Saturday, February 25, 2006

Meet the Kids

We have a new housemate. With the fabulous Miss Dani departed for Brazil's sunnier skies, we found ourselves with a spare bedroom waiting for another good kid. Another Brazilian kid, maybe. Enter Mr. Gabi.

It developed that Dani's best buddy during her time in Wisconsin was a boy she didn't know before coming here, but who lives only an hour's car trip from her home in Brazil. It was undoubtedly most comforting--for both of them--to have another native Portuguese speaker so close at hand.

Turns out he was looking for a permanent (full-year) placement and had not solved that problem by the time she departed. And so, all of us having gotten to know each other quite well over Miss Dani's four month stay, we were happy to bring him on board.

Having no kids of our own, it seems the equivalent of winning the lottery that we should be able to live closely for a while with the two greatest kids in the whole of Brazil. We simply could not have been luckier.

I marvel at their poise and self-confidence. At 16, I was nowhere near ready to depart my homeland to travel abroad alone for a year.

in·trep·id (ĭn-trĕp'ĭd)

Resolutely courageous; fearless.

Words to live by

I read a small number of personal blogs, generally every few days or so, more often under compelling circumstances.

On one such blog, I just noticed the following:

Indeed, truer words have never been spoken.

A succinct formulation of a fundamental principle, general truth, or rule of conduct.
[Middle English maxime, from Old French, from Medieval Latin maxima, from maxima (prōpositiō), greatest (premise), feminine of Latin maximus, greatest.]
"maxim." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 26 Feb. 2006.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Toys I would (and sometimes do) play with today

1. Legos
2. Play-Doh
3. Shrinky Dinks
4. Fashion Plates
5. Sidewalk Chalk
6. Crayons
7. Slinky
8. Yo-yo
9. Jacks
10. Almost any remote control vehicle
11. Spirograph
12. Silly Putty

When I was compiling the links for this list, I noticed this at the top of the Play-Doh link:

"For the Greek Philosopher Plato, see Plato."

The idea that arrangements have been made for those who might confuse Plato with Play-Doh

tickles my fancy
Appeal to one, be to one's liking. This term uses fancy in the sense of “liking” or “taste.” [Second half of 1700s]
"tickle one's fancy." The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992. 24 Feb. 2006.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Two kinds of crazy

Today, I signed my oldest son up for kindergarten. Where did the time go? I've been watching him grow and all, but this is a huge milestone! He's going to be taking the bus to school. THE BUS, I TELL YOU! He's super-excited. I am also excited for him to be in "real" school, but kind of sad that there is no justification for calling him a baby anymore. I mean, he'll always be my baby, but he's most definitely a big boy now. This is so....

bittersweet: adj.
1 : being at once bitter and sweet; especially : pleasant but including or marked by elements of suffering or regret
2 : of or relating to a prepared chocolate containing little sugar

After we came home, I cooked, I straightened the house, I continued my hiney-wiping duties, etc. Here I sit, blogging and the strangest thought came into my mind and my face contorted in disgust. I'm not so sure I washed my hands the last time I changed a diaper. I think I did, but I don't know. Of course, I just got up and washed them just in case. I know tomorrow is Friday and junk, but catching a mean case of the cooties is not my idea of fun. I had a really long day and my eyes now feel like sandpaper, dudes...

weary: adj. Physically or mentally fatigued.

Building a home for the pizza man

I'm lying on the floor playing Legos with the oldest, who is home sick for the second day. The youngest is off at nursery school. I could have the oldest do his homework, but it's so rare for he and I to have time together alone. There will be time for homework later. For now, we'll delight in plastic bits and each other.

1. To take great pleasure or delight.
2. To engage in uproarious festivities; make merry.
"revel." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 23 Feb. 2006.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Why not me?

My husband and I bought some tickets. In fact, we buy them each time the jackpot is huge. Why don't we ever win the lottery? Because we don't live in Nebraska, that's why!! Sonofa$#@!*&!!!!!!

Powerball: Powerball is an American lottery operated by the Multi-State Lottery (MUSL), a consortium of lottery commissions in 28 states, the District of Columbia, and the U. S. Virgin Islands.

Sick Day

The oldest is home sick today. He was coughing slightly yesterday morning, but insisted he was well enough to go to school, where his teacher was giving out guppies to those children with permission. So he went and got his guppy and seemed fine...

...until overnight when he began coughing more and more. The medicine I gave him didn't seem to help. And this morning his voice was raspy and his eyes had smudges underneath from interrupted sleep. So home he stayed.

As I was tucking him in for a much-needed nap a few minutes ago, he said, "Mommy? You know what? When you cough, it sounds like you say the word cough. Listen." And he coughed. And it did.

So I checked. And he's right: [Middle English coughen, ultimately of imitative origin.]
"cough." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 22 Feb. 2006.

When he wakes up, I'll tell him that's called

The formation or use of words such as buzz or murmur that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to.
[Late Latin, from Greek onomatopoiiā, from onomatopoios, coiner of names : onoma, onomat-, name + poiein, to make.]
"onomatopoeia." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 22 Feb. 2006.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"Don't even get me started on over or under..."

From an AP news article:

MOSS BLUFF, Fla. Feb 21, 2006 (AP)— A man accused of fatally beating his roommate with a sledgehammer and a claw hammer because there was no toilet paper in their home has been arrested.

To react with unnecessary or inappropriate force, emotional display, or violence.
"overreact." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 21 Feb. 2006.


Dear person who returned the fishtank to Petsmart:

I think you knew full well as you were reboxing it that you were leaving out pieces. You must have told the cashier it was fine, you changed your mind. You didn't tell him or her that you didn't bring it all back. You knew perfectly well it would be put back on the sales floor, that someone else would buy it. You didn't care. Let that person deal with it.

We bought that fishtank yesterday. We brought it home, filled it with water, started the pump, added the chemicals. Then we looked for the light and the front top door, only to find neither. My seven year old wanted to know who did stuff like that. I told him only people who were very, very

Concerned only with oneself.
"self-absorbed." Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995. 21 Feb. 2006.

Monday, February 20, 2006

And About That Bridge...

Lizzie's post about Johari windows reminds me--though I'm very sure she didn't intend it this way--of the occasional snakepit in which I inadvertently find myself by way of my lovely spouse. A perfectly innocent question will be perfectly innocently lobbed my way, sometimes even with the blithe assurance that the answer to the question in question is of no importance whatsoever.

But I've learned over time to be on my toes. Things are not always what they appear! Sometimes the path is genuinely straight and level, as we pilots say. But other times, the path, or the aftermath of my perfectly innocent response to said perfectly innocent question may be

treacherous (trĕch'ər-əs)

  1. Marked by betrayal of fidelity, confidence, or trust; perfidious. See synonyms at faithless.
  2. Not to be relied on; not dependable or trustworthy.
  3. Marked by unforeseen hazards; dangerous or deceptive: treacherous waters.

But that's real life and this here is the blogosphere. Or is it? The fact that no one will venture to ascribe negative characteristics to me on my Nohari window convinces me not (surprise!) that no negative assessment is reasonably possible, but that I'm a cad for having steam-rolled the Queen!

(I have since been absolved of all blame. But having written the post, chuckling to myself all the while, I couldn't let it go to waste!)

Bed tea

I’m back from a long weekend at Corbett National Park. I started yesterday morning with

bed tea*
1. An apparently British colonial field innovation, bed tea is simply a luxurious way to wake up. A bearer brings to your cottage or tent a tray holding a pot of hot tea with milk and sugar and biscuits, all served on china while it’s still dark and cold out. I’ve only had (and heard of it) on safari in East Africa and India. Like your morning coffee, it’s meant to give you a smooth hit of caffeine to prepare you for the adventures of the day.

*(Sorry, but I could find no real definition, so I’m settling with my own.)

Two hours later, the elephant I was riding started trumpeting and doing a nervous little elephant dance (think of James Brown as a 5 ton pachyderm doing the Mashed Potatoes, and you’re getting the image--it was all I could do to keep from soiling myself.) Anyway, within moments a large and beautiful adult tigress (utterly invisible in the brush only about 15 feet away) was unimpressed with the dance and got up and casually strolled about 30 feet away, laid down, and waited for us to leave.

Note to self: Bring Depends ™ undergarments next time.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

At least I know how to pronounce nuclear

I have no idea how to properly pronounce this sauce. I've had to ask for it at the grocery; I coughed mid-word to cover. It has too many letters, and that whole English-from-England thing? It doesn't allow for drawl.

In my mouth, the syllables become

Difficult to handle or manage.
"unwieldy." Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995. 20 Feb. 2006.