Monday, March 23, 2009

on a more serious note

I just watched this video: a 13 year old interviews his 80-something year old grandmother. Interesting, and bittersweet, except for the part where he asks what the hardest part of the Depression was for her.
Then it was just wrenching.
She stopped, looks down, and her face crumples. "When we didn't have enough to eat," she said.

This was seventy years ago, and the memory is still so painful that she can't even say it without crying.
God, it makes my heart ache. How many people in this world live that pain every day?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

kiddie performance art

My friend Todd (also famous because of this) demonstrated one good use for electronic toys. Enjoy.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lucy's favorite story

It's a true one. (Really).

1. In which the small woodland creatures perpetrate a home invasion.

Once upon a time, Dyami left the door open. The sliding glass door to the living room, because our cat is annoying, and in the warm summer months, wants to go in and/or out every five minutes (Yes, it was locked in the ajar position).

So, we went to bad with the door open. And then, we woke up to a very loud crunching sound. Something was eating our cat's food. Except it didn't sound like our cat.

2. In which man and beast face off.

We went into the kitchen to see what (the heck) was making the noise. Flipped on the light and saw a very small (tiny!) baby possum that somehow managed to sound like a bulldozer when eating kibble.
The possum blinked. And then it turned and ran underneath our dishwasher.

3. Enter the robotic car.

Dyami didn't want to reach underneath the dishwasher, or even go anywhere close to the dishwasher. I didn't want him to either. Possums, even baby ones, have very sharp claws/teeth.
So the obvious solution was to go get our small, remote-controlled yellow car and send it underneath the dishwasher to try to scare the baby possum back out the door from whence it came.

4. Vrooom.

Dyami expertly maneuvers the car underneath the dishwasher. Zoom! (sound of squealing breaks)
Where it gets stuck.
Along with the baby possum.

5. In which we go back to bed.

We looked at each other, shrugged, opened the kitchen sliding door, and turned off the lights.
Oh, and we also shut the door to our bedroom.

6. In which there is a tearful reunion (we think).

In the morning, the possum was gone. We tell Lucy that it went outside and found its momma and dadda.
Or it took the tiny car on a joyride, returned it to the dishwasher, and then wrote a memoir.
Either way, we decided to stop leaving the door open.
In the morning,

Thursday, March 12, 2009

my new start page

The past few days when I'd open up a web browser, I kept getting weird search results. Lucy has gotten hold of my keyboard a few times, so I just figured that she'd typed something in the google search box and I was getting the results.
Except then I realized it was happening even when I opened a new browser window. And that it always pointed to the same page.
Which meant that she changed my start page.
To gh gv cv [≈ ji/uyyyyyipl=/ii][]j[]˚ˆ¨];kukj;˚˙];∆–,
Somehow, the girl opened my preferences, found the "Start Page" field, and started adding gibberish.

Question: Does this mean that she is way more computer savvy than I thought?
If so, why can't she type yet?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

the mighty queens of freeville

I was so excited to get a review copy of Amy Dickinson's memoir, The Mighty Queens of Freeville through MotherTalk's blog tour. For a few reasons:
1. Because I'm an avid reader of Dickinson's advice column, Ask Amy. Pretty much I'm an avid reader of any advice column (hey, I don't like celebrity gossip, okay? I'm allowed one trashy reading habit). But Ask Amy is my favorite--and it comes out every day!
2. Because her book is about being from a small town (Freeville, pop 458). I'm not from a small town, but both my parents are (Paw Paw, pop approx 5000 and Climax, pop approx 500. I know. Climax, hardy har har.) Plus my husband grew up in a smallish town (Ojai, pop 8000). I grew up hearing about how great/stifling/connected/close/maddening small town life was, and I harbor secret fantasies of becoming a small-town girl.
and also:
3. Because I got a free book! Pretty! Exciting! Hardcover!

Dickinson's memoir covers her experience after her husband left her. She struggles as a single mom to find her way through raising her child, finding work and dating. Through it all, Freeville--and the many family members that live there--serve as her anchor, her sounding board, and her safety net.

What I liked most about Amy's book was her portrayal of the complicated figures in her life--her ex, her dead-beat dad. She never loses compassion for these flawed figures, even while being honest about how their absences affected her.
Dickinson's story resonated most for me at the beginning and end of the book. Her marriage implodes as the book opens, and I found myself gripped by her predicament and her reaction to it. Likewise, as her daughter leaves for college, and the matriarchs of her family get older, she finds herself being a caretaker all over again--and finding love in the midst of her hometown return.
Finally, I was inspired by Dickinson's career path--she managed to find work as a single mom, and made real sacrifices with career opportunities to make sure she was there for her daughter. Seeing women survive--and blossom in adversity is the best takeaway of the memoir.
So, yes. I liked the book. Go hitch yourself a ride to Freeville, and see where all Amy's advice comes from.