Thursday, September 20, 2007

Am I Smarter than a First Grader?

Apparently not. Do YOU know the meanings of any of these words?
count on
number line
count back
related facts
fact family

If you do, don't tell me. It's too depressing. Big Stuff's first grade teacher sent this math vocabulary list to we underachieving parents to prompt us to, I guess, practice them at home with the little tykes? I wonder if she intended the secondary effect of all parental self-esteems within a 10-mile radius falling in unison as we come to the realization that we don't know these words and never did? I guess it's all part of the circle of life, Simba. Your kids are going to know more than you do, and this is inevitable. Recently, some friends and I were discussing when your influence over your kids switches from size and position (as in I am bigger and smarter than you, therefore you will bend to my will) to respect and relationship. I'm all for that, really I am. But I didn't expect to lose my smarter-than-you card so early. Well, at least I'm still a few inches taller than she is. Although, knowing our shared gene pool, I don't expect that to last long either.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Simple Life, Part Deux

Cutie Pie and I once visited Costa Rica, and we were treated one day to a tour of the farm of a "very important man," a big landowner by the name of Don Pedro. The richest man in all of Costa Rica, mind you. The tour appeared on an official-looking, glossy brochure, which I fervently wish that I had saved. Because it was a totally classic marketing spin job targeted at the American mind. And being the Americans we are, we naturally had visions. Visions of touring a Costa Rican mansion, with manicured lawns and rolling vistas, and meeting some kind of Latin American Honcho and having a spot of tea with him. Turns out Don Pedro may have been the richest man in Costa Rica, but he had very few teeth, very many cows wandering in his front yard, and a rope belt around his waist in addition to his regular belt. Never figured that one out. His "estate" was apparently entirely hand-built by him - house, animal stalls, everything...nailed and tied-together wood planks with tin roofs. No windows - just cut-out holes in the walls. We were served lunch. And let me tell you, it was probably one of the best lunches I have ever eaten. They served homemade bread and cheese, coffee from his own beans and plantains from his own trees. It was delicious. We ate on an open-air porch. With the cows and horses looking on. Our food was served on sweet little china dishes. He and his family let us make conversation with them in our stumbling, ridiculous Spanish. His daughter picked flowers for my hair and made a big speech when she handed them to me. I didn't understand a word, so she could have been calling me a stupid, wretched American, but it sounded really warm and lovely and generous. We loved every minute of it. We ate many great meals in Costa Rica. All were simple. Fish, mixed vegetables, plantains, beer. It was jolting to come home. Everything suddenly seemed so Loud. So Big. So Fast. And so Overdone. The billboards on I-75 were Obnoxious, SCREAMINGINYOURFACE, whereas before my trip, I had barely noticed them. The portions when we went out to eat seemed big enough to feed entire families. What a waste of mediocre food, we thought. That feeling went away after a few days, but I was sad to see it go. It can't be helped - you are a product of your culture and you adapt to whatever your circumstances may be. But I do dream of that simple place now and again. It's the kind of place where you can hear your own thoughts, without someone or something trying to drown them out all the time. I could use more of that.

My New Favorite Dream

Isn't it the coolest thing to be on a similar wavelength with someone across the miles? I was just reading this post from my dear cousin, which reminded me of a news byte I saw last week. I have already discussed with Cutie Pie, at length, (or he may say ad nauseum) the cost, logistics and possibility of me starting an Outstanding in the Field in Atlanta for my next career. It will never happen, of course, but I was completely enamored with the thought of it for several hours. It combines absolutely everything I love in life. Beautiful places...fantastic, locally grown food - right out of the ground or sea or pigsty, so to speak....great wine, with every course, no less - yum!....great conversation with interesting people. Well, if nothing else... maybe I can attend a dinner. OITF is coming to Atlanta and Florida next year, ya'll. It's a mere $350 or so a couple to sit down to dinner. Hey, it's only money! Let's go! Take a look at this sample menu if you need convincing. OK, I agree...I myself would probably look askance on the pigs feet paté and the chicken liver and gizzard “campagnola.” It sounds a bit like what my poor, southern ancestors may have eaten. Not by choice, but because that was all that was left after they ran out of grocery money halfway through the month. But my, how they've gussied it up eh? I would try it anyhow. In homage. And because I paid a whole lot of money for it. But really, I'm thinking that you wouldn't even have to be this fancy. In fact, in accordance with the simple, fresh, farming theme - you could do a whole lot with simple food and maybe bring the cost down a bit for the penny pinchers like myself who would probably not pay $150 a plate for any kind of food. Unless George Clooney was spoon feeding me or something.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pachelbel Bedtime

Gotta love Daddies who GET IT! Ain't nothing better!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Brain Clouds

I just did two things that made me laugh at myself. One: I swatted a fly after putting up with its torturous buzzing for more than 30 minutes. (There it is again. Maybe it will go away. Why is it so lively? Maybe it will get tired and go away. There it is again. Why is this fly trying to kill me? There it is again. My GOD, that is an annoying fly) I swatted it, with a gusto bordering on rage, and then I couldn't see it. But I could still hear it. Still buzzing. Still buzzing. The buzzing sound is following me. Where is this freaking fly? Where? Where? Finally I realized that it was stuck to my rolled-up paper swatter, which I was holding in my hand, because I had swatted in a corner and picked up a whole bunch of cobwebs. To which the fly was now nicely stuck. Good Lord, I need to dust this place.

Two: I kept looking at a date I had written on the blog - 2008. (That's not right. It's not 2008. Yes, it is 2008. No, it's not. Let's see, last year was 2006. No, 2007. What the heck year is it, cobweb brain???) I actually had to check my email to determine WHAT YEAR I AM LIVING IN. This is sad beyond belief. I was once a smart girl. I swear. Darn kids.