireplace. I told him I thought his instructions to cut the trunk of the tree into 18″ sections was fanciful because of the weight of each, to which he replied, well, you’re gonna help me. To which I replied, I’ll supervise. So Tuesday, I came home and he was in the back yard with his trailer parked in the alley, a chain saw, sledge and wedge and a handtruck (dolly) with large inflated tires. I went out to supervise but ended up helping a bit. My idea was to get the sections of the trunk that were round and roll them to the alley and when they were all down there, he could use the dolly and put them on the trailer. This is what happened but at some point he needed to cut an oblong piece in half with the chain saw and I was standing there in the alley with the dolly and the chunks of wood. I was a bit distracted because I was supposed to go and meet a friend of mine but I decided to load a couple chunks on the trailer while he was sawing. I tipped a chunk that was about 200 lbs. (it might have been 190 but seemed more like 200), slid the tongue of the dolly underneath and tipped it back. Facing the trailer with the ramp down, I pictured my friend placing chunk after chunk in rows and that I didn’t recall him turning the dolly around once he was in the trailer. Here’s the strange part to me. I have known not to do this since I was still in high school, yet I put the dolly handle low (about even with my knees) and ran at the ramp from about 8 feet away so as to have enough momentum to make it to the top of the ramp. Of course, and I’m sure you can see what’s coming a mile off (even though I somehow remained oblivious), when the wheels hit the bottom of the ramp… they stopped dead. Of course! The 200 lb. chunk of cherry continued with it’s momentum to slam down the tongue of the dolly onto the surface of the ramp. And obviously, this sent the metal handle of the dolly straight up at great speed and with tremendous force into my chin. It knocked my head back and I felt my teeth jam together and as I lay in the alley holding my mandible, I could feel a strange vibration just below my ears where the ends of said mandible attach to the upper part of my skull. I was lucky on two counts. One, I wasn’t working with my tongue hanging out like many of my fellow Kentuckians because it would have gotten chomped off. Two, the handle came straight up vertically and I think if it had come more from the front of me toward the back it might very well have fractured my jaw. I have a bruise under my chin and the soreness is already almost gone. Of course, this whole thing just confirmed Mom’s characterization of me and she came out while I was lying in the alley because “she thought it was strange that I was taking a break so soon after going out there”. Apparently my neighbors were looking out the window at the same time because later when arriving home again, they were on the porch and as I walked up the sidewalk, one said, “are you ok?”. I thought this was a metaphysical question and answered “no, not at all” but they then elaborated that they had seen me out the window. So back to the symbol. Here’s a sequential look at what happened…

I decided to use the second in the sequence as the final symbol with the infamous red circle and slash because it’s the actual striking of the chin with the dolly that should be prohibited. So there you have it and in case anyone thinks that the symbol is in no way shorthand for something worded, my idea is that showing the symbol would definitely be more clear to a majority of international travelers than expecting them to know what this means…

Can you imagine the injured people writhing around airport floors and hotel lobbies holding their chins if this symbol is not adopted soon? Think about… and make your voice known.

International Confusion…

November 8, 2010

Sofia and I, both being a bit under the weather on Sunday, decided to go to a small mexican restaurant and get some “comfort” food. We were early because of the time change and found ourselves in a virtually empty restaurant. The bug likes to sit on the same side of the table with me (to get me to draw with her) and as we sat on one side of the booth, we faced the front door to the room we were in. The facade of the restaurant is brick from the sidewalk up about 2 feet and then large panes of glass that extend to the ceiling. Anyway, Sofia was gazing out the large glass windows and I thought something from across the road had captured her attention. Finally, breaking her reverie, she blurted out, “no sitting on the tables”. I said, what are you talking about? She said, as plain as day, “no sitting on the tables” and pointed at the window. Of course I thought she was pointing out the window. As I stared at the house across the street and the skyline and the tire service store next to the house, I was stumped. Finally, she pointed to a transparent decal that was stuck on the glass next to the door and said, the sign that has a circle with a line through it…

Before I actually thought about it, I said, that’s the no-smoking sign. No, she said, it means “no sitting on the tables”. So in the 70’s, the AIGA (American something of graphic arts) organization was hired to come up with a series of 50 (I think) symbols without words to be used for travelers mostly and be interpretable easily by all in international settings. Most of them are pretty straight forward but I’m starting to think that maybe they should’ve run them by a six year old first. I keep thinking of the scenario where the manager of the restaurant points to the no-smoking symbol and tries to get his international guest not to smoke only to be confused more by the international guest’s insistence (in broken English of course) that he’s not sitting on the table. So, I’m suggesting at this point that the AIGA come up with another no-smoking international symbol and accept a small edit to the current one so that people stop sitting on the tables… it’s rude!

The bug also took on the big project of drawing everyone she could remember from the Oz books we’ve read so far. I tacked a large piece of paper on the wall inside her bunk and she went to town. I’m gonna have to look up the characters from each book because there’s been so many that we’ve forgotten many. She did get quite a few of them though. Here’s the bug mid-drawing…

Here’s the “finished” drawing, although I’m thinking she’ll probably keep working on it…

Closeup…

Glazed Over…

November 7, 2010

Where to begin? In the aftermath of the rigmarole that was the evil holiday that starts with an “H”, like hell does, the pre-birthday party and the actual birthday (also election day), apparently the accumulation of sugar resulted in this (big surprise)…

The bug caught a bug and missed two days of school which included one day when she, acting the trooper, insisted on going and then barfed on the way there. Of course, I did not escape unscathed and had a rough week of working ill and not sleeping… so far Mom has escaped the malady. Here’s the bug in a birthday morning frenzy…

Yesterday, despite us both being under the weather, was a very busy day and since my glaze load is at 202 degrees as I type this and was really hot yesterday, we decided to get a bunch of the bug’s pieces glazed for next week’s glaze load. So we headed to the studio and had a pretty productive, albeit logy, afternoon. Here’s some pics of the shenanigans…

Here’s a shot of the demon dog titled “suspicious minds”…

Warning: For you short post readers, you might want to stop here. The big event of the day was the removal of a relatively large black cherry tree from the back yard. It requires a little story that reminds me of the Frost poem we read in high school that includes the line “good fences make good neighbors”. The house next door is owned by a couple that are the 4th owners in the last decade. The first couple of these 4 were elderly and they had a nice black cherry tree in their back yard next to the fence with peonies all along the fence that had to be at least 25 years old. At one time they threatened to cut down the cherry tree and although I hoped that they wouldn’t because it was rather beautiful and the blossoms were wonderfully fragrant in the spring, it was their tree and I had no say in the matter. They opted not to cut it down (probably because of the expense). The second owners of these 4, had a gas leak and the trench they dug in their front yard killed my Japanese Pagoda tree that I had in my front year and had waited 10 years for to bloom. Que sera, what could be done?… there was a gas leak. Then came the third owner. She hired a young man out of college (business school) to be her gardener. It was early spring and in the front yard there was an ocean of daffodils that ran the entire length of their porch. When they bloomed, the yard had a shock of yellow that was a distinct signal that spring had arrived. The gardener dude started work about 4 or 5 days before the daffodils were to bloom and showed up with a tiller. I was on the porch out front wondering what he was going to till because it was either the grass in the yard or the daffodils. I introduced myself and he said he was the gardener. I asked how long he had been a gardener and he admitted quite openly that it was the first job he’d done and he was gonna use his business degree to start a gardening business. Eventually, I asked what his tiller plans were and he motioned that he was gonna till the patch of almost pregnant daffodils. What are you gonna put in there? I asked. Mulch. Just mulch? Yep. I diplomatically asked in an “around-Kelly’s-barn” kinda way (that is essential in the south) if he knew what he was tilling up. Nope, just gettin’ rid of ‘em and puttin’ down some mulch. I asked if the owner knew how beautiful they’d be in about a week since she hadn’t been there during the spring months yet. Don’t know. So, I butted out. Next week, gardener dude was in the back yard tearing down the wire fence that separated our yards. The peonies were all sending up their reddish sprigs at the time. He struck up a conversation about the fence letting me know that he might trample some stuff near the edge of the yard. I asked his plans again and he said, gonna do the same as out front all along this fence, motioning the the 30 foot section of mature peonies. I asked again if he knew what he was tilling up. Nope. At this point I couldn’t help myself and told him what they were and that if he was gonna till them, did he think the owner would mind if I dug them up and transplanted them to my yard. (the owner was never home by the way). He said he didn’t care and she wouldn’t either. I believed him. I dug as many as I could and put them everywhere I could find a place. After tilling up the rest and laying down mulch, about a week later, gardener dude was gonna replace the wire fence with a 6 foot wooden fence. He started by the back of my neighbor’s house and just put sections up until he realized after a half a day’s work or so that he was aiming the fence on my neighbor’s side of the cherry tree. At this point he would either have to start over or make a “U”-shaped detour of fence that jutted into my yard to enclose the cherry tree into it’s rightful yard. He came to me an asked, do you mind if I just have the fence go on our side of the tree instead of yours? In a moment of weakness, not remembering Mr. Frost’s quote and having already absconded with about a dozen clusters of peonies I agreed. Of course I pointed out that at the trajectory he was making the fence, he was also giving me about 4 or 5 feet of my neighbor’s yard on my side of their fence and that he would definitely have to clear that with the owner. Later, he said that he did but I seriously doubt it. Anyway at the time, it seemed a small concession. So my yard was a bit bigger and the tree was on my side of the fence. Then a couple weeks later, a concrete truck showed up and poured a large slab that filled half their back yard. Interestingly enough, within a week of the slab being poured, I woke to jack hammers. There was a crew busting up the slab. I couldn’t get over the money spent and wasted. Immediately after clearing the debris, gardener dude showed up and announced that he had given up on the gardening business and he was gonna be a builder and he had been hired by my neighbor to build a garage. So here come the backhoe and excavators who, coincidentally, sever about 40% of the roots of the cherry tree just as the previous owners had done to my Japanese Pagoda tree. I crossed my fingers that it wouldn’t die but the next spring it was obvious that it wouldn’t last more than another year or two. So, now I was in a fix because I not only wasn’t gonna cut it down on principle but I couldn’t afford to anyway. I went to the previous neighbor and politely pointed out that even though I had acquiesced in their positioning of the fence, that the tree was theirs and it was dying and that I felt it was their responsibility to deal with it. She simply stated that they knew it was gonna die when she moved in before the fence or garage were even built. Of course, considering her gardener dude’s knowledge of Kentucky flora, what could be done? Then the for sale signs went up a year or so later. I pled (naively) with the realtor to alert potential owners of the cherry tree dilemma and he assured me he would. After the papers were signed he admitted that he had lied. So, I’ve been waiting for mother nature to slowly get rid of the tree, dropping limbs in both our yards every time there’s a storm. Then, out of the blue, my newest neighbors tell us that they’re gonna have tree work done and the cherry tree would be coming down. So it’s a done deal as of yesterday. Here’s the bug amongst the rubble (my friend is coming to get the logs to burn in his fireplace)…

Crapturnal Princesses…

November 1, 2010

Well, we had the pre-birthday, pre-“evil holiday that starts with an h”, pre-election day birthday party with the cousin, Eric, whose birthday is around the same day as Sofia’s out at the bug’s cousins’ home on Friday night. Earlier that day Sofia had come home from school saying that bats are nocturnal. This was because they also had an actual “evil holiday that starts with an h” party that they called an “autumn party” or some such shite at school that day and they made bats out of construction paper and one of the interesting facts about said bats was that they were active at night. Being the pain in the ass that I naturally am, I thought it important to point out that other animals are diurnal and active during the daytime. I’m sure the bug heard me but pretended not to be interested. So we went to the party at the cousins’ house. We had pizza and salad and the kids had a lot of fun. So here’s some pics from the party. I call this pic, start your engines, as Sofia is patiently waiting for the adults to stop chattering and allow the unwrapping to begin…

And they’re off…

The cake that was a blur…

Here’s a shot of cousin Isabel…

And later the kids got ahold of Uncle Mark’s rose-colored glasses from his hippie costume…

About a year ago I did this post which detailed my attempts from when Sofia was very young to counter the tide of d1sney princess/barbie tripe that is constantly foisted upon our little girls by convincing Sofia when she was 2 1/2 or so that the d1sney characters were all named crappy face. I know, spitting in the wind, but I stemmed the flow until she caught on. So to my delight one of her gifts this year was a tiara and a wand. Of course she immediately put the tiara on and pranced around with the wand like she was a ballerina. When we were on our way to the car to leave the party, Sofia was prancing in the moonlight with her tiara and wand and said, Dad, are princesses nocturnal? Being quick on my feet (metaphorically speaking) and thinking I should take one last stab at it, I immediately answered, no bug, princesses are crapturnal. I reiterated this a couple times while getting in the car but Sofia’s coup de grace was her immediate insistence that she wasn’t buying it for a minute. Hey, I almost made it to her 6th birthday. On Saturday, we went over to my friend Ray’s house to have Colleen cut the bug’s hair and she insisted on wearing her new roller skates that she received the day before. Now she wants to wear them everywhere. Here’s the roller derby queen, I mean princess…

Here’s some of Ray’s Lincoln sculptures…

When we got home, Sofia immediately went over to her friend Sophie’s grandmother’s house to play. Here’s the dynamic duo, Sophie and Sofia…

They really wanted me to take a picture of their feet…

They had a great time and watched “The Wizard of Oz” in anticipation for her trick or treating and I got to take the dog for a quick walk and experiment with the Vietnamese spinach and lemongrass I got that morning at the Vietnamese grocery. Ig turned me on to Vietnamese spinach when I was up in Des Moines a bit back. It was dreamy. So it was a full couple days and it’s not stopping yet ’cause MY mom just called and she’s coming in on wednesday for a short visit.


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