Archive for September, 2011

UW men’s soccer

25 September, 2011

Today, family fun day, we took the childrens to watch the UW men’s soccer team. And don’t tell anyone I said this, but it was alright, for the few minutes I got to watch. I’ve mocked friends, “how can you watch that, it’s so boring, two hours of guys running around and nothing happens”. It is better live, not because of the crowds, because the UW crowd was small, and quiet, but being able to watch the whole scene/game take place, is better than watching whatever the camera person thinks is the best part. But then again, I only saw a few minutes.


  • MrGrunty, “Mommy, the teamer touched the ball with his hands!” He tattled when there was a throw in.
  • After the half, we found some grass for the childrens to run on, which they did instead of watching the game, MsSqueaky asked, “Papa, you wanna play soccer with me?” We didn’t have a ball. She added, “We can pretend.”  And so we did.
  • MrCuddles, sitting at top of the bleachers, leaning back, eating a RedVine, looked very cool, I mentioned he had his mind on his RedVine and his RedVine on his mind. He heard me, and mocking me, chanted, “I got my RedVine, got my redvine!!” making his sister crack up laughing.


So, the other day, MrGrunty announced to his mommy, “I’m not gonna play with dolls anymore, because boys don’t play with dolls.”   When I was told this, I was a bit sad.  Probably, because as Rachel say, because it makes me think about the forces shaping his life that are out of my control.  However, I’m happy to say, that tonight, he was asking where his baby was.



24 September, 2011

It’s been awhile since we’ve talked aboot bedtime at chez-GBAtT…

The goal, a bit after 8pm, brushing of teeth, changing into PJs, …then hopefully by 8:30, parents and childrens in the children’s bedroom. We read a book for each child, then we turn off the lights and one parent leaves. (Most of the time, Oliver-kitty is in the  room*, and leaves at this time.) Usually a night light is on, and the other parent will make up two stories for each child. MrGrunty is asking for stories about parts of a house, …door, door-knob, walls. MsSqueaky has asked for stories about beds. MrCuddles, he was in a “Ka-chow” phase, after he saw Pixar’s Cars, but now, unpredictable, the other day he wanted a story about ketchup and mustard. Then we turn off the nightlight, and we have two songs for each kid.

These days, usually, MrGrunty & MsSqueaky are asleep before we sing all six songs. But, MrCuddles, he is laying on the floor next to the parent, and talking away, or singing, and if the parent leaves, he will soon follow. That boy does not want to sleep, and doesn’t act tired. Often, I’ve fallen asleep on the hardwood floor next to him, to awake late at night, and then but the silly boy into his bed.

MyBetterHalf and I remember when MrG and MsS were in the not wanna go to bed phase, and with them, there was more stress and fighting… with MrC, basically we just don’t want to have the hour long fights that we had with the older two. Also, if the four year olds are sleeping, MrCuddles has woken them up with his screaming. (Once, I swear it was 10pm, MsS & MrG were fast asleep, I tried to sneak out, the opening door woke MrCuddles, who started crying then screaming, that woke the other two, who were crying that they had been sleeping.)

*tonight (Sunday, 9/25), Oliver-kitty was nuzzling and licking MrGrunty’s feet. MrG smiling, said, “I think Oliver loves me!”

House of Dark Shadows

21 September, 2011

House of Dark Shadows, by Robert Liparulo.

Not good, but quick.

My Jr High School English teacher always preached, “Show, don’t tell.” So, when reading Liparulo, and one of the characters says something like, “felt just like ___ did in ___(movie)” that reminds me I’m reading. And, makes me think Liparulor doesn’t know how to actually describe how the character feels. Also, movie references are dated, so you’re limiting your audience to the present. Or movie buffs.

I remember, in the 80s, some comedian did a bit, “white people are stupid… when the house says, ‘GET OUT’, white people want to investigate.”  I kept thinking of that during the read.

Pop quiz, when you are in a new house, and there’s an intruder, who goes through a secret passage, into a space/time portal to another dimension, and you follow, and end up injured, … do you:

a) go back to sleep to think about it in the morning

b) get the __ out of the house now

Me, and I suspect most other people, would pick “b”.


Catch me if you can

19 September, 2011

Watch the movie. Don’t read the book.

However, if you are interested in what it takes to be a con-man…

  1. personality -” well dressed and exude an air of confidence and authority”
  2. observation –
  3. research

The book does say Frank was always doing homework, studying, picking-the-brains of those in the field he was scamming. So, as usual, the greats put in a lot of work to continually perfect their craft.


14 September, 2011

So…being a late adapter of technologies, I have recently found a cool way for me to make my commute more pleasant.


During the short drive to the park and ride, I’ve been listening to:

SlowGerman – which is awesome and I wish I knew about it 25 years ago, when I was studying German. The host, talks slowly, for 3-8 minutes about a topic, in German. Pure genius, and a lot better than those cheesy “Guten Tag” films we watched in class. I don’t get it all, but I feel it is just at the perfect level for me to review/relearn/learn-some-more. She has a “normal” speed podcast in German, I tried that once, and wow, humbling, WAY to fast.

Der Chemie Reporter” – also in German, answers a science question, hosted by BASF, the worlds largest chemical company. Is faster than SlowGerman, but not real conversation speed. Maybe because it’s an educational program. I feel double smart listening to this one, because it is two subjects, science & German, so it’s like I’m being super efficient. (You can laugh at me now.)

Distillations” by the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Awesome history of chemistry.

The above three I listen to the most, and are saving,  the are short, many episodes, I like them lots.


I also trying to find a good mix of science podcasts to listen to, I’m trying out:

  • PRI’s The World, Science
  • AAAS Science Magazine podcast
  • Imperial College London, Science Magazine podcast
  • NYT, Science Times podcast
  • Nature podcast
  • ACS, Science Elements podcast

It is funny when I hear the same news story, from two different reporters. So, I’ve got to figure out which I like best, and ignore the rest. I could spend the whole day listening to all the science news… I hear efficiency is about making a choice.


Jane Eyre

3 September, 2011

I’m not sure how much I liked the book. I did like the character of Jane.  It started off great, got a bit boring in the middle, ended alright. I still don’t see what Jane saw in dude, maybe it was the conversation, though he seemed condescending to me.

great quotes:

“My habitual mood of humiliation, self-doubt, forlorn depression, fell damp on the embers of my decaying ire.”

“Children can feel, but they cannot analyze their feelings; and if the analysis is partially effected in thought, they know not how to express the result of the process in words.”   (something for me to remember as a parent)

And what I found moving: “Its garden, too, glowed with flowers: hollyhocks had sprung up tall as trees, lilies had opened, tulips and roses were in bloom; the borders of the little beds were gay with pink thrift and crimson double daisies; the sweetbriars gave out, morning and evening, their scent of spice and apples; and these fragrant treasures were all useless for most of the inmates of Lowood, except to furnish now and then a handful of herbs and blossoms to put in a coffin.”

This was one of the books for me & MyBetterHalf’s “Classic book of the month” club. I may have to drop out for a bit, to catch up with some easy and quick reads to meet my goal of 30 books this year.  ( I finally get 24 books last year, and I think I can do a 25% improvement. Silly me!)