How My Children Don’t Starve and I Don’t Die of Scurvy

I have a confession to make: I am a terrible mother. I forget all of the important things, like birth weight, age (in months), diaper bags, sippy cups, and lunch. And you’ve seen Alden’s hair. I remind myself that it isn’t just that I am being neglectful of my children – I also have similar mental slip-ups with myself, taxes, flea medicine for the cats. It’s just my lot in life. Those of you who don’t know me very well might suppose that I’ve done a lot of smoking of the whacky weed, but those of you who know me very well might just have to suppose that it was my mother who did all of the smoking of the whacky weed while I was in utero. Because I’ve always been like this. (Apologies to Seiko, whose whacky weed use is undocumented).

In order to keep things on track, I made a daily checklist for myself, which I stuck on the fridge:


Being able to fill in little boxes with my orange pen is so gratifying that I only occasionally miss items on the list.


Usually the “clearing off” of things is the last thing to happen, and sometimes goes by the wayside, but ah well… technically, no one is going to suffer too much over those. I’m just hoping when Social Services eventually comes to take my children away from me, I can point to the checklist and say, “But look! I gave them their vitamins today! How bad can I be?”

It’s really all about covering my tracks.

Cross-Eyed Camel

If we learned something this week, it’s that you people who bid on auctions are not fond of super heroes. Poor Captain A-OK fetched a mere $20, and only because my mother felt sorry for us.

I was cheered when Robbi showed me her drawing for this week’s auction, Trek of the Cross-Eyed Camel.


First off, it features a camel. You people love camels, right? It also contains two pyramids. You like pyramids. I like pyramids. I mean, who doesn’t like pyramids? And look at all that sand! Sand as far as the eye can see! Message to Mom: you can take this week off. We’re going to have to fend all the bidders off with a stick.

Don’t make me look like a sucker in front of my mother, people. Bid now. Christmas is right around the corner.

Why is This Funny?

I’m not really sure why, but this tickles my funny bone:

Picture 6

People are so weird.

Via Denge Denge via ye olde FB.

Patience of Job

Warning: the video below is not even mildly interesting. It is dull and repetitive and unenlightening, and that’s kind of the point. Alden and I went to the Church Hill playground yesterday afternoon, and instead of sliding, swinging, or observing the acrobatic antics of the older, more nimble kids, Alden decided to answer the timeless question of how many grains of sand it takes to fill up a backhoe scoop.

I do not know what motivated her, but she sat in this very same position doing the exact same thing for 20 minutes. Who knows how long she would have continued if I had not eventually removed her from the sandbox, using my much greater size and strength to best her kicking, screaming self.

She was outraged that I was making her quit the task at hand before the work was done, and she made sure that all the other kids and parents on the playground knew it. I had to absorb some rather unkind stares.

I’m hoping that the endless scooping exercise is indicative of the kind of patience that I lack and the kind of focus that I crave, and not evidence of the kind of intractable stubbornness that makes her mother so difficult to live with.


So, this is making the rounds in the blogosphere (I found it via swissmiss), but here’s a mega-battle-to-the-death of all things awesome.

Picture 5

Since I say “awesome” about 1000 times a day, I figured I’d better learn what it was I’m talking about. In the short time that I judged a number of battles, I found that Star Wars is 7th most awesome and photosynthesis 43. I can get behind that.

Make your voice heard here in the battle of the awesomes.

Maybe in one of the rounds, this will come up:


I bet it’s like at least first or second most awesome.

Matthew Draws

We’ve been inspired. Our dear friend Christian sent us this quiz from Sporcle. It’s called “Famous Faces (Badly Drawn)”. (It’s a pretty awesome quiz, you should go over there right now and take it. Let us know how you do.)

We both looked at it and instantly recognized an opportunity for Matthew to do something useful with his horrible drawing skills. So, we’ve put together our own little quiz. I pick four famous people, Matthew draws them, and you guess who they are. Matthew gets to use photo reference. We will post results and the original photos he used as reference in a few days. The more of you who participate, the more interesting this will be.

And so, here we are, with Round 1. Make sure you click the big “Submit” button down at the bottom of the page, so that we can collect your answers. That being said, we apologize for the ghetto quality of this compared to the ingenious system that Sporcle has set up. We’re no big-time quiz site here. We can only put together what comes free on the first site that comes up when you google “online survey embed blog”.

Let the games begin!

My Superhero

On the heels of our trip to MoCCA, I’ve been thinking about superheroes. Not because MoCCA has much to do with superheroes (most of the comics there lean more toward personal narrative and/or regular guy comics) but because on our way out of the city I was thinking about how great it would be to
1. be able to fly, or
2. be able to pick cars up with one hand and toss them over my shoulder.


The Holland Tunnel gets me every time.

There’s the age-old question of which superpower you would like: flight or invisibility. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a complete no-brainer. Having been invisible for much of late middle school, I can tell you that it is really not all it’s cracked up to be. Frankly, I really don’t want to know what people are saying when they think I’m not around (having also learned that from being invisible in middle school). Flight, on the other hand, has got to be incredible. Christopher Reeve didn’t make it seem like all that much fun in Superman (ho hum, clouds again?) but I think Robert Downey Jr. got it pretty right in Iron Man.

Anyway – our favorite superhero around here is Captain A-OK. I like the idea that he’s just assuring us that things are, you know, like, okay. Not great, but just okay. Just like Oklahoma is OK. Maybe not worth stopping anywhere if you’re driving through, but you probably won’t get carjacked either.

I’ve already drawn Captain A-OK for the one page wonders, but I thought I’d try a new version, just because, what the heck. We invented him, I can do whatever I want. Just like Marvel changed Wolverine from man-shaped to crazy steroid cyborg shaped. If you’re into superheroes, he’s up for sale at auction. A super-rare find.


MoCCA 2010

Holy Crapoli – I was vaguely considering doing a post about our trip to NYC to the MoCCA Fest, so did a google search for MoCCA 2010, and it looks like I’m so totally late to that bandwagon, even though the doors just closed a mere seven hours ago. If I were more on the ball, I suppose I would have been tweeting every seven seconds during the whole event. But I’m not that on the ball. I just rolled back in to Chestertown after dropping Matthew off in Philly where he has to do some work for UPenn tomorrow. He also took the camera with him, so I don’t have any photos to share. The upshot of all this is, there’s no news like no news. But you’ll get some soon.

You’ll be glad to know that Kato behaved himself for the entire show. Being his first book show, he wasn’t all jaded and “this is SO ho-hum” like Alden was the last time she was invited (she wasn’t invited this time – we left her home with a big bowl of water and some bagels we hid around the house for when she got hungry. It looks like she made it, though she didn’t find the bagel we hid in between the couch cushions). The pleasure of being a three-month-old is how the simple things are just full of surprises.


Rest assured, we did give him some clothes to wear at the show.

More later. Thanks to all who came out to see us.

Great Art/Free Wine

For those of you who live in or near Williamstown, Massachusetts, we are pleased to announce that friend, artist, and subscriber Clare Kirkconnell will be part of a group show opening this evening at the Harrison Gallery on Spring Street.

Clare makes beautiful paintings full of sky. I admire her reverent acknowledgment of the loveliness of open spaces and the power of transitional light. They daringly gaze at the empty air we usually overlook as our senses pursue the motion and clatter of life. Her paintings are peaceful and meditative. I’d love to spend an hour lost in one. I can only imagine how magnificent they look hung on a large, uncluttered wall. I’m too far away from Williamstown to find out this weekend. But you might not be.

Here’s the postcard, some images, other relevant information, etc.

Harrison Gallery Show

To see much more of Clare’s amazing work, visit her site.

Here’s one of my favorites, titled Respite.


And Lights on Celadon. Amazing.

Picture 1

Good TV Gone Bad

OMG. I hate to admit it, but I’m going to have to go see this.

I was not allowed to watch TV as a kid. Until sometime in middle school, at which point our standards were so underdeveloped that pretty much anything was good TV. The option of turning off a show because it sucked was totally inconceivable (back then there were only three channels anyway. You pretty much stuck with whatever the TV was tuned to). The A-Team was a favorite. Dad insisted on calling it the A-Squad, and up in Alaska we would sometimes pretend to be the A-Team during some particularly grueling fishing-related task. I think my sister was always Hannibal, because she was the problem-solver. I guess Dad was Mr. T. Or maybe my brother was. I think by process of elimination I was probably Murdock, the guy who gets to be comic relief, instead of being useful. More the not-being-useful part than the comic-relief part, though.

Though, after seeing that trailer, I probably DON’T have to see the movie. I think I pretty much know what happens already. And wow, they’ve sure upped the guns, tanks and celebratory fist-pumping quotient.

But the sheer nostalgia of hearing the theme song…!

Now they just have to come out with a Family Ties movie (oh Alex P. Keaton!). And a Knight Rider movie. (But really, Knight Rider without David Hasselhoff is not really Knight Rider at all). And a Magnum P.I. movie (who’s man enough for the mustache?). And a Wonder Years movie (oh Winnie Cooper! Will you ever kiss Kevin?). And a Head of the Class movie (Hurley could totally play Dennis Blunden). The list goes on and on…