Sunday, November 25, 2007

Post-Thanksgiving Thankfulness

My daughter said that the days after Thanksgiving are her favorite. Why?

Because she gets to eat the leftover apple pie for breakfast.

I'm thankful that she's wise enough to enjoy the simple things in life.

And before you judge -- apple pie isn't much different than an apple turnover or other like-minded pastry, right? I'm really trying to convince myself here . . .

Monday, November 19, 2007

The ABCs of Angie

Kelly O. at "O is for Obsessive" tagged me for this meme, which I love because I'm in constant need of validation. Oh, wait, did I say that out loud? No matter.

The rules: list a word that describes you for every letter of the alphabet. Offer as much or as little explanation as you wish. Please keep the words positive (for example, don’t use “fat” for F or “lame” for L), and feel free to get creative. Tag as many or as few people as you wish. Link back to your tagger and forward to your taggees.

Angie is:

egocentric (hey, I'm working on it)
juggling ambitions
needed (and needing?)
xerophytic (this means able to withstand drought, which is true to a point)
zealous (in a good way!)

And I'm tagging these folks:

Christine at Mariacristina

Susie J

Amanda at Tumble Dry

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Yet Another Reason to be Wary of My Space

This story really shocked me, although I don't suppose it should come as any surprise. It's just another incident that validates my continued uneasiness about My Space and sites like it.

Click here for the full story, but the essence of it is, a 13-year-0ld girl committed suicide after being dissed online, publicly, by a boy she liked. The real heck of it is that the "boy" not only didn't really exist, but was "created" by an adult neighbor who wanted to know what the girl was saying online about her own child. Follow that?

This incident took place about a half hour from my own home, and just a few days after my newly-12-year-old daughter came home broaching the subject of having a My Space page of her own, at the suggestion of some of her seventh grade friends.

Not going to happen.

Anyone else have experience with their own kids and My Space? What do you think?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Book Review: The Daring Book for Girls

Note: Following is my first book review for Mother Talk, and I’m so very happy they’ve given me the opportunity. If you haven’t been there, please check it out -- but not until after you’ve read my riveting review. Thanks.

As the mother of a 12-year-old daughter, and a once-and-former girl myself, I was really excited to have the chance to review “The Daring Book for Girls,” by Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz. I mean, just look at it -- swirly, glittery letters, a girls-only vibe -- what’s not to love? Ah, but you know what they say about a book and it’s cover -- never the two shall part -- no, wait, that’s not it. Anyway, luckily for me the inside lived up to what the outside promised, and then some.

This is one of my favorite kinds of book, really -- one that you don’t read from beginning to end, but rather pick up, let fall open, and dive right in. The look of it definitely took me back to my own girlhood -- with pages of text and illustrations more reminiscent of those old encyclopedias we used to have in the school library than the glossy, graphic-heavy reference books of today.

But it's much more than interesting to look at. The Daring Book for Girls is a compendium of all things fascinating, mysterious, seemingly old and surprisingly new for girls of all ages. Here’s a random sampling of the contents:

~Making a Willow Whistle
~Women Spies
~Japanese T-Shirt Folding
~Rules of the Game: Softball
~Putting Your Hair Up With a Pencil
~Pressing Flowers
~Finance: Interest, Stocks, and Bonds
~Five Karate Moves
~Friendship Bracelets

~Periodic Table of the Elements

This is not your mother’s (or even my own) kind of girlhood -- it’s upgraded, empowered, and vastly improved. This could easily have been a traditional manual of traditional (read: stereotypical) girl stuff -- the daisy chains, the handclap games, the Chinese jump rope (all in there, by the way). But mix in a healthy dose of history, science, economics, and athletic prowess, and -- voila! -- the modern girls guide to just about everything.

At my house, we gave this book the ultimate test -- a middle school girls’ sleepover. The verdict? Well, there was a lot of giggling, so that has to be good.

And my daughter’s summation? “It’s fabulous, I love it.” Well said. She suggests, also, that it should be used as a textbook in school. And I can’t argue with her on that one.

Because what’s more practical, really, than knowing what goes in a good toolbox?

Buy it: @

To see the authors on the Today show, click here.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Poem

Note: I wrote this a while back, and it's been hibernating since then. I still like it.

archetype: rock god

He knows how to party. He knows how to feed chickens. There’s a myth here somewhere, but it’s up to you to find it.

Once upon a time there was a man whose face was a clarification. Once upon a time he gathered up his wits and dropped them, one by one, into the jet stream. He carved with a shiv, a shank, a thick arc of bone and precision, leaving an absence. Once upon a time there was a man who knew how to party, how to empty the tree of its fruit, how to shoot across the bow just low enough to warn, to alarm. Once upon a time there was a man who scattered feed, sparking frenzy, a mad pop of feathers which he later used to pick his teeth. He straddled momentum, dipping in like a baptism, just short of drowning. Once upon a time, there was a man who was only.

He knows how to party. He knows how to feed chickens.

He knows how to tie things up.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Mid-Life Fallout, Part Deux

I have a feeling that this begins a season of barely finding time to post! Alas, I will try to persevere . . .

My daughter turned 12 yesterday, and it's probably no coincidence that I've recently begun to visit the gym on a regular basis. Oh, and I've decided to go to graduate school. Maybe you can help -- I'm attending an open house in a couple of weeks, and noted my major of interest as English, but there's also Mass Communications (building on my journalism background) and Education (building on my teaching background) to consider. Decisions, decisions -- I've always been very bad at this. Any thoughts?

Ultimately, I am determined to get my Master's degree before I turn 40 (that's in two and a half years, natch, so it's high time I make it happen). Oh, and I still want a tattoo.

The mid-life crisis continues, but could result, I'm thinking, in exceedingly positive results (other than the tattoo, maybe, but that remains to be seen). Anyone want to share their own mid-life (or heck, any-time-of-life) crisis? Do tell.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Daylight Savings: The Gift of Time

Ah, an extra hour -- forget Christmas and my birthday -- this is my favorite day of the year. This morning I got the full effect, having forgotten to turn my clocks back last night. It was 8:20 a.m., and I was leaping from bed because I'd overslept, and needed to get some work done. Then sweet realization -- it was only 7:20. Yippee.

I continue to savor my hour, and conveniently forget that it will be snatched back in the spring.

The photo, by the way, is from hugovk on, and it made me smile, because that would be me.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Bullies

Yes, I know the picture's blurry. But it's one of the last glimpses we had of them, looking sufficiently spooky and completely unsuspecting.

Later that night, five of the six would disappear, only to be discovered at a grisly scene, just a couple hundred feet down the road, smashed into a multiple gory pieces.

"They didn't take the candles out," my son observed, observantly.

He, and his older sister, took the news surprisingly well. Being that they'd carved their own this year -- two apiece -- I had expected them to be upset, to say the least. As it turned out they were irritated, a little indignant, but upset? No, not really,

Crisis averted.

We were comforted, too, by the fact that the perpetrators had missed our little green pumpkin which, we suspect, was camouflaged in the dark night, looking very little like a pumpkin at all.

Take that, Halloween bullies.