Fun Archives

TGIF! But hold the books

Definitely the effect reading has on me on Fridays after a long work week:

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<p>G-G the book - G-G on Facebook - G-G on Twitter </p><br />

Fortunately Saturday’s coming.

Source: Garfield Minus Garfield

TGIF! Elephants swaying to classical music

Saturday Morning: Orange is the New Black hangover

OITNBOrange is the New Black
Season 3 debut yesterday.
Are we watching OITNB tonight?
Of course we are
OITNB is even more fun with a friend.
She makes us gin and tonics.
I bring white corn tortilla chips.
Ready for a binge on all fronts.

Episode 1: Mother’s Day Visit

Alex is back!
Not as much Piper.
The series is still fresh and funny.
Flashbacks for a half dozen characters.
Pennasatucky creates a makeshift grave for her half dozen aborted children.
Prompting Boo to discuss insights with her from the book Freakonomics.
Funny line:
I hate kids. You know, they don’t drink, they haven’t traveled.

Episode 2: “Bed Bugs and Beyond”
Bed bug infestation.
Everyone goes around in plastic bags, paper gowns, or skivvies.
Alex line:
A smile is like tight underwear. It lifts your cheeks.
Red line:
Nice is for cowards and Democrats.
Alex and Piper fight;
Telling the truth causes conflict,
Not telling the truth causes conflict.
Mary Steenburgern makes a cameo appearance.
Bennett finally gets a flashback…
And a painful flash forward.

Episode 3: “Empathy is a boner killer”
Funny title.
My favorite episode so far.
Especially liked Taystee and Poussey’s burned book eulogy and memorial service.
And scattering of the book ashes.
Alex and Piper do improv
Red makes a badass marriage therapist.
Nicky calls herself “a bloodhound for oblivion.
Luschek tells Nicky:
That’s why you women ended up in prison. ‘Cause you suck at crime.

It’s midnight.
Binge is over for now.
No trouble falling asleep after getting home.
Wake up briefly during bird happy hour.
Northern cardinals and house wrens have so much to say.
I let them carry on,
Too tired to listen.
Fall back asleep.

Photo credit: New York Times

Friday Fun

It’s not a TGIF this Friday because I’m on staycation. It’s back to the office on Monday, when I will be refreshed and hopefully channeling some of the spirit of Peggy of Mad Men:


TGIF! The crows think so too

This morning I woke up to the sound of crows cawing over and over again during bird happy hour. I guess they were happy it’s Friday too. I finally went out to ask one of the crows what was going on but he didn’t dignify me with a response and flew away. Oh well. In celebration of TGIF here’s my favorite crow video – the crow is using a lid to sled down a roof:

Mother’s Day Shower

TrophyMomBridal and baby showers are all well and good. But it occurs to me that there is a glaring oversight in the shower industry: we need empty nest showers for mothers. The shower could occur on the first Mother’s Day following the youngest child’s departure from home.

There is more of a need to stock up after they leave home than when they are babies.

Here is a list of items the kids use almost constantly, and therefore I can almost never find when I need to use them (your list will vary, of course, especially if you have sons, which I don’t):

  • Scissors.
  • Nail clippers.
  • Pencils that don’t have orange or yellow lead. Normal pencils can never be found. Orange or yellow pencils can always be found because you can’t see what you’re writing when you use them, so they are useless.
  • Pens. There is light at the end of the tunnel for this one because I have started taking the kids to UW Bookstore a few times per year. You can buy individual pens there and test them out in the store. Passing on my pen addiction to them is one of my great joys as a mother. They love picking out their own pens and now don’t borrow mine as often. Whew.
  • Cloth napkins – when the kids were younger they were appropriated for all manner of uses, such as blankets for dolls.
  • Measuring tape – this was usually pressed into service as a leash for stuffed animals. Currently my daughter’s pet rabbit loves to chew it if he can get near it.
  • Hand trowel for gardening. When we had a sandbox these tended to get borrowed for sand play…and buried and never found again.
  • Computer paper.
  • Cell phone charger. In addition to constant borrowing pet rabbits love to chew these too. Argh.
  • Ponytail holder and bobby pins.
  • Tissues (especially travel size packets).
  • Lip balm.

This list is substantial enough that one of my ongoing fantasies as a parent is the surprise appearance of an overflowing box of all of the above items someday. When my imagination is really getting carried away I envision what it would be like to walk around my house during the course of the day and find each of these items in the exact spot where I last left them. A mother can dream.


Many years ago I decided to stop watching Packers games and only watch any NFC Championship games and Super Bowl games they play in.

Watching regularly was too stressful (all those Favre interceptions) and I just gradually lost interest in watching men play a boy’s game and get paid millions for it.

Besides, living in Wisconsin, I’m usually all too aware of what the Packers are up to, even when I don’t watch.

But a recent New Yorker article listed some cool things about the Packers and why they are the only team worth paying attention to:

* The Packers are the only football team owned by their fans (112,000 of them, to be precise).

* They are located in Green Bay, which has a population of only 101,000, and not in the larger, hipper, shinier city of Milwaukee.

* The Packers GM gets to make decisions without a millionaire owner breathing down his neck and has had the freedom to do things like ditch Brett Favre in favor of Aaron Rodgers.

* Volunteers work the concession stands at home games and 60% of the proceeds go to charity.

* Volunteers remove the snow from the field before home games (imagine the response Jerry Jones would get if he asked for volunteers).

* The beer is cheaper than at other stadiums.

* Every home game has been sold out for two decades.

* Unlike other NFL teams, which tax their local communities and then keep the profits for themselves, the Packers actually aid their local community by not draining it of resources.

Now that I know these cool deets about the Packers, and now that I’ve seen how Aaron Rodgers doesn’t throw interceptions like Favre did, maybe, just maybe I’ll let myself watch a few more Packers games now. 😉

A way to slow down traffic on Winnequah Road

From Calvin & Hobbes:

Click here for more real life reproductions of Calvin & Hobbes snowmen nightmares.

The King’s Speech: Saved by Friendship

If you’re looking for a movie to watch, I highly recommend The King’s Speech. It’s playing at the Sundance theater at Hilldale for a limited time.

It’s about King George VI (father of Queen Elizabeth II) and how he overcame a stammer after having to suddenly assume the throne following the abdication of his older brother King Edward.

Much of the movie is based on the unpublished diary entries and reports of King George’s unconventional speech therapist, Lionel Logue.

Here’s the trailer:

As you’ll see when you watch this film, friendship ends up being more important than the credentials of the speech therapist. The director, Tom Hooper, says:

What I felt the film was really about was that he was saved by friendship. Yes, it’s about a man with a stammer. But we all face blocks to becoming our better selves.

Also, the movie reminded me how much I like Beethoven’s 7th symphony. The orchestra I was part of in college performed this my freshman year. Whenever you play a piece of music it remains part of you and you recognize it in a special way when you hear it again, years later, as I did when watching this movie. I always love it when that happens. Here’s a video of this symphony:

In which we run in bare feet at Ahuska

This afternoon I spontaneously suggested to three of my daughters that we go running in bare feet at an Ahuska soccer field.

Of course they were shocked at this suggestion, yet quickly agreed to it.

I came up with this idea because I’m almost finished with the book Born to Run.

The author discusses the Tarahumara tribe (check out this 10 minute video about them here) in a remote area in northern Mexico, where they routinely run 100 or more miles at a time in bare feet or makeshift sandals.

He also presents evidence that our bodies were designed for long distance running and that before the creation of the running shoe in 1971, running injuries weren’t common like they are now.

When you wear running shoes, your heel hits the ground first, whereas when you run in bare feet, the padded middle portion of your foot hits the ground first, which is easier on your feet.

I decided to see for myself what it’s like to run in bare feet. I have no memories of running like this as a child because I always dutifully wore my PF Flyers when going outside to play.

So off I went to the soccer field with my daughters.

We ran 125 yards or so and my 15 year old said it was “exhilarating.” She never uses that word when she talks about running laps in her Nikes at tennis practice – that is always drudgery for her. She has fond memories of running barefoot as a child and was happy to experience it again.

We turned around and ran the 125 yards back to our shoes, which we reluctantly put back on. It was definitely more effortless than running in shoes and I hope it created a fun memory for the girls.

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