Saturday, October 15, 2005


From the Desk of Esbee

ATTN: All remaining hairs on my right eyebrow
cc: left eyebrow

I'll pluck you right out, too, if any of you elect to individually dabble in grey tones like the traitor hair I plucked earlier. I am entirely unamused by hair color insurgency. You want to play that game, you'd best all take a stand together one night when I'm sleeping.

1. The organic process of growing older and showing the effects of increasing age.
2. The property characteristic of old age.
"senescence." WordNet 1.7.1. Princeton University, 2001. GuruNet Corp. 15 Oct. 2005.

Roller Boogie

My oldest went to a (girl) classmate's birthday party today. It was a roller skating party to which the entire class was invited, my son being one of four boys (representin'!) who showed up.

He's never been on skates before*, and he was incredibly hesitant, doubting his ability to achieve skatehood. He spent the first half hour holding onto the rail the whole way around. Then I went and helped him for an hour or so. By the time we left, he believed, and was able to take the leap of faith required to skate alone off the rail. Awkward, but he did it.

noun, informal
1. Boldness of enterprise; initiative or aggressiveness.
2. Guts; spunk.
3. Common sense.
"gumption." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. GuruNet Corp. 15 Oct. 2005.

*However, he has one false memory of having skated while shopping alone in a grocery store, something he saw on a commercial once and somehow appropriated as his own experience in his memory. He really believes he did this, so, when asked if it was his first time skating, he relayed "his" experience rollerskating through a grocery store.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Oh, please

From an AP article carried by the Washington Post:

Sarah Sevick says her ferret is more than just a pet _ the animal is a medical necessity. Sevick, 19, has filed an Americans With Disabilities Act complaint against her school because it won't let her keep the animal in her dormitory.

She said she needs the ferret, named Lilly, at Our Lady of the Lake University to calm her during panic attacks.

What if she suffers a panic attack in class; what good will the animal do her way back in her dormitory? What if she's out in a restaurant when struck? Or is she planning to take her medically necessary service animal everywhere? I would think she would need to, if this is the medically necessary treatment for her unforseeable panic attacks.

But let's back up. Has this ferret received special training? From whom? Was the ferret matched to the client based on its qualifications and the client's needs like other service animals? And is a ferret better suited for the job than, say, a naked mole rat?

Moving on to logistics, will the ferret wear a diaper to prevent soiling? Will it be on a proper leash when out and about? If it's a nipper, will it get a small muzzle? A little fabric saddle that declares it a Working Ferret - Please Do Not Pet?

And most importantly, is Sevick, with the assistance of a qualified medical practitioner, working on developing alternative coping strategies so when Lilly goes on to The Great Ferret Beyond, Sevick isn't utterly incapacitated as she would be should she have to go ferret-free in the dorm? Or is there a ferret training organization ready with another qualified ferret in the wings?

1. An ostensible or professed purpose; an excuse.
2. An effort or strategy intended to conceal something.
"pretext." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. GuruNet Corp. 15 Oct. 2005.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Rhythm is gonna get you

I'm teaching the youngest the alphabet. Today found us working on capital letter E outside using sidewalk chalk. For the longest time, he was making one vertical line with scads of horizontal lines attached to it. So I told him to watch as I demonstrated how to write a few, saying as I did so One line down, then one two three. One line down, then one two three. And as I made them, I fell into a rhythm.

So then I told him it was his turn. And with perfect cadence, he made a capital E, saying One wine down, den one two twee. Then he looked up at me and added cha-cha-cha.

interjection, Spanish
Used to express excited approval.
"olé." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. GuruNet Corp. 13 Oct. 2005.


I almost always have a disposable camera in my purse. Although we have a digital camera, I like the way traditional film works; you are never sure exactly what you've caught until you get it developed. So I grab a few disposable cameras when they are on sale and take one with us to the park, the museum, the backyard, wherever.

And inevitably when I get the prints back, there are always one or two of my oldest son's startlingly orange bear, Macaroni. My oldest wants to include him in our family's visual diary, because he is important to my son. So my son will sneak the camera out of my purse from time to time and secretly take a few Macaroni pics. I can't help but smile when I get the prints back and find them.

Macaroni goes almost everywhere with us, though my son is beginning to want to leave him in the car sometimes when we reach our destinations. He is developing an awareness that not everyone is going to respect Macaroni's place in his life. While this is an important developmental step, it makes me sad.

Be fond of; be attached to. Synonyms: care for, hold dear, treasure.
"cherish." WordNet 1.7.1. Princeton University, 2001. GuruNet Corp. 13 Oct. 2005.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Entries 3 and 4, but fortunately not 5

  1. Uttered without the use of normal words or syllables; incomprehensible as speech or language: “a cry... that... sank down into an inarticulate whine” (Jack London).
  2. Unable to speak; speechless: inarticulate with astonishment.
  3. Unable to speak with clarity or eloquence: an inarticulate debater.
  4. Going unexpressed: inarticulate sorrow.
  5. Biology. Not having joints or segments.

"inarticulate." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 10 Nov. 2005.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Trick or Sticker!

We don't give out candy at our house on Halloween. We never have. We give out stickers or pencils or some other thing, but never candy. My husband is convinced this policy will get our house egged one day.

Egg shmegg - I'm terrified too few kids will come by and I'll end up with an enormous bowl full of Reese's cups in my pantry. Soon enough, I'll be laying awake in bed at night, tossing and turning, as they call to me in a haunting whisper.

Esbeeeeee, come open the pantry dooooooor. You can just eat oooooooooooooone. Esbeeeeeeeee, you know you want tooooooooooooooo. Eat us, Esbee! Eat uuuuuuuuuuuuuuus!

Best to just avoid the whole sweets-possessed-by-the-devil possibility by having pencils or stickers instead. Pencils and stickers don't talk, and even if they did, I could ignore them.

A Reese's Peanut Butter Cup is a peanut butter-filled chocolate cup, created by H. B. Reese, a former employee of Milton S. Hershey, in 1923. Reese established his company in Hershey, Pennsylvannia, and Hershey bought it out in the 1960s.
Reese's, now produced by the Hershey Reese's division, are the most popular and most widely recognized brand of peanut butter cups in the world. In the United States, they come in two-, four-, and six-packs in distinctive orange packaging. In Canada, where they are known as Reese Peanut Butter Cups, the cups come in a standard pack-size of three cups, or the king-size variation with four cups.
The cups also come in minature sizes, in a brown paper cup and gold foil wrapper, that are usually sold in bags of 12 ounces or more, or individually. Hershey's currently puts out "limited edition" variants of the original version, such as one for "peanut butter lovers" (peanut-butter filling in a peanut butter cup), for "chocolate lovers" (peanut-butter-flavoured chocolate filling and chocolate coating), white-chocolate coated, and the "Inside Out" with peanut-butter-flavoured chocolate on the outside, and chocolate on the inside.
"Reese's Peanut Butter Cup." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 2005. GuruNet Corp. 12 Oct. 2005.


From an AP article carried on the Washington Post website:

A 16-year-old student bit into a razor blade while eating a chicken sandwich he purchased at his high school, authorities said.

Craig Beat was not injured when he found the blade in his chicken patty Sept. 21, the Flagler County Sheriff's Office said.

Beat told school officials that he bought the sandwich at Flagler Palm Coast High School and sat down to eat it in the school's lunchroom, according to a sheriff's report.

Maybe the Wendy's chili/finger debacle made me jaded, but color me
1. Skeptical; disbelieving.
2. Expressive of disbelief.

Monday, October 10, 2005

It's raining, it's pouring

According to, additional verses of Rain, Rain, Go Away exist.

Rain, rain, go away,
Come again another day.

OK, that verse we all know. Here are two of the additional verses:

Rain, rain, go to Spain,
Never show your face again.


Rain, rain, go to Germany,
And remain there permanently.

The meter on the second one is especially

So rigidly constrained, formal, or awkward as to lack all grace and spontaneity: starchy, stiff, stilted, wooden.
"buckram." Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995. GuruNet Corp. 11 Oct. 2005.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

So I open up MSN

And right next to an AP article about the powerful earthquake that has claimed the lived of an estimated 30,000 people in Southeast Asia is a linking teaser box to this.

1. Lacking in harmony; incompatible.
2. Not in agreement, as with principles; inconsistent.
3. Not in keeping with what is correct, proper, or logical; inappropriate.
"incongruous." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. GuruNet Corp. 10 Oct. 2005.


I'm sitting here feasting on scuppernongs, which is one of the great joys of living here. I was never able to find them in DC, though I asked at every farmer's market, small market, and large grocery I visited. Most people had no idea what on earth I was after, even with a description.

A scuppernong is a large type of muscadine, a type of grape native to the present-day southeastern United States. It usually has a greenish or bronze color, and is similar in appearance and texture to a white grape, but rounder and about 50% larger.

Its name comes from its original place of production, Scuppernong, North Carolina, where it was first grown during the 17th century, a name itself tracing back to the Algonquin word ascopo for the sweet bay tree.

Several small green seeds are found in each grape.
"scuppernong." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 2005. GuruNet Corp. 09 Oct. 2005.

I live roughly 250 miles west of Scuppernong.