March 31, 2008

-image-the banshee and banshee baby


Here they are ….. well, were, about 6 weeks ago, I think. BB is 4 months old this week. B is four. We visited yesterday afternoon, and I have to say, that BB is completely crushing on Uncle Beloved which is so nice to see. My sister’s kids — who all adore their uncle now — screamed bloody murder whenever he came near them for about the first year of their lives. So I held BB for a bit first and she was kinda squirmy, fussy, etc. Then I asked MB if he wanted to hold her and he hesitated a bit, saying, “Well, I don’t want her to start screaming.” (He is clearly a haunted soul, poor man.) But I handed her over and — KABAM! — I’m telling you, that kid was instantly in love with him. Snuggled right up to him and couldn’t stop staring at him. I know the feeling. It’s a bit poignant for us, because with her coloring — dark hair, blue eyes, pale skin, very red cheeks — she could be MB’s kid. She looks so much like baby photos of him. Even her parents were commenting on that. MB said, “Maybe we have a connection because we have the same birthday.” Must be. There was definitely some kind of magic between those two. My heart was bursting from the bittersweetness of it all.

After we were done ogling and clucking over the baby, The Banshee needed to show us how well she reads and writes. Yes, she reads and writes. She’s four. Whatevs. Then it was time in her play kitchen where she made coffee “just for you, Tee Tee” and cooked whole eggs and banana peels in her oven at 475 degrees. Yummy. Then it was time for chasin’ and ticklin’. As I came after her, she ran away screaming and jumping and tried to save herself with “But you’re a wizard, Tee Tee!”

“Good! I’m a tickle wizard! How did you know?”


She sprinted for the safety of the sofa. But …. it was too late. I was closing in on her. She squirmed and squealed, “But, Tee Tee, you can’t be that! Wizards turn things into other things with magic!”

(See how she likes to argue her case? Be contrarian at all times? She is The Banshee, Attorney-at Law. The Banshee, Esq.)

“Oh, really?”


“Well, then ….. watch closely.”

I was inches from her face now and began to blow very gently on her face.

“Feel that?”


Somehow my blowing froze her in place. (I AM a wizard.) I continued to talk softly, blowing in between words.

“Now watch …… as my breath turns into ……”

I kissed her on the cheek.

“…. a kiss. See? Magic.”

She stared at me, silent and big-eyed and smiling a slow, skeptical smile, wondering if it could actually be true: Did Tee Tee the Tickle Wizard truly vanquish The Banshee with one little kiss?

Bah. Impossible.

March 29, 2008

-image-in the pink

Here’s an interesting tidbit I discovered that I feel I must share:

You know how everyone always gives newborn boys things that are blue and newborn girls things that are pink? Well, turns out that up until about 1936, pink was the color for boys and blue was the color for girls. It seems so backwards to us now, I suppose, but the rationale behind that was that blue was considered the more delicate color and pink was considered the more robust color, coming as it did from red. See how that works, fellas?

Then, in 1936, Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli created a perfume called “Shocking,” which caused quite a stir not so much for the fragrance as for the way it was packaged: a box of shocking pink — a color invented by Schiaparelli — containing a curvy glass torso bottle, modeled after one of Schiaparelli’s clients, Mae West.


Luscious, no?

So, you see, after such blatant hubba-bubba-ness, the color pink became associated with women and men everywhere cried copious, robust tears.

But here, fellas …. feel better … I’ve fixed up a room for you …. have a seat …. a manly muscular pink seat …..


March 27, 2008

-image-right brain vs. left brain creativity test


Also …. was anyone else weirded out by the very first question? Was it just me??

Okay. Pro-ceed.

Cool test which measures, not your intelligence, but which hemisphere of your brain is dominant. Now most of us know our dominant side — I wasn’t surprised by that part of my results — but I liked the way the test broke down the results into various categories and percentages: verbal processing, intuitive processing, random processing, etc. It shows you where you’re strong and where you’re weak, explains the different ways your brain works, even gives some tips on how to strengthen your weak areas.

So my brain hemisphere dominance breaks down this way:

Left Brain

Right Brain

No surprise there to me, really. In my left brain analysis, the most dominant characteristic is verbal. My least dominant left brain characteristic is linear processing. Me verbal. Me intuitive. Me no think linearly.

So here’s what they say about my left brain problems:

Linear Processing

Linear processing is a method by the left hemisphere to process information. In this process, the left brain takes pieces of information, lines them up, and proceeds to arrange them into an order from which it may draw a conclusion. The information is processed from parts to a whole in a straight, forward, and logical progression.

Your Linear Analysis

You tend to have difficulty in processing data in a linear manner. When processing information you tend see the whole picture first and work your way backwards, filling in the pieces as you go. The information you process is not done in a straight, progressive manner, but may take different paths as you start with an assumption and take different paths to discover the threads that lead you to that assumption. Seeing the big picture at the beginning of the process is a necessity for you if you are to understand additional information. When given a task, instead of naturally following directions in a linear fashion, you tend to feel the need to know “why” you are doing something or else you may have difficulty with it.

True dat. Bummer.

In my right brain analysis, intuitive processing and fantasy-oriented processing scored tied at the top. I was somewhat disturbed to see such a high score in fantasy-oriented processing because, well, I tend to think I spend too much mental energy being, ah, elsewhere than in reality, but then they made it sound all nice and purty-like:

Fantasy-oriented Processing

Fantasy-oriented processing is used by the right hemisphere as a method for processing information with creativity. It focuses much less on rules and regulations than the processing method of a left-brained person. Due to the fantasy-oriented processing mechanism of a right-brained person, they do not adjust well to change. Instead of adapting to the change in the environment, a right-brained person attempts to change it back to the way they liked it. But fantasy-oriented processing also provides the advantage of creativity to right-brained individuals, and since emotion is integral of the right side of the brain, anything a fantasy-oriented person becomes involved in emotionally will aid their ability to learn.

Your Fantasy-oriented Analysis

You have the ability to use both creativity and reality to process the information you receive. This is a unique gift that allows you to both focus on rules and regulations but to also act with creativity. You are able to adjust to change, even though you might not like it, and you can become emotionally involved in your work if it interests you.

Oh, phew. So they say I use creativity AND reality. Wouldn’t have guessed that.

What a pleasant surprise.

Go take the test and find out what’s right/what’s wrong with your brain!


March 26, 2008

-image-more snippets from the visit with the peep

Phew and phew! Niece Piper is now zipping her way home and MB and I are free to resume our grumpy geriatric lifestyle, i.e:

Enjoying a bowl of meaty prunes, 3:00.
Shaking fists at skateboarding hooligans, 5:00.
Collapsing into Craftmatic adjustable bed, 5:02.

And, you know, thank God. Finally, my antsy inner fuddy-duddy can soar once more. What can I say? I yam what I yam.

Oh, and please forgive me if I fall asleep mid word or mid sentence here. I am old. I am a fuddy-duddy. I need my strength for fist shaking. And collapsing over that bed rail isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Plus, I’m pretty sure I’m drunk.

All righty, pippa. More snippets from our visit with The Peep.

~ On Monday, we took the whippersnapper to The World Famous San Diego Zoo. And that IS the official name. S’true. It’s no mere zoo. It’s The World Famous San Diego Zoo, for pity’s sake. It’s like the Britney Spears of zoos: I mean, people are always snapping pictures, jostling for the right position, waving their arms, trying to get that lion or this grizzly bear to look at them, like some crazed animal paparazzi. There’s plenty of naked nether regions on display everywhere you look. Some animal is always skanking it up, gettin’ preggers (ahem, pandas, you mangy trollops). And people are always needing to take baby animals away from their mammas to be cared for by someone else.

See? Totally the Britney Spears of zoos.

~ And, speaking on behalf of the BS of zoos — in my official capacity as the person who called it the Britney Spears of zoos — allow me to say you simply MUST visit the BS of zoos if ever you are in San Diego. And if you’ve ever been here and haven’t seen the BS of zoos, then, well, you clearly have dysentery of the soul or you have onions for eyeballs or you are most likely an Oakland Raiders fan. Because really, really, it’s an amazing zoo. Gorgeous. Breathtaking. I could stay there for hours and never be bored. Every other zoo I’ve seen looks like an FFA goat pen by comparison.

~ Oh! Here’s something for you to try. A kind of science experiment, okay?

Go outside.
Fill a large bucket with water.
Stand on a stool with bucket of water.
Pour bucket of water out onto ground.
Meditate for a moment on the sacred knowledge that you are basically witnessing the volume and look and sound of an elephant’s pee.
Oh, and do the whole thing again in 5 seconds. Your pee bucket was just taking a break, Betty!
And this time, bring the kiddos out to see it, carefully explain about the volume and look and sound of an elephant’s pee, all right, and afterwards, bask in the glow of their eager thanks at receiving this sacred knowledge.
Be confident in sharing — knowing that I witnessed this whole dealio firsthand and would not steer you wrong because I care about you and science and truth, blahdie blah et ceterahh.
Oh, but instead of a bucket, it was a real live peeing elephant five feet away from me and I am traumatized forever because of my oldness and general fuddy duddyness.
Piper, on the other hand, is unfazed. Ah, youth.

~ Moments later, we stroll past the anteater enclosure. (Yes, anteaters. Did I not tell you this is a rightly World Famous zoo??) There is a khaki-clothed fellow strewing ants, I guess, around the enclosure for the eaters of the ants to eat. One assumes. And whose job is it to gather all those teeny tiny ants, one wonders. Anyhoo. I didn’t want to ask the khaki-clothed fellow what, exactly, he was strewing even though he was only a few feet away because, well, it seemed wrong somehow, like breaking the fourth wall of my personal Theatre d’Zoo or something. Facing us, very close by, was an anteater eating — sucking? It’s all so confusing when you really start to think about it — from a trough. I literally could have reached out and touched its Dustbuster snout thingy — and I’m just using the terms found in my handydandy zoo guide here — but again, that would have broken the fourth wall of my personal Theatre d’Zoo. And gotten me in trouble. And been gross. But while I stood there thinking how convenient it would be to have a Dustbuster anteater at my disposal with no need of time-wasting battery charging, another anteater waddled past the khaki ant strewer with great purpose, completely ignoring the strewage, and proceeded to mount the eating anteater. This abruptly ended my reverie about cool Dustbuster anteaters. Stupid horny anteater. MB turned and muttered to me, “Annnd, congress is officially in session ….” as he swooped his arms around Piper and me and led us away. Still, I couldn’t help peeking over my shoulder to watch as the khaki ant strewer continued his task undaunted by the in-your-face public anteater fornication. And you know those darn kids weren’t using a condom. Soon enough, there’ll be another hungry little anteater to strew ants for. Stupid horny anteater. I walked away feeling bad for the ant strewer and traumatized forever because I am old and fuddy duddly and I saw anteaters having sex, for pity’s sake!

Piper, on the other hand, is unfazed.

(More snippets later. Craftmatic, here I come!)

March 24, 2008

-image-snippets on watching “enchanted” with the niece

We watched Enchanted Sunday evening — a completely adorable movie in every way. (I basically have a movie crush on James Marsden who plays Edward. Saw him in 27 Dresses as well and I just think he’s got a true comedic spark, a gift. There’s nothing he does in this movie that doesn’t crack me up.) But anyway, here was some of The Peep’s running commentary — things she just said to the movie itself while we watched:

“Well, sometimes, you know, when people go on dates, they just dance.”

“That dress is crazy!” (Of Giselle’s huge fairy tale wedding dress.)

“Hawkeye doesn’t know how to do that.” (Said with great dismay about the family dog’s inability to clean house like the helpful sewer rats and cockroaches of Manhattan.)

“She seems like a very nice almost stepmom.” (About Idina Menzel — she of the amazing pipes and cab-forward jaw — who plays McDreamy’s almost fiance.)

“She is even prettier in person than in the cartoon part!” (Of Amy Adams.)

“Of course it’s romantic; he’s a prince!” (On one character calling something “romantic.”)

Okay. I’m sorry. I’m copping out right here. These are the snippetiest snippets ever because I absolutely have to go to bed. Didn’t sleep last night worrying about whether she was sleeping. Or whether she was hot. Or cold. Or comfortable. Or lonely. Or eco-friendly. Or pH-balanced. Or PABA-free.

I mean, that PABA-free thing, man. I tossed and turned. Tossed and turned.

More snippets to come when I am no longer consumed and sleepless over pH and PABA.

March 23, 2008

-image-congratulations to wordgirl and tef

The Beanie Baby has arrived!

Update: Tef has a picture up. Cutie PIE.

-image-happy easter

The Resurrection, Rembrandt van Rijn

He is risen.

He is risen indeed.

March 21, 2008

-image-blessed good friday, everyone

The Crucifixion
Adrian Wiszniewski

-image-this is for …

a certain red-headed Irish girl I know.

Kinda neat.

March 20, 2008

-image-in a dither

We’re all in a dither ’round here, getting everything ready for Piper, our little Easter break visitor. She arrives Sunday afternoon and we just realized that our old “balloon bed” (air mattress) is kaput and we need to buy a new one. It will not do to just have her sleep on the couch. Oh no. She loves her balloon bed. Talks about it to others. Literally. Her balloon bed is actually a topic of general conversation for her. With anyone. She simply assumes you will be interested to discuss this air mattress with her and somehow, when she talks about it, you just are.

An air mattress isn’t just an air mattress, you know.

It’s a balloon bed and it is the greatest thing in the world.

See? She is probably thinking about her balloon bed in this picture.

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