Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Hard Day's Night.

I dearly love my son, and while he is an excellent sleeper, occasionally he seems to need to remind me how good I have it. Last night, just after I got to bed, but before I had fallen asleep, I heard him start whining. Usually if he wakes in the night it is very brief, so I went in and gave him his pacifier (he doesn't usually use one at night anymore, but if he wakes I'll give it to him). That didn't even keep him quiet for a minute. He kept whining, or sometimes even talking to himself. Even though I knew he wasn't cold, hot, sick, or in pain, it is impossible for me to sleep while he is awake. So I waited. And waited. An hour later, he was still awake. Finally I went downstairs and played some brainless computer games for awhile, hoping he'd fall asleep eventually. No such luck. I went back upstairs at nearly 1:30AM and did everything I hadn't already tried, including turn on his white noise machine that usually only goes on at naptime and turning on his humidifier. Well, either one of those did the trick or he finally just conked out, since I didn't hear from him again until 8AM. I tried to get a nap when he did today, but I couldn't get to sleep; my brain wouldn't shut up, plus like everyone and their mom called in that hour and a half. SIGH. Well, I'd better wrap this up so I can go to sleep; hopefully the boy will be merciful and sleep tonight.

Haiku News

Olympic bid for
Chicago is do-able;
infrastructure's there.

Nothing is sacred
for former Catholic, founder

Would-be assassin
hid bomb in his underwear,
but not up his butt.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Fall has officially arrived around here. The boy inaugurated his new winter coat, we switched him to his blanket sleepers, and his ceiling fan is off for the year. The trees are starting to change colors and the wind has begun to kick up. Thank goodness that tomorrow will at least be in the 60s again.

The Poetry Challenge is hereby postponed again due to lack of entries. Please feel free to submit one whenever inspiration strikes.

Haiku News

Filmmakers demand
Polanski's release from jail,
sign petition. Yikes.

Not that I will watch,
but Jon's fired from "Kate Plus 8;"
irony's a bitch.

Fighter jet missing
since 1955 found
looking for 'nother.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Today's rather tempestuous weather seemed to reflect the inner turmoil I struggled with today.

I hoped I had turned "the corner" (but really, I should know by now that doesn't exist) on struggling with losing Rory. Then I found out belatedly that a friend of mine from college lost the baby that she had already announced she was pregnant with. So she lost hers significantly later than I lost mine. So basically I was reminded that yes, it can be worse than what I went through, and someone I know has recently suffered through it. It makes me sad. I wish I had prettier words for that, but I really don't right now.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a new poetry challenge, but no one has squared off on the ode yet, so I hope to see some before tomorrow night...otherwise I will extend the deadline. 

Haiku News

SNL newbie
drops f-bomb on live TV;
bad choice of first sketch?

out-of-control numbers can
lead to heart disease.

Older workers thrive
into eighties, older still;
some blame recession.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Quiet = fast, apparently.

I was out too late (and probably drank a bit too much wine) to be coherent enough to blog last night. The hubby and I had a lovely evening out at a dinner theater production of "The Taming of the Shrew." I enjoy attending Shakespeare if only because I'm always happy to find that I can still understand it. What is more, the dinner was delicious: meatballs the size of my fist, already-buttered bread, and some lovely chocolate chip cannoli. Probably the best thing, though, is having some alone time with my husband. He's been working so hard lately that it's really nice to have some time when I'm not trying to watch the boy and he's not trying to get work done while talking to me. 

Haiku News

Scientists trying
to build brain-reading device;
creepy, anyone?

Roman Polanski
arrested on rape charges
thirty-one years old.

Zelaya holed up
in Brazilian embassy;
de facto prez pissed.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Quiet weekend ahead.

After several weekends filled with lots of activity or travel, I am happy to report that aside from a nice date night tomorrow (dinner theater!), I will be able to relax at home. Just as well, as it appears our weather is cooling down and possibly raining all weekend. 

I have to store the memory of my son's sense of humor at this age. I don't want to forget when he's thirteen and rolling his eyes at my every word that he used to laugh when I blew on his hair or that when I just said "ha!" to him, he would collapse into giggles. I am really enjoying how easily amused he is, and I fear it won't last too long. 

I am so grateful to have such wonderful friends. Two weeks to the day after I started to lose my baby, I got a package in the mail: a framed copy of the poem I posted here, along with a necklace with the baby's birthstone and a tag with the initial R. (I decided to name the baby Rory--it was too early to tell if we were having a boy or girl, so it's easiest to pick a name that would work either way.) It's just perfect. I discovered as I was lying down to go to sleep last night that the tag collides with the birthstone to make a tinkling, bell-like sound that reminds me of Zuzu's rhyme, "every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings." So the tinkly sound will remind me of my little angel. 

Haiku News

Terror suspect planned
to build homemade bombs and hit
New York 9/11.

Possible jerkwads:
paramedic, lawyer tried
on extortion charge.

Rotten Tomatoes
compiles the one hundred worst
movies of decade.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


My boy's teething seems to be affecting his sleep somewhat. Yesterday and the day before he woke up briefly in the wee hours and needed a bit of consoling before going back to sleep, and the last week or so he's gone from 2-3 hour naps to 1 1/2-2 hour naps. Not so nice when I'm trying to cram an hour run, lunch and a shower into his nap time. Sigh. Other than that, though, he is wonderful. He didn't even need to be wrestled into his stroller today. We discovered a new park close to home today and he enjoyed climbing over the barrier between the paved walkway and the bark play area. I only had to remove two inedible tree berries and one piece of bark from his mouth, so I consider the trip an overall success.

Haiku News

Metal detector
helps find record treasure trove
of Saxon items.

Runner's survival
even more miraculous--
she has one kidney.

Twenty male Marines
stationed at Camp Lejeune found
to have breast cancer?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Tonight, my son learned to say the word "cookie." I am in trouble, since I find the cuteness of this difficult to resist. Luckily, the cookies I have for him are fortified toddler cookies that are only 20 calories apiece. Despite his eyeteeth woes, he is still generally a cheerful, singing little boy who just melts the hearts of total strangers the majority of the time. I am a lucky mom.

Haiku News

Ultrarunners found
in a remote area;
why reported late?

In an instant, life
changes beyond reckoning;
flood sweeps boy away.

Man kills wife, five kids,
blames it on his mom-in-law,
he'll go to heaven???

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Poetry Challenge #15: Ode

As always, before we get started on the new challenge, check out the lovely free verses submitted this week here.

The ode was originally accompanied by music and dance, and was later adopted by the Romantic poets to express their strongest sentiments. It is generally defined as a formal address to an event, a person, or a thing not present. There are three types of odes: the formal, theatrical Pindaric ode; the thoughtful Horatian ode, and the aptly named Irregular ode. Due to space issues, I will select one of my personal favorite odes, Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn," which is considered an irregular ode. You can see more examples of different types of odes and a more thorough explanation here

Ode on a Grecian Urn
by John Keats

Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? what maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal--yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty'--that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

I'm pretty sure I'm no Keats, but I'll do my best. I'm going with the irregular format on this one too--I think the tone and subject matter is challenging enough without having to worry quite so much about formatting. Here's another link to a site helpful for writing odes.

Ode to My Childhood

I started life with child’s eyes,
creating friends out of thin air.
Imagination was so strong
it seemed that they were really there.
I rode my invisible horse
through every parking lot in town,
and when I sat upon a swing
I felt I’d never touch the ground.
When I drew, I loved my work,
as well as when I wrote things down.

Back then, life was a simple joy,
uncomplicated and love-filled.
I used to dream of living toys
and daydreaming my mind was thrilled.
In summer we’d head for the lake,
I’d spend time fishing with my dad,
and I’d read a huge pile of books--
the best summers I’ve ever had.
I used to rise up with the sun
but bond with Smurfs and Gummi Bears.

At school, I’d look forward to
when we’d have parties for holidays,
or otherwise to recess time
when we’d play games so many ways.
At twelve my fantasy came true
and horses then turned visible;
I found a sport I was good at,
I nearly felt invincible.
While my own youth has come and gone,
I now enjoy my child’s aplomb.

Eyeteeth bite.

My son has been working on getting his eyeteeth for the last few weeks. One little point has emerged, and at least one more is on its way. I haven't been able to see the other side of his mouth for at least a week; he won't show me or let me poke around in there. Thank goodness he'll at least humor me by chewing on his toothbrush a couple times a day. It seems to be affecting his naps lately. Luckily it doesn't seem to be hurting his overnight sleep, but where he used to have at least 2 hour naps, the last two days have been more like an hour and a half. Ugh. Oh, and I have had to wrestle him into his stroller the last two days for the walks that we take every day. He has been walked in that stroller for a year with no issues until now. I really hope it's just a passing phase and the wrestling will not become part of our routine!

Haiku News

Woman implanted
with wrong embryos in botched
IVF transfer.

John Edwards' mistress
was a former party girl,
had great pick-up line.

Fake New York Post aims
to inform on green issues;
real Post not amused.

Monday, September 21, 2009


I dislike it when I'm feeling like everything's fine, and then something happens that reminds me that it isn't just yet. Like last night, I got a reminder from my computer's calendar for my original first OB appointment that is no longer necessary. Sigh. Then one of my high school friends announced her pregnancy on Facebook today. Double sigh. Not that I'm not happy for her. It's just a little hard to see that when I would have been nearly to the point of announcing mine on Facebook by now. 

[abrupt subject change] If you were planning on submitting some free verse poetry, please do so before tomorrow night, as I am going to attempt to post the new poetry challenge on time on Tuesday. But really, anytime you feel like submitting a poem, I'm happy to see it. 

Haiku News

Why would someone spend
so much time qualifying
for so little pay?

MIT students
float camera into near space
and get some good pics.

Hotel employee
held on murder two charges
in condo slaying.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Home again.

It was nice to reconnect with an old friend this weekend, even though it involved lots of upheaval in the boy's schedule. He handled it with his customary aplomb, it was only his mother who was more of a basket case. I'm just glad to be home and back to our regularly scheduled programming for a while. I think a return to routine will do us good. 

Haiku News

Insane killer caught
after splitting on field trip;
why does he get those?

yahoos insist on being
jerks on airline flights.

Cliché in action:
Police searching for prisoner
who climbed down bedsheets.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Never fear...

I went on an impromptu trip to see my best friend, and did not have the energy to post last night. All is well, just was too tired. My apologies. I shall be reveling with her this evening also, hence the early-ish post. 

Please check out the truly lovely offering of free verse by Cicely today.

Haiku News

Brand-new bride ends up
impaled through her neck with a
tree branch in car crash.

How, exactly, does
a man end up inhaling
a piece of a spoon?

Must be weird news week:
this woman regained her sight
with tooth eye implant.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Freedom, in verse

It has been brought to my attention that my description of free verse is not terribly helpful. Free verse is not prose because it is arranged in a poetic format. It does not have to have a prescribed rhythm or rhyme scheme but if you want it to have one, it can. It's rather more fun, in my opinion, to play around with variations on meter, and I generally prefer not to rhyme. That's why it is one of my favorite types of poem, and generally the kind to which I gravitate. The difference between this and blank verse is that blank verse is written in iambic pentameter. I hope that helps! You can also look at Wikipedia's version of it here

Haiku News

$8k tax credit
claimed by 1.4 million;
what a great idea.

Pint-sized T-rex found
in China, just nine feet tall;
scientists surprised.

Isn't it always
the case that murder suspects
are nice, quiet guys?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Keeping On

I wouldn't have called it, but I haven't cried today. Not that I've been perfectly cheerful by any means, but I haven't cried either. My attitude when faced with tragedy since my father died has usually been, "it could be worse." It could in this case, as well. Maybe that's what is keeping me together just now. I don't know. I just know that giving my boy extra snuggles all day isn't hurting either of us.

Thanks to Alicia for sharing her creativity here. Please, join her! Or at least point me in the direction of a favorite free verse poem. Here is another of my favorites, by Pablo Neruda, and translated from the Spanish by W.S. Merwin.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, 'The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

Haiku News

OK, what the hell?
Senate passes Amtrak bill
that lets folks pack heat??

Jerkwad of the day:
white man beats up black woman
in front of her kid.

Now they're finding bones
in Garrido's backyard; they
may be missing girls'.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Senseless Beauty

So, I can't stay away. I find writing therapeutic, regardless of what I said yesterday. Dealing with all of this sudden drama has made me appreciate the good things in my life: a husband with a terrific sense of humor and a heart bigger than anyone else's I know, a wonderfully understanding mother, and a perpetually cheerful little boy. I think I would have gone crazy already if not for those three. 

However, I can't quite bring myself to undertake a complicated poetry challenge. Therefore I will unleash my favorite form of poetry, one that requires very little explication: free verse. I am also encouraging you all to share your favorite examples of free verse with me. Please feel free to post these examples along with any attempts you choose to make in free verse. Really, the only rule in free verse is that there are no rules. Write what you feel. I'll count my work in progress from yesterday as my example, and I'll share a few of my favorites with you over the next week. For now, here is a great poem by Octavio Paz.

Water night

Night with the eyes of a horse that trembles in the night,

night with eyes of water in the field asleep

is in your eyes, a horse that trembles,

is in your eyes of secret water.

Eyes of shadow-water,

eyes of well-water,

eyes of dream-water

Silence and solitude,

two little animals moon-led,

drink in your eyes,

drink in those waters.

If you open your eyes,

night opens, doors of musk,

the secret kingdom of the water opens

flowing from the center of the night.

And if you close your eyes,

a river fills you from within,

flows forward, darkens you:

night brings its wetness to beaches in your soul.

It has also been adapted by Eric Whitacre into a spectacular song, which you can hear here.

Please, humor me and share some senseless beauty, won't you?

Haiku News

Holy freaking crap,
don't mess with Hopkins students
with samurai swords!

Yale girl's body found
in a wall off campus; no
answers yet in death.

Speaking of students,
fight broke out in Florida
high school; one guy died.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A work in progress.

As a disclaimer, I am struggling with some personal heartache, so I may not be able to continue to post daily for the next little while. I will be back, but I don't want to keep too much to a prescribed schedule just now. Thanks for listening.

[Work in Progress]

When did you go, my littlest one?

I didn’t know to say goodbye.

I thought that you were still with me,

I hadn’t even thought to cry.

We only had a little time

for me to love and hold you close.

Well, I will love you all my life

even though you had to go.

Daddy, hold my dear one near

until I can get back to you.

I know he must be so like one

I have down here with eyes of blue.

Or maybe she is opposite

with dark features striking the eye

a sparkling wit to charm us all

and a heart we can’t deny.

Even though we haven’t met

to see life face to face,

I know I’ll recognize you when

I have finished my race.

I’ll run to you and scoop you up,

my forever-little one,

and you’ll give me back the missing piece

of my broken mother-heart.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Early today.

All right, well, we have tickets to see U2 tonight and I doubt I'll have the energy to get back on here when we get back, so I will do a short blog now instead. The boy is already awake but whiny and I'm hoping he will take another mini-snooze so he can wake up happier.  He was SO good on the plane yesterday, it was really amazing. He usually takes a long nap in the afternoon and yesterday he only slept about 45 minutes, roughly as long as the first leg of our flight, but he still stayed pretty happy, etc. So I was proud of him. 

Here's a video of one of my favorite bands performing one of my favorite songs.

Haiku News

Jerkwad of the day:
Kanye grabs Taylor Swift's mike
when she wins award.

Child brides still exist.
This girl died of childbirth
at just twelve years old.

Parole hold keeps creep
who kidnapped Dugard back in
jail, where he belongs.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Home and all's well...

That's about all I have energy to say right now. I will return with a coherent blog tomorrow, sorry!

Where did the time go? Again?

As my visit with my mom is drawing to a close, I realize this time has gone super fast, even though I have been missing my husband. I got to do most of the things I really wanted to do while I was here, and I saw many people I hadn't seen in years, so that was very nice. I also really enjoyed having my little guy spend some quality time with his Mimi. He is just so cute with her. The best game is when she sits him on her lap and sings "Itsy Bitsy Spider." He gets this slow little grin on his face, and there are multiple points during the song where she will tickle him somehow and make him laugh out loud. I really have to get a picture of it tomorrow before I leave. I do regret not taking more pictures while I was here, except for Disney. Sigh.

I know I'll see Mom again in November for Thanksgiving, but it seems like a long way away at this point. Sigh...thank goodness for cellular phones! And I will need to look into finally setting up a Skype account. That will help!

Haiku News
One more reason not
to shop at Walmart: some guy
slapped a stranger's kid!

Is nothing sacred?
Not to these cemetery
owners, says lawsuit.

Maker of Segway
working on an invention
for drinking water.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Brush with Fame.

Today for Mom's birthday we went to see a taping of The Bonnie Hunt Show. As is typical for this sort of production, we did not know until just before the taping began who the guests were that day. We were in for an interesting afternoon. First of all, I didn't realize until we got there that they must tape part of Scrubs on the same lot, as I saw several set pieces decorated with "Sacred Heart Hospital" as we were waiting in line. Once we got in to the studio, I could read one of the teleprompters and discovered that the guests were Niecy Nash (of Clean House and Reno 911!), the Real Housewives of Atlanta, and former governor Rod Blagojevich. Oh, joy. Well, I enjoy Niecy Nash and she was just as funny and sweet on this show as I've always seen her before. The Real Housewives are apparently out of control on their own show, and according to the audience warm-up guy they were wild on someone else's show yesterday, but today they were BORING. They were all mumbling, nearly inaudible, and barely even answered the questions Bonnie and Niecy asked them. Sorely disappointing. The real meat of the day came in when Bonnie got to put questions to the impeached governor of Illinois. Being a Chicago girl herself, she asked some pretty pointed questions and wouldn't let him weasel out of anything. I think he was taken aback a bit! It's supposed to air tomorrow, so maybe you'll see me. :) Oh, and as we were leaving, one of the audience members heard a voice calling, "I'm better than Bonnie Hunt any day!" A dark haired guy zoomed by on a bike, and as he passed ten feet from me, all I could do to react was to point at him and shout "Zach Braff!" Yes, I am a complete dork. That was cool since I enjoy Scrubs. Anyway.

Haiku News
Bizarre case unfolds
of man and his four women
and some superglue.

Seinfeld's wife wins out
in the plagiarism case
brought by Ms. Lapine.

Community group
taped advising prostitute
and pimp on their jobs?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sorry for the delay...

So, I was so absorbed in spending time with my family today that I managed to totally forget about doing an entry today. Sorry about that! Not much to report. The boy is working on his eyeteeth. He has one point through on the bottom, the matching top one working its way through, and the other side is swollen...looks like they are trying to come through simultaneously. Joyous. At least he doesn't seem to be too terribly uncomfortable.

My mom's birthday is tomorrow and we are celebrating by attending a taping of the Bonnie Hunt Show. That will be very fun, as I've never attended any TV tapings before. We're also joining her friend (and my friend who's her friend's daughter) and their family for dinner. It should be a very nice day.

Cicely has bravely entered the fray of the epigram. Any other takers are warmly welcomed!

Haiku News

I love her to death,
but Ellen DeGeneres
is an Idol judge?!?!?

Jerkwad of the day:
this guy shouting out "You lie!"
while Obama speaks.

A close runner-up:
Cali assemblyman talks up
affairs on hot mike.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Poetry Challenge #13: Epigram

All right, sports fans, I think it's time for a new challenge. But before we get started, as always, please check out the lovely rondeaux (rondeaus?) from the last challenge here.

I was thinking to do a longer sort of poem this week, but as it's already getting pretty late, I'd better stick to something short. Hence, the epigram.

An epigram is a short, pithy saying, usually in verse, and often with a satirical twist at the end. Famous epigram artists include John Donne, Ben Jonson, and Lord Byron. 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge offered this meta-epigram, if you will, defining the genre within its boundaries: 
What is an epigram? A dwarfish whole,
Its body brevity, and wit its soul.

More recent masters of the epigram are Yeats, Pound, and Ogden Nash, whose "Ice Breaking" is reproduced here:
Is dandy,
But liquor
Is quicker

Whew. So now I have to be witty, huh? Well, I'll do my best.

Teach your kids to think
or to foolish depths they'll sink.

Irrational hope
is stronger than rope.

Love your kids and hug them tight
For they get older overnight.

You can read more about epigrams and read more examples here. I'll bet you can do better than me what you come up with!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Baby days...

As my little boy struggles to go to sleep tonight (I think he's working on another tooth), I'm somewhat reminded of when he was a tiny baby just learning how to do everything. I had a refresher course on that today when visiting an old friend and her two-month-old baby. I had forgotten many of the noises and faces and body movements that tiny ones do all the time, but just spending that hour with him really brought it all back. I can't believe how fast the time has gone, and how much he has learned and grown since then. 

Haiku News

starts her freshman year at Brown;
tries to stay low-key.

Georgia victim got
twenty-five thousand dollar
settlement prior.

Cops: six-year-old boy
hidden in a secret room,
kept from his father.

Monday, September 7, 2009


I definitely wore myself out yesterday. I didn't even hear the boy wake up this morning...he was up at 7 while I didn't get up till 8:30. Thank goodness for my mom. I feel bad that my husband is missing our boy learning so many new words while we've been gone. I think I've picked out "uh-oh," cracker, ball, "whee!", and attempts at car, "I don't know," and truck. He's starting to learn his colors, too. Sheesh, that boy will be going to college soon. :)

Haiku News

I'm sure you're all glad
new species of rat was found
weighing three-plus pounds.

Melanie Oudin
shocks the tennis world again,
handing out upsets.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Disney, part 2: the Reckoning

Today dawned bright and early for me--in fact, so early that the sun wouldn't actually rise for another 1 1/2 hours--so forgive me if I'm not making a lot of sense right now. I'll probably be headed for bed just after I finish this post.

I rolled out of bed, put on my race clothes and equipment, and headed for the start line. I've been in quite a few races now, but this was only my second half marathon, so I was a little bit nervous still. My only goal was to beat my previous time, last year's amazing-to-have-finished-without-proper-training just over 3 hours. My unstated goal was to be a heck of a lot closer to 2 1/2 hours than to 3 hours, but I wasn't going to hold myself too hard to that. I started out trying to follow a pacer who was going to get her group in just under 2.5 hours, but I couldn't keep up with them after the first few miles, so I decided to just trust my watch and my training. As I made this decision, I saw my heart rate return to its familiar territory when it had been hovering rather high, and I knew I had made the smart choice. 

The Disneyland Half Marathon is truly an experience. If you are all inclined to try one, I highly recommend it (and I'll bet its counterparts in other seasons in Florida and in California would be lovely too). I hope to do it again someday. Of all the races I've done, this one by far had the most awesome cheering sections. Highlights included running through California Adventure and Disneyland before opening hours, greeted by various cast members and costumed characters; running right next to the Big A at Angels Stadium; actually running ON THE WARNING TRACK of said stadium while being shown on the JumboTron to a large crowd of scouts and their parents who were squirting us with water and blowing bubbles; the cheerleaders and marching bands of every local high school out in force at an ungodly hour for teenagers with just as much enthusiasm as a pep rally; the mariachi band and mini-hula dancers along the course; and all the crazy Disney-themed costumes many runners wore. Popular choices were Minnie Mouse and Tinkerbell. I also saw Huey, Dewey, and Louie toward the end, complete with padded duck bottoms and yellow "duck feet" slipped over their running shoes. 

Two humorous side stories: Just after mile 10, a woman dressed as Pocahontas and her companion, a gentleman wearing a tiara, stopped to meet a friend, who opened up his cooler and handed each of them a can of Tecate beer. I can only assume they were going to slam the said beer and continue on with the remaining 5k. I could never do that but I found it hilarious. The other is just about all the fun signs. My personal favorite was one that simply said "Just Keep Swimming," Dory's favorite mantra/song in Finding Nemo. I love that movie, and it makes no sense in a foot race so it's a fun thing to keep in your head while running crazy long distances. Someone else was holding a sign that said "If Mickey can run this, so can you." Ha...none of the costumed characters actually employed by Disney were running with us, but I saw Mickey and Goofy at the start line and Chip, Dale and Minnie were jumping up and down as I crossed the finish, so there's that. 

Oh, and I finished in an official time of 2 hours, 35 minutes and 42 seconds. That put me pretty squarely in the middle of over 11,000 finishers. I was thanking my lucky stars for the recent cooling trend since extreme heat zaps me and it had been in the 90s until this weekend. Today topped out at 83, but it was only in the 70s by the time we finished, I think. One mysterious phenomenon that always seems to happen to me is that once I see the finish line, no matter how tired I felt right before that, I can suddenly pull out a sprint (or at least what feels to me like a sprint right then) and pass a few people on the way there. It makes me feel good, anyway. 

After I got showered and felt relatively human again, we got to meet up with a good friend of mine from about 5 years ago who currently lives close to the park and has an annual pass. It was great to see her and introduce her to my son and my mom. She was able to show us a few of her tips for getting through the park quickly, which came in handy with a sleepy guy. He got to see the Jungle Cruise, the Haunted Mansion, the Winnie the Pooh ride, and the Tiki Room as well as going on "It's a Small World" yet again. He still loves it. He seemed to enjoy everything, actually. Probably the funniest thing with him today was that we waited to see a parade on Main Street before heading home, and despite it being loud and right in front of him, my boy fell asleep before it was over. He didn't wake up till we had to get him in the car from the stroller. What a sweetie.

Haiku News

Radio stations
in Venezuela shut down;
prez sez they hate him.

Tila Tequila
claims Shaun Merriman choked her;

Senator Nelson:
could reach health care compromise

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Disney, part 1

Today, we took my little boy to Disneyland for the first time. I wasn't sure what to expect from him, especially since our room wasn't guaranteed to be ready until after 3PM and he usually naps at 12. We managed to get him to take a 1 hour nap in the stroller while we walked around California Adventure, and then we took him into Disney proper to enjoy the Railroad. He loved it, saying "bye!" to all the people getting off the train at all the stops. Then we headed over to "It's a Small World." My little guy loves music and enjoys looking at other children, so we thought it'd be a hit. That was an understatement. He smiled, he laughed, he clapped, he talked to the figures, he tried to sing along, he pointed out his favorites. Most precious of all, at the very end of the ride, he looked around and said "bye-bye!" I mean, really, how did he KNOW? Ahh, I love him. He also enjoyed Pirates of the Carribean, especially since there were a few cute Irish women on the ride behind us. He loves flirting with girls. I know, I'd better lock him up in a few more months.

My race is tomorrow: I'm doing the Disneyland Half Marathon. The course starts outside the Disneyland Hotel and wends its way through both parks, the Big A, and Honda Center (Formerly the Anaheim Pond). It starts at 6, mercifully, so I'm fairly sure that I should be done before it gets too hot. Then we're meeting an old friend of mine for breakfast before spending a little more time at the park. It should be fun, even if I'm going to be exhausted when it's over.  Positive thoughts are appreciated. 

Haiku News

Massive ancient wall
found in Jerusalem, the
largest of its kind.

Chinese doctors say
needle-stabbing reports may
have been mistaken.

Seven victims of
Georgia murders laid to rest;
some doubt Heinze did it.

Waking the Sleeping Giant

I was startled but intrigued to find such a civilized conversation unfold on the comments section of yesterday's blog. You can follow it here. Let me explain that thought...I was surprised to see an actual conversation, not that it was so civilized. I rather like how thoughtful and kind my readers have been over these past few months. I applaud my dear readers for said civility and the pains that were taken not to offend those of differing opinions. I wish that sort of dialogue took place more often; this world would be a heck of a lot better place if it did. Please continue to take on issues I touch on if you wish; I think this would be as good a place as any to do so.

Also, Cicely came through on her promised rondeau! You can see it here. Despite her protests, I appreciate her efforts as always. 

Haiku News

ELF wackos
topple radio towers,
claim they cause cancer.

Cape Cod beach town vexed
by shark sightings recently;
wicked bad timing.

Japan ponders plan
to pay parents for each child,
hopes to boost birth rate.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Okay folks, I'm back in action. 

First off, I've been trying to ignore this hooey about the health care shouting match "debate", but it is just so maddening to see people getting so riled up about things that they either haven't bothered to research or are willing to buy some crazy misinformation about. In this day of miles of readily available information, it is incomprehensible to me that this can happen. WHY is it so hard to figure out what the hell you're talking about before you open your mouth? Grrrrrrrr. 

On the "ignorance is bliss" wagon, why in the world are so many parents up in arms about the President wishing to address school children about long-term goal planning and personal responsibility? Since when is good character a political issue? Good Lord, people, get ahold of yourselves. If you're so afraid of your kids being "indoctrinated," talk to them about what YOU believe and let them make up their own minds. They do have them. Rant over.

I am highly enjoying seeing my little boy explore his Mimi's house. He is really enamored of his "new" toys and all the new places to walk, run, crawl, peek, etc. He also loves to get in his Mimi's lap and talk and sing to her. Ahhh. He also got some new shoes. The first real pair he got at the beginning of the summer were 5s. Today he was measured at 6 1/2. Sheesh! I can't believe how fast he is growing. Anyone know a good flatiron store so I can get one to put on his head?

Before I forget, Paige left a beautiful rondeau on the placeholder for this week's poetry challenge. You can check it out here. I believe one other person claimed to be working on one, and others are of course welcome to join in...I'm thinking I may just wait on putting up a new challenge until next week to allow more participation.

Haiku News

California fire
was arson, according to

High school quarterback
tackles girl with gun on bus,
saves twenty-two lives.

Taxidermy school
owner peppered with questions

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Today's post delayed...

Sorry, dear readers, but I have zero energy left after a long journey to visit my hometown. I will write a quality post tomorrow, I promise. My apologies.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Poetry Challenge #13: postponed...

Because no one has tested the waters of last week's challenge, I am going to let this be your gentle reminder to dive in, rather than posing another challenge. You can find the instructions and examples for the rondeau here. I have faith that if you are interested in trying out this gentle type of poem, you can do it. Please show me what you come up with; I don't like thinking I'm just doing this stuff for me!

'Twas the night before D-day...

as in departure day. My flight leaves at midday tomorrow, so we'll be leaving the house in the late morning. Most things are packed, waiting on a few things to FINALLY make their way out of the dryer. I would appreciate positive thoughts, as I'm about to take my first-ever flight alone with my 19-month-old. He's a good boy, but I have no idea how I'm going to keep him happy for that long alone with such limited mobility. Sigh...

Haiku News

Almost as scary
as the Twitter malfunction:
Gmail down today.

Company behind
Body Magic shapers claims
American Dream.

New info released
on the eight killed in Georgia;
more questions remain.