31 July 2007

Bad Rhymes

My mother kept everything - clothes, toys, books - so there is a cache of smocked dresses, metal Tonka trucks, old blocks, odd dolls, and kid's books at her house. And books and books and books. I found a somewhat idiotic little book while there the other day, called "I Like The Farm".

It's a short picture book from 1961 with rhyming couplets:

Hill - Bill
Cat - Hat
Cow - Mow
Doo - You
Be - Me
Horse - Course
Wet - Bet
Jim - Him
Pup - Up
Will - Hill

Okay then. What's the problem here? COW does not rhyme with MOW. Do you think that they thought they could away with a bad rhyme just because the words are spelled similarly?

Edited to add:
Doo = Cock-a-Doodle-Doo. I suppoose I shouldn't have shortened it; I did it for the aesthetics.

Book Path

It's increasingly difficult for us to get the child to go to bed at night. One night, not so long ago, I'd been downstairs, and hadn't heard any noise, so I thought I had successfully gotten her to sleep in her own bed. When I went up, I discovered this in her room:

And she was asleep across the hall in our bed.

29 July 2007

Pain Perdu aux Courgettes

The other day, I announced to W. that I was going to make a zucchini bread pudding for dinner - we had bread getting stale, and CSA zucchini to use up. He made gagging sounds, but I carried on. To his great surprise, and my great amusement, he sheepishly confessed that it was really good. But, he proposed a renaming, reasoning that a bread pudding by any other name would taste better.

Zucchini Bread Pudding, or, Pain Perdu aux Courgettes

1 onion, chopped
2 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 cobs fresh corn, cut off the cob
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-6 cloves minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup snipped fresh basil
1/2 cup snipped fresh parsley
5 cups 1-inch sourdough or Italian bread cubes
4 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded (1 cup)*
2 cups milk*
5 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish; set aside. In a large skillet, sauté the onion in the oil. When the onion is translucent, add the zucchini and corn and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, basil and parsley. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more or until zucchini is tender. Stir in bread.
  2. Place half of the mixture in prepared dish. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat layers. In a medium bowl whisk together milk, eggs, salt, and pepper. Pour over the bread mixture.
  3. Bake, uncovered, for 35-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Makes 5-6 main-dish servings.

I adapted this from a recipe I found on-line. I added the onion, bumped up the quantity of basil and parsley, dropped the sage and nuts and red peppers - mostly because it was all what I had around from the CSA. The original recipe called for half & half or heavy cream. I didn't have either, so I used 2% milk. I found that the pudding needed to cook rather longer than 35 minutes - more like 50 minutes - likely because of the milk issue. Also, I used what cheese I had in the fridge: a tiny bit of Swiss cheese, some diced fresh mozzarella and some grated aged Gouda.

The basic idea is a mess of lightly cooked vegtables tossed with bread and cheese, and made into a pudding/custard with the addition of eggs and milk or cream. It's adaptable, and, in this iteration, another disguise for zucchini. What's not to like?

27 July 2007

Malaprops, Grammar, Typos and Unbusinesslike Email Addresses

The Irish Goddess just had a post about her co-workers' malaprops, which reminded me of a memo I once got from a woman in our office, who was Japanese. It began "Firstable", that is, "first of all". I now use "firstable" every chance I get, but only orally - I try to write without typos or grammatical errors.

I'm in the process of slogging through hundreds of résumés, looking for a receptionist.

They are riddled with grammatical errors and typos. Someone can "miltietask". Someone began "From the your website...". Someone wants to be my "receptionest ".

And then there are the people with simply inappropriate email addresses, like anything that includes "sexi/sexy", "baby/babi/babee", "girl/gurl/grrl", "QTpie/cutest/cutie" , "luv/love/lov" or "hard24get". People, you're applying for a job! Act like a professional! Email addresses are easy to come by - have a bland one for job applications, and use "Ihave8grand@***.com" for something else.

Oh, and we can't forget the one that posseses "a positive and professional aura" or the one that "dressed up as Santa's Elf and spread Holiday Cheer". It's not in this batch, but I once got a résumé in which the applicant included "colonic irrigation" as a hobby.

I think I need some holiday cheer. This is way too demoralizing.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Yes, I finally got that long-delayed mammogram a couple of weeks ago - the breasts look fine. And no, I don't have breast cancer.

But WhyMommy does, and it's a particularly virulent type. She's asked that everyone steal her post about it, to further spread the word, so here goes:

We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the US today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer? I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine. Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly. Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out. There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one. Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago. You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.

Pass the word along.

26 July 2007

CSA Week 8

One of the benefits of commuting to NYC through Grand Central Terminal is the food market, and specifically, the very wonderful outpost of Murray's Cheese. Last night, I missed my train by about 10 seconds which gave me the chance to scamper over to Murray's for some fresh mozzarella. I was guessing that the CSA delivery would include tomatoes and basil, which, with the addition of the mozzarella, would mean the first summer's meal of pasta with mozzarella and tomatoes and basil. And I guessed right!

  • Sweet Corn (4 ears)
  • Scallions
  • Swiss Chard
  • Salad Mix
  • Summer Squash (2)
  • Zucchini (1)
  • Tomatoes (2 big, and a box of small ones)
  • Mariachi Peppers (3)
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro

So for dinner, we made our favorite summertime pasta dish. It's so simple it doesn't really need a recipe, but here goes anyway:

Boil some salted water for pasta. Chop up 2 or 3 fresh tomatoes and toss them in a bowl. Chop about a pound of fresh mozzarella into 1/2" pieces and add it to the tomatoes. Chop up a mess of basil and toss in the bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Toss it all together. Cook some pasta - whatever shape you like, as much as you think you'll eat. Drain, and add the cooked pasta to the tomatoes. Toss, and serve with grated parmesan. Celebrate summer.

25 July 2007


I drove home up the Henry Hudson yesterday. That route goes past one of my most favorite signs:

Hebrew Home for the Aged
Baptist Division

But hey! Where's the Catholic division, or the Islamic division? Why draw the line at the Baptists?

23 July 2007

On Blogging

It's my anniversary. I made this little blog and started posting a year ago today.

Years ago, I'd created a tiny website, for my own amusement and because Earthlink offered them up for free. And I posted a picture of the cats and a picture of W. wearing the family wig and a picture of myself lying on the couch with cucumbers on my eyes and a cat on my stomach, and I called it a day.

When Miss M. was born, I started it up again, and posted pictures of her and some other weird stuff that I wanted to share. And then we moved and Earthlink simply could not get it together to get our DSL service working so we up and switched to Verizon thank you very much. And my tiny website disappeared.

But I kept collecting oddities "for the website". And so finally last summer, in a stretch of glorious free time while my office was being renovated and I therefore got to stay home for most of July, I created this blog. The first post was something that had been kicking around my desk for two years. Finally, or again, I had an outlet for all the bits (bytes?) floating about in my head and on little scraps of paper scattered hither and yon.

Back in May, the Blogrhet women issued a sort-of meme, in the form of four questions about one's blogging experience:

  1. Go back to first or early post. How would you describe your voice back in those early days? Who were you writing to? What was your sense of audience (if any) back then?
  2. Do you remember when you received your first comment? What was it like?
  3. Can you point to a stage where you began to feel that your blog might be part of a conversation? Where you might be part of a larger community of interacting writers?
  4. Do you think that this sense of audience or community might have affected the way you began to write?

I didn't start this to become a part of a community - but it has sort of, slowly, happened anyway. At first, the only person reading was my sister. In November, I participated in Fussy's NaBloPoMo - and made 45 posts in 30 days - and I started getting some readers and some comments. But things didn't really gel until about six months ago - though I can't for the life of me say why. Starting in about February, nearly every post would get at least a few comments. And while I'm not writing for an audience, I often sense - as word hits paper - which posts may attract comments from which readers. And those readers, I read them too. And I find them reading the same people I'm reading. The other day, I was working my way through my Bloglines list, and found that I was commenting just after the same person each time...it was like I was following her around in real time. And the people? I've come to know some of them off-blog, through back channel emails. It's like my circle of friends got bigger, in a mysterious way.

When I first embarked on infertility treatment, I perused the internet for information and fell into support. Through some boards, I ended up meeting other women - in person, on the phone, by email - and I'm still in touch with many of them. Blogs weren't part of that equation, but I can see how they could have been.

But now, it's my place to scribble thoughts, remember toddlerisms, share recipes and collect the odd whimsy that floats past on the sidewalk or in the pages of the Times.

22 July 2007

Dinner Conversation

While drinking a lovely 1994 Pinot Noir with our steak and corn on the cob and carrots braised in wine and butter (and plain pasta for the little girl):

W. to Miss M.:
This wine is nine years older than you are.

Miss M., looking at the bottle:
Well, I'm bigger than it.

20 July 2007

Little New York Moments

This morning, the line for Harry Potter at the Barnes & Noble was way longer than the line a couple of weeks ago for the iPhone at the AT&T store. Of course, Harry Potter costs a lot less than an iPhone, and it doesn't need batteries.

* * * * *

I had to have falafel for lunch today. Sometimes it's just the right thing. The falafel joint in my neighborhood is a hole in the wall. I think the whole place is about 8' wide, and 16' deep. Two thirds of that is the counter and the kitchen behind it. The front part has about 9 square feet in which to stand - the remainder being taken up by stacked cases of soda/juice/water and a sliding door refrigerator for said beverages. Hole in the wall. But the falafel is great, and a falafel sandwich with a Coke is $4.50. As a result, on a nice day, there are often 10-15 people on line waiting to order.

Today, while I was waiting, a group of kids from a local daycare went by, heading back to their center from the park. They were all wearing sleeveless yellow mesh smocks, and holding onto handles on a rope. Oof. The thought of trying to take a group of 8 or 10 preschoolers out on a walk on the streets of Manhattan rather overwhelms me with anxiety, complication, stress. And the kids looked none too happy - because of the unbecoming smocks, or because they were headed back inside?

Anyway, the line moved quickly and I bellied up to the counter to order my falafel: "Falafel sandwich, with everything, to go." What was I thinking? To go? Of course it's to go. It's not like there's anywhere to stay.

* * * * *

Amplified cactus! You have to love it that there's a bunch of guys in Brooklyn playing all manner of found objects as instruments, including a cactus.

During a rehearsal in the loft on Monday, Jason Treuting played an amplified cactus, running his hand over the plant’s unfriendly spikes to produce an alluring sound like a babbling brook...“We play David Lang because it’s an amazing experience and Xenakis for the same reason. And then we play a cactus for 20 minutes for a different reason,” he added. “Not because the audience will say, ‘Wow, that’s the best cactus player I’ve ever heard,’ but because the sound is beautiful.”

19 July 2007


I'm a little stunned. I put an ad on Craig's List at 1:10pm, for a receptionist. An hour and a half later, I've gotten 54 responses by email, and another handful by fax. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings, she said wryly.

Edited to add: It's 9:45 the next morning, and there are now 218 emails from people applying for the job. I'm not sure where to begin. And, no, we're not offering some fabulous salary - it's an entry level position at a non-profit arts organization. I think there are a lot of people out of work.

(in)fertility, part 2

My first visit to Cornell was right before Christmas 2002. We discussed the previous treatments, and how things would be handled by this clinic. The doctor was encouraging, and suggested three things that would be done differently. First, a laparoscopy to check on things, and to see if there was in fact endometriosis. Second, baby aspirin throughout the cycle, as a "can't hurt, might help" gesture. And third, co-culture for the embryos - that is, they would be grown in a medium that included cells from my endometrium, thought to be a more hospitable environment than an ordinary petri-dish for certain IVF patients with cycle failures in the past.

We got started in January 2003. They took many many vials of blood for the co-culture. I had an endometrial biopsy, also for the co-culture. I had the laparoscopy - in which they found Stage II endometriosis and cleaned it out. I began birth control bills at the end of January, began micro-dose Lupron in late February, and gonadotropins a couple of days later. I started with 4 units of Follistim and 2 of Repronex, and decreased to 1 Follistim/2 Repronex by the end of stims. I stimmed for only seven days, and triggered with a half dose (5000 units instead of the usual 10,000). We got 12 eggs, and ten of the 12 fertilized. And by the day 3 transfer, all ten were still around. We transferred five embryos, ranging from 6 to 10 cells each. Remember, I was 42 at the time, hence the transfer of so many embryos!

The beta, at 11dp3dt, was 113. It was high enough that I was told to come back in a WEEK, not the standard two days. A nail-biting week later it was 882. Six days after that (at 5w6d pregnant), the beta was 3813, and an ultrasound showed one properly located sac. At 7w2d, we saw the heartbeat on ultrasound, and we were released from Cornell to an obstetrician.

The product of that IVF is now a curly blond girl of three and a half. The geek in me likes looking at the CDC reports for 2003 and knowing that she's the result of one of the 354 cycles, at Cornell, of women of my age, that used fresh eggs.

If you missed part 1, it's here.

18 July 2007

CSA Week 7

We're cooking with gas now, the produce is coming in fast and furious:

  • Sweet Corn
  • Onions
  • Swiss Chard
  • Salad Mix
  • Green Peppers
  • Beets (with greens)
  • Yellow Summer Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley

The farm's website had hinted at tomatoes, but there weren't any - with luck, we'll have tomatoes next week.

Dinner tonight - grilled steak, with corn on the cob and a green salad.

Dinner tomorrow - kebabs, with balls of ground lamb skewered amidst green peppers, quartered onions and yellow squash. And a quick garlicky sauté of the beet greens and some chard to go alongside the kebabs, using the two garlic scapes left from last week.

We'll probably grill the beets one day, because it's the only way W. will eat beets (despite his Polish heritage!). Slice them about 1/3" thick, slather with olive oil and grill slowly 'til soft. Sprinkle with kosher salt and serve.

And there's enough basil for at least one batch of pesto (though I still have pesto in the freezer from last summer).

And the zucchini? I don't know. Zucchini bread for the vultures in my office?

17 July 2007


In retrospect, I was an idiot.

I was brought up and educated to believe that I could do anything. What I failed to realize was that my body, my corporeal self, might not comply.

W. and I got married when we were 34 because we decided we wanted children, and he felt very strongly that the children needed married parents. So we stopped using birth control, and got married, and nothing happened. And nothing happened. And. Nothing. Happened.

I woke up on the verge of my 41st birthday and realized that I wasn’t pregnant and that maybe it was time to do something about it. So I made an appointment to see my ob/gyn, who I’d been seeing for about 15 years. She did a checkup (including a sonogram), sent me off for day 3 blood work and an HSG, and gave me a referral to a reproductive endocrinologist. Little did I know that that sonogram was the only the first of many viewings of my ovaries with the dildo-cam (a/k/a transvaginal ultrasound).

The HSG wasn’t that bad (take a painkiller an hour beforehand). However, while my tubes were clear, the HSG showed that one of them was in a fixed position. Because of this, the radiologist suspected endometriosis.

Once all that prep testing was in hand, we went to see the RE. He said, pretty much right off the bat, that he thought we were a candidate for IVF. This freaked us out! We’re just starting here and he wanted to jump straight into an IVF? After some discussion, he agreed to let us try a medicated IUI. In some ways, that IUI was like sticking your toes in the water – figure out how the system works, how the injections go, etc. Needless to say, the IUI was unsuccessful, and not inexpensive.

So we got on the IVF calendar. The arrived at protocol was a month of birth control pills – oh, the irony – followed by microdose Lupron and a combination of Repronex and Follistim. I started the BCP, and went to my college reunion, where I met a classmate with little hair as a result of ovarian cancer. She'd had multiple IUIs and multiple IVFs. Her doctors said that the cancer was unrelated to the many ovarian stimulations, but, but, but...it was a little freaky.

The IVF proceeded smoothly - six eggs were retrieved, three fertilized, all three embryos were transferred (4, 5, and 6 cells). And - bingo! First IVF worked! We won the lottery! Beta of 23 at 11dp3dt. Appropriate increases to the beta! Egg sac seen at 5w3d! Heartbeat seen at 6w3d! NOTHING seen at 7w3d - the whole sac had disappeared, and the beta had dropped. Early miscarriage. It was probably a chromosomal issue, but that's just a hypothesis as there was no tissue to test.

So we waited a couple of months. I had a saline sonogram to check the interior of the uterus. We went on vacation for a week. And we did another cycle, but with a different protocol - an Antagon suppression. I was on stims for 11 days, starting at 6 vials a day, increasing to 7. Eight eggs were retrieved, seven fertilized, but only two 6-cell embryos made it to transfer. Wait, wait, wait, the interminable two week wait. BFN.

Following that failed cycle, I went back to the RE for a follow-up and discussion as to next steps. His initial reaction was that we should try donor eggs. I asked if it was worth getting a second opinion. To his great credit, he said yes and offered the names of doctors at both NYU and Cornell, and when I expressed interest in Cornell, he called a doctor there on my behalf. If I had called that doctor directly, it would have taken months to get an appointment. Instead, I was in the office at Cornell 3 weeks after the BFN.

(to be continued)

16 July 2007

Happy Birthday, Little Brother

My brother is two and a half years younger than I am, and it's his birthday today.

When he was tiny, our mother was inspired to try parental multitasking: she was nursing him while reading a book to me, when all of sudden he let out a holler. I had calmly reached over and chomped down on his foot. Damn it, read to me and stop that nonsense with the baby!

This is a picture of him when he was about nine. Is it any surprise that he's grown up to be an omnivore with a distinct predilection for pork?

Happy Birthday!

15 July 2007

More from the Backseat

After I refused to repeat Puff the Magic Dragon for the sixth time in a row and tried to play something else:

"I don't like all of these songs. They make me incredible. I want Puff the Magic."

It's lovely that she can use a four syllable word with no sense of its meaning.


"Look, Mommy, there's a racing car!"

Because all convertibles are racing cars.

13 July 2007

Sour Cherries

Sour cherries are one of those fruits that just don't travel. You never see them in the supermarket in January, flown in from Peru. Sometimes you can find them in a jar, packed in juice, usually European. I know they're available frozen, but the shipping makes them rather spendy.

But, now, here in NY, it's the fleeting season of sour cherries, and therefore time for pie. About 10 days ago, I made a strawberry cherry pie with the last of the strawberries and the first of the sour cherries. This weekend, I might try blueberry cherry.

Some years ago, I was at the greenmarket and idly asked the cherry seller "what can I do besides pie?". She replied "why, cherry bounce!" and I ran right home and made some.

Cherry bounce is basically a cherry cordial, and because I know you need to run home and make some, the recipe is at the bottom.

The best low-tech way to pit cherries is with a hairpin - an old-fashioned metal hairpin. You sort of scoop the pit out with the bend in the middle. You could try with a partially unbent paper clip, I bet, if you've got no hairpins.

There are hand-held cherry pitters out there, but I find that they tend to punch out a piece of cherry along with the pit. My mother has an antique cast iron one that clamps on to a table - the cherries roll along into a divot, where you punch the pit out. The pit goes one way, the cherry into a bowl. It is as clever as all get out, but not for sale at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Cherry Bounce

1 quart pitted sour cherries
1 750 ml bottle vodka
2 cups sugar

Combine ingredients a big glass jar with a cap and let stand in a dark cool place for a month or 3, stirring occasionally. Serve the cherries over vanilla ice cream, and drink the liquor.

Why, oh why?

Why is it that my child can say yes, with a y, but yellow comes out lellow?

We were hysterical last night:

Say yellow.


No, yellow.


What color is your shirt?


12 July 2007

CSA Week 6

If you're keeping careful track, you'll have noticed that there was no CSA entry last week. Because our delivery happens on Wednesday, we were skipped last week because of the Fourth of July. They'll make it up at the end of the season - though the prospect of winter vegetables like butternut squash horrifies me. (I gag at butternut squash. Literally. This could be a problem in a few months.)

The produce from the farm is running fast and furious now:

  • Salad mix
  • Sugarsnap Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Swiss Chard
  • 2 Cucumbers
  • 3 Yellow Squash
  • 2 Green Onions
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley

And at the greenmarket yesterday morning, I bought blueberries, red gooseberries, and sour cherries.

AND, one of my co-workers returned to the office from 10 days in Alaska, and was preceded into the office by a Fed-Ex delivery of 35 pounds of flash frozen silver salmon and rock fish that he had caught on Saturday, and which he proceeded to hand out to anyone who wanted some. I took a piece of each for the other members of the household...since I don't eat fish.

So, all in all, it was a great day for local and/or wild foodstuffs.

11 July 2007

You Get What You Pay For?

Last summer, I went to the in-network dermatologist and had a cyst removed from my forehead. It cost me a $25 co-pay. But it came back. In December, he removed it again, for another $25 co-pay. It came back again. He then suggested that I see a plastic surgeon. Instead, I went to the fancy Fifth Avenue dermatologist who doesn't take insurance, and does charge an arm and three legs. Last week, he cut the thing out, and put in subdermal stitches as well as five exterior stitches. All told, the bill for the consultation and for the surgery came to somewhat more than my deductible, but I won't get anything back because the insurance company will knock it down to "usual and customary" which will be less than the deductible. Argh. But I think the thing is well and truly gone.

Miss M. came along when I had the stitches out on Monday. They were all tickled to see a kid in the office, and the nurse came in and took her picture with the Polaroid camera they use to document skin ickies. She sat and watched the photo appear before her very eyes, while the doctor pulled out my stitches. I'd forgotten how magical a Polaroid can be. However, it is a strange picture, taken about3 inches away from her face.

I did learn one thing while he was suturing me - catgut is not made from cats. How did I get to be 46 years old and not know that? He wasn't even using catgut; he was using a synthetic dissolving suture.

10 July 2007


This breaks my heart. A baby girl, who died the day she was born. Her family buried her in the church graveyard, with a headstone. But she never had a name.

The headstone reads:

Dau. of James
& Julia A.
Van Valkenburgh
Born & Died
Sept. 12, 1857

Rest in peace, little girl.

09 July 2007

On Broadway

I work on Broadway. Not on Broadway, but my office building is located on that street that meanders diagonally across the Manhattan grid.

Down the street from my office is a storefront that recently changed hands. The windows are all covered up with brown paper while they renovate. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a neatly typed sign on the door:

862 Brodwey

Hmm. They can type but they can't spell.

This morning, there was a new sign on the door:

862 Broadwey

They still can't spell.

I'm putting bets on the next version being:

862 Broadwhey

08 July 2007

Meatl Prots

I can't stop saying Meatl Prots. I think it's my new favorite expression. Maybe I'll start shouting it out the car window when teenagers fail to yield, and muttering it under my breath at slobs who put their feet on the seats on the train. Meatl Prots.

06 July 2007

Filamentous Outgrowth

I've got hair on my mind.

My mother's hair is falling out; her wig arrived yesterday.

WhyMommy cut her hair in preparation for chemo next week.

W. got his cut last week; Miss M. announced it to everyone at daycare - it made a big impression on her. When I got my hair cut a few months ago (after far too long), she cried and cried - "when will it be longer?"

Recently I saw a woman, an older middle class black woman in a shirtdress, with her hair bundled into a tube-shaped bag of fabric that reached to her knees. Her hair was visible at her head, but from the nape of the neck to her knees, it was encased. It was a truly odd sight.

Finslippy wrote a paean to the Hair movie with Treat Williams, which got me thinking about the original Broadway cast album that I grew up with, of which none of the songs were off limits. So my brother would walk around the house singing:

Father, why do these words sound so nasty?
Can be fun...

And of course, there's the Hair anthem:

Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen…
Down to here
Down to there
Down to where
It stops by itself

S. posted recently about getting her hair cut; she's got LONG hair - she had 14" cut off and it's still down to her elbows.

I used to have long long hair, but never that long. But enough that I could have 5-6" chopped off at a time and still have a lot of hair. In kindergarten, I had pigtails and bangs. In fourth grade, I started growing the bangs out. By high school, I wore it in a ponytail, or clipped back with two barrettes - one over each ear. That there photo of a high school marching band? That's me towards the left, playing the piccolo with the long blond hair. Somewhere along the way, I started using one barrette at the back, to hold back some of the hair - I've never met a barrette that could take ALL of my hair. Eventually I figured out how to put it up in a nice tight bun with five hairpins - the good old-fashioned sturdy 3" hairpins that are awfully hard to find. I was about 40 years old the first time I got my hair cut professionally. It was frightening to walk into a fancy-schmancy salon, since I never learned how to be a real girl and I'm terrible about the whole tipping thing, but it was a great haircut.

Since then, I've been fairly erratic about keeping it up - who has time to get their haircut when they have a full-time job and a small person? Right now it's a couple of inches above my shoulders, thanks to a cheap cut by an old man at a low-rent no-appointments salon.

I seem to have lost my train of thought.

05 July 2007

The Dangerous Book

A couple of months back, there was a lot of hoopla about a new book called "The Dangerous Book for Boys". A good part of the hoopla involved around the boys part - like, can't girls do those same things? Of course they can. And shouldn't they get good instruction? Of course they should.

I'm the mother of one child - a daughter. She is 99.99% sure to be our only child. So, I rather wanted the book for her - it sounded like fun and chock-full of all sorts of things everyone should know. It also sounded like a great Father's Day present.

I toyed with the idea of buying the book and taking a Sharpie to the cover but that seemed overly destructive and not nearly cunning enough. Instead, I bought the book - which conveniently comes without a dustjacket - and made a book jacket for it. I took a large piece of Miss M.'s artwork, scanned the bookcover, found some extra bits, and made a collage cover. The whole shebang got laminated with clear Contac paper. I am distinctly amused with myself.

04 July 2007


It being the Fourth of July and all that, the New York Times has reprinted the Declaration of Independence, as it does every year. I'm inside with Miss M., but I can hear W. mumbling from somewhere; I thought perhaps he was on the phone. No. W. is currently sitting on the back porch, alone, reading the Declaration of Independence out loud. All's right with the world.

Well, it isn't, really, but here in these parts, we're for the Declaration of Independence. Too bad Shrub and the Puppetmaster are not.

02 July 2007

Questions from the Back Seat

How do we make water?

How do we make school buses?

How do we make signs?


What kind of aminals eat poop?