Saturday, October 31, 2009

All Hallows Eve.

I wasn't sure how my little guy would react when I coaxed him into his costume this year. I knew he could take or leave head coverings (mostly leave 'em), and that the one time I'd tried to put mittens on him he took one off within an hour, and this costume had a hood and little mittens for the "paws." Miraculously, he seemed to enjoy becoming a dragon for the afternoon. The tail didn't bother him at all, he rather enjoyed the wings, and he seemed to like having to lift a dragon-snout out of his eyes from time to time. When we got back from our jaunt in the local merchant district, I coaxed the mittens on, and to my shock, they stayed on for at least an hour. What a great kid.

Haiku News

Indians find nine missing
passengers post-crash.

Navy sailor cleans
gun, accidentally fires on
Poland--oops, my bad.

Before you turn in,
don't forget to set your clocks
one hour behind.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Rain, rain, go AWAY.

I am super tired of cold rainy days. Last night as I was trying to go to sleep I thought the house was going to float away. I was particularly concerned that we might get more water in the basement since that happened with the last major storm we got, although we had our gutters cleaned since then. 

Haiku News

This one makes me sick:
mother failed to kill both sons,
elder testifies.

Iraqi father
tried to run down his daughter;
she was "too Western."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Poem Analysis #3

If you haven't caught up on it yet, please peruse last week's discussion thread here

For this week's poem analysis, I thought I would pick a poem that was suitably creepy. First, I thought of "The Raven," but it is rather long, so I went with one I was reminded of thanks to Cicely's choice of "The Walrus and the Carpenter" for her OULIPO last week. 

by Lewis Carroll
from Through the Looking Glass

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought–
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came wiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Okay, so the obvious point is that Carroll loved to make up words. That is why this poem is classified as "nonsense" poetry. I take issue with that, however. I feel like even with the ridiculous sounding words, some sense can surely be made. There is a clear narrative and sequence of events. I particularly like the made-up adjectives and sound-words (onomatopoeia) such as "snicker-snack". I think I have stood in "uffish thought" many times as well. Read it a few times, then let me know what you think.

My name is...

...Mommy, lately. Today it was my son's favorite word. He even sang his "Mommy" song a few times this morning. Precious. I also made up some silly game where I danced around, stopped, and bent low to look him in the face and say "hi" to make him giggle. I love getting him ready for bed, too, as even as active as he can be, he will usually give me a bunch of sweet kisses and climb onto my lap while we're waiting for the tub to fill. Ahh. 

Paige is first into the fray on the Dramatic Monologue challenge, with a little-touched-upon in poetry but VERY scary scenario for any mom! Check it out here

Haiku News

Worst disguise ever?
These two nuts tried to hide their
faces with Sharpies?

Canadian folk
singer took a nature hike,
killed by coyotes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Poetry Challenge #19: Dramatic Monologue

First, as always, please check out the devoted efforts of Cicely on the OULIPO last week. You can read her new version of "The Walrus and the Carpenter" (along with the original) here.

The dramatic monologue (as you may guess by the name) is a very theatrical style of poetry. It implies an audience and the poem takes the form of the thoughts of a character. 

Our professional example today comes from Sylvia Plath.

Lady Lazarus
by Sylvia Plath

I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it--

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My face a featureless, fine
Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify?--

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me

And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot--
The big strip tease.
Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.

The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut

As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.

It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
It's the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:

'A miracle!'
That knocks me out.
There is a charge

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart--
It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash--
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there--

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

My own dramatic monologue is from the perspective of a character I dreamed up for my "novel" that I haven't even written into it yet, but I thought this poem might be a way to start coaxing him out of my brain. Here we go.

I was handsome, once.
There were few
who would not stare
as I passed by.
Now they still stare,
but for opposite reasons.

It’s amazing how life changes
when you are confronted
with ultimate evil.
In my case, it saw through my bravado
to my true weakness:

If I didn’t wear this balaclava
you would shudder
at the sight of me.
Being repulsive was difficult
to get used to.
Evil nearly won me to its side
just by shifting strangers’ attitudes
toward me.

Some days I still wake up
and wish I would see my true
face in the mirror,
rather than the sorry ruin
of melted features
evil left me with.
Then I remember,
no beauty is worth
allowing evil to triumph.

Then again...

You can read more about this type of poem and read more examples here. This is an opportunity to get into the Halloween spirit!


My boy sometimes thinks he's a dog. We have a small one who enjoys playing with him and thinks he's one of her own puppies sometimes. They will happily share a few toys, even if I cringe somewhat when I catch my little guy gnawing on something that's been in the dog's mouth. Probably one of the funniest parts of my day is watching my boy and his "puppy" play tug-of-war with one of said toys. That is the only time he will shriek really loudly. I really need to get that on video.

Haiku News

Laptopping pilots
had their licenses revoked.
Priorities, folks. 

Paul Haggis has quit
Church of Scientology:
he says they gay-bash.

What kind of people
watch a young girl get gang raped
TWO HOURS, do nothing?

Monday, October 26, 2009

It begins.

Ah, yes, it begins. My boy was chattering while I put on his pajamas last night, and asked, "Daddy?" to which I replied, "Daddy's downstairs watching baseball." He took that in for a moment, then said, "Bee-bo." Considering "bo" is definitely "ball," I'm thinking that's his version of baseball. Oh, Daddy will be so pleased when he hears it. I tried to get him to say it to Daddy this evening but he wouldn't do it then. He said it for his Mimi on the phone, though. 

Haiku News

Quite mysterious:
"Jane Doe" emptied bank account,
left all for New York.

NTSB says
stray jet's pilots on laptops;
geez, guys, take a break!

Horrifying news:
over fifty children freed
from sex-trafficking.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Like the wind.

This morning, I rose before the sun and ventured out to the harbor to participate in a 10K race. Amazingly, I have run several races well past that distance, but I had never run a race of exactly that length. I have, however, run that distance as my "long run" many a Saturday, so I was not worried about my ability to complete the race. I just hoped I would be able to maintain a reasonable pace. 

As we assembled at the starting line, I enjoyed looking at the small population of runners who had arrived in costume (there was a separate costume contest after the race). My favorite was the mom and dad (with their child in a stroller with them) both dressed as Hooters waitresses. Mind you, it was 45 degrees this morning. This took a large commitment even for the female half of the pair, but then a whole NEW level of commitment for the man, who even donned a long blonde wig and falsies for the full effect. 

I was just hoping to finish within an hour and 15 minutes; I am not the fastest, just determined. However, at the first split I realized I was keeping just under an 11 minute/mile pace. That is not too much slower than my 5K pace, so I was somewhat amazed. As I passed mile after mile, I was keeping pretty close to that pace, and despite this surprisingly-blistering (for me) pace, I even found a sprint for the finish. I don't have my official time yet, but my watch tells me I finished in 1 hour, 7 minutes and about 40 seconds. We'll see what the official clock says sometime in the next 24 hours, but I am pretty proud of that time!

A very interesting discussion is unfolding on the poetry analysis thread for this week; check it out here

Haiku News

Andrew Lloyd Webber
diagnosed with prostate cancer;
don't write about that!

Co-pilot of flight
that missed St. Paul airport says
no one was asleep.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New level of cute.

Today, my boy reached a new level of cuteness. He sang "twinkle, twinkle" with the lyric "Mommy." Cutest. Thing. Ever.

Also, I labored long and hard and was able to create what my husband calls the best soup he ever ate: Tuscan-Style Potato Soup. I highly recommend it, if you have the time!

Haiku News

Obama declares
H1N1 'mergency;
let's all wash our hands.

Priest killer confessed:
apparently janitor
argued with him, snapped.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Poem Analysis #2

First off, thanks for those courageous souls who shared your thoughts about last week's poem. You can read their ideas here.

Because my time is short this week, I will go with one of my favorite poems, partly because it is so amazingly simple that I can usually recall it correctly from memory.

The Red Wheelbarrow
by William Carlos Williams

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

In case you're wondering, I did actually type that correctly from memory this time. I loved sharing this one with my high school students because many of them would be amazed that it is considered a poem. It is full of very simple language yet creates a startlingly clear image. I also like to point out that each stanza looks like a little wheelbarrow. I think Williams probably did that on purpose. 

So what do you think?

Prayer huddle.

I don't think I've mentioned this on here and I need to document it for when he is too big to do it anymore. When I say his prayers for him, my little boy will kneel on my lap and put his head down in front of his knees with his arms tucked in to his body, and he will stay that way until I finish. It is so cute. 

Haiku News

Priest believed murdered
in tiny New Jersey town;
no suspects are known.

Teenage girl appears
in New York with no idea
who she is at all.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


So, I discovered a website called today. Be careful, folks. If you click on that link it will suck you in. 

Hence, I will do my poem-analysis for the week tomorrow. That means if you had something to say about the Stevens poem from last week, you have another day. 

Oh, and I made inexplicably giant chocolate chip cookies.

Haiku News

Remind me not to
fly with these guys next time I
jet into St. Paul.

Immigrant children
looking for their parents here
need more help, it seems.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New life.

After an afternoon filled with listening to my little boy sing "Twinkle, Twinkle" on the syllable "yah," I found out my good friend had her third son. I'm so pleased for her, as she'd been plagued with a lot of early labor. I hope by this time next year to have a sibling for my little boy as well.

Haiku News

Terror suspect thought
to be planning mall attack,
wanted to kill troops.

Virginia Tech girl
missing after rock concert;
band helps out with search.

Forty years ago,
Monty Python starts something
completely different.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Poetry Challenge #18: OULIPO

I was searching my favorite source,, to come up with a non-intimidating, fun idea for this week's poetry challenge. I stumbled upon the OULIPO, which is loosely translated as Workshop of Potential Literature. You can read all about the movement that spawned this idea here

Here's what you do. Find an existing poem. Then underline every substantive noun in the poem, get a dictionary, and replace those nouns with the noun seven entries away from it in the dictionary. Make sure it is not another form of the same word, or a word with the same root. I'll show you with my example. I chose the poem "The Farmer" by William Carlos Williams. Being a bit of a rebel himself, I believe he would have enjoyed this exercise.

Here's his poem in its original form. I have bolded the words I'm going to change as they are the substantive nouns.

The Farmer

The farmer in deep thought
is pacing through the rain
among his blank fields, with
hands in pockets,
in his head
the harvest already planted.
A cold wind ruffles the water
among the browned weeds.
On all sides
the world rolls coldly away:
black orchards
darkened by the March clouds--
leaving room for thought.
Down past the brushwood
bristling by
the rainsluiced wagon road
looms the artist figure of
the farmer--composing

Here is my OULIPO version:

The Farnesol

The farnesol in deep thousandweight
is pacing through the raise
among his blank fiends, with
hangars in pococurantes,
in his health
the hasenpfeffer already planted.
A cold window ruffles the watsonia
among the browned week.
On all sieges
the worm rolls coldly away:
black orchestra
darkened by the March cloves--
leaving roost for thowthistle.
Down past the brutality
bristling by
the rainsluiced wagtail
looms the artist filacer of
the farnesol--composing

A couple of words after completing this exercise: it might be easier to use a dictionary slightly smaller than the Oxford English Dictionary, and make sure the poem you choose has enough nouns to change noticeably between the original and your OULIPO. This poem was my second selection--the first didn't have enough nouns. Also, it'll take a little bit of time--but it is really fun too, so go for it!


I have been spoiled by having a rather calm child, even after he's been firmly ensconced in toddlerhood. This morning seemed to be a reminder to me of just how lucky I've been. Before an hour had passed, he had stuck his hand in the dog's water bowl, fiddled enough with the blinds that I had to tie them up higher, and shook his snack trapper vigorously enough to sprinkle at least 30 Cheerios across our carpet. Luckily, our dog helped to clean up that last mess. Of course, as soon as I said anything to anyone about his flurry of activity, he quietly sat down and watched Dinosaur Train. I have to say, of the new show ideas I've seen for young children, that show is one of the best--it combines two very popular obsessions of little boys: dinosaurs and trains. Genius. 

Haiku News

The final insult:
Prejean sued by pageant folks
for breast implant loan.

Running marathons
is challenging, but the risks
of death are quite low.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Apologies for missing my opportunity to blog yesterday; I was meeting my BFF, Dr. Isis, for a semi-annual date to the spa and some dinner. I was home late and had partaken of some Jameson, so again, my apologies.

Today I discovered a way to attach my dog's leash to my child's stroller, so we were able to avoid the whole find-street-parking-at-the-vet's-office circus and just take the stroller. It was a lovely, comparatively-warm day, so it was actually pleasant. Pair that with my more-intense run this afternoon and another, shorter walk after the boy's nap and I've partially made up for not doing a long run last weekend. I wanted to but my social commitments prevented me from doing so. I did sign up for the last 10K race in my area for the next several months, however. It's next Sunday morning. Amazingly, I've done a handful of 5Ks and a pair each of ten-mile and half marathons, but I've never done an actual 10K race. I've run the distance many times in practice, however, so I'm looking forward to the race.

Before I forget, I want to point everyone's attention to this amazing, topical poem on the whole "balloon boy" story I wrote a haiku about the other day. Thanks to Cicely for bringing it to my attention!

Haiku News

UConn player stabbed,
died after school-sponsored dance;
no suspects just yet.

Facebook and Twitter accounts;
use your common sense.

Gang member added
to FBI's Most Wanted;
new tape says he lives.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


There are few things in life as satisfying as going to a good restaurant and ordering something that is just as delicious as you had hoped. That happened to me tonight, as I ordered a special of perfectly-seasoned salmon on a bed of roasted potatoes and spinach and topped with a bit of crabmeat and sweet corn. I enjoyed this with a flight of red wines including a lovely pinot noir (my personal favorite) and a sassy zinfandel. Probably the best part of all this was sharing it with a joyful-if-tired little boy, who mostly ate the bread from the bread basket and flirted with the wait staff. 

My poetry mentor from my undergraduate institution, Muser, has submitted the first entry into this week's pantoum challenge. I am honored. Check it out here.

Haiku News

Charges will be filed
against balloon boy's daddy;
was it all a hoax?

All-male college bans
wearing dresses on campus;
saves on dry-cleaning.

Bad costume alert:
"Illegal alien" suit
raises a ruckus.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Today it became official that I have to face my loss without the comfort of another baby on the way for at least another month. I didn't know how hard that would be for me to accept until it actually happened. I know it will happen when it is meant to happen, but I just feel like getting pregnant again will help me deal with my loss. Sigh.

Two commenters have braved the Poem Analysis thread from yesterday; you can check out their thoughts here

Haiku News

Justice of the peace
denies marriage license to
interracial pair.

TLC sues Jon
for breach of his contract; he
claims contract is null.

Amanda Knox hopes
her Italian murder trial
ends in acquittal.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Poem Analysis #1

For the inaugural poem analysis thread, I thought I'd choose one of my very favorite poems by one of my very favorite poets. This poem is so unique to me because it sets out in the very title to try and describe one ordinary thing in many ways, and you will be surprised how different they end up being. Here goes.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
by Wallace Stevens

Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

The river is moving,
The blackbird must be flying.

It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.


As you can see, each stanza has something to say about the blackbird, or makes the blackbird a metaphor for something else, but it becomes another "way of looking at a blackbird." I love how the styles Stevens imitates are so diverse. Some stanzas are extremely simple in language, while others have words I have to look up to remember what they mean. I think every writer can take something away from this poem, whether it is to emulate the tone and style of others' writing on occasion, or to try and look at something from as many angles as possible to come up with something new to say about it.

I could say SO many things about this poem, but I don't want to intimidate anyone who'd like to chime in here, so I'm going to limit the rest of my comments to the final (thirteenth) stanza, my personal favorite. This stanza has such striking juxtapositions in the first three lines. I have experienced days where "it was snowing and it was going to snow." The sky is so dim that it is easy to imagine it being "evening all afternoon." The clouds just look like they're going to collapse onto the ground they are so heavy. I just never would have thought to describe them in that specific way. 

So, what do you all think? Love it? Hate it? Wonder about something? Want to throw out an idea on what Stevens was imitating or getting at with one of the stanzas? Let 'er rip!! I want to see your ideas.


Today was gloomy, cold, and rainy, but I still had a happy, laughing boy to share it with, so that was OK by me. 

As we ate our dinner, I lit a candle. Today was Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day, and at 7PM across the world people lit candles for an hour to remember their lost babies. So at 7:00 I lit a candle and watched it burn for Rory. I don't think I'll ever get over the shock of losing my little one, but I'm glad to have a time to remember his/her little life, however brief. 

I'm going to try and start off our weekly poem-analysis thread today, and I'll take part of this post to let you know that NO comment is without value (i.e., don't be afraid to post any thought you have, nothing will be considered "stupid."). I will want to know what in the poem makes you think what you think about it. If that doesn't make sense, hopefully it will when you see my thoughts on the poem. I'll come back with the poem and my thoughts in a little bit. Stay tuned!

Haiku News

Six-year-old boy found
not in family's big balloon,
but in attic box.

Peter Criss of KISS
becomes a spokesperson for
male breast cancer. Cool.

Finland first country
to require fast internet
as a legal right.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Sometimes life hands you news that makes you feel helpless, or useless. Today that happened to me. I was talking with some of my best friends and found out that at least two or three of them have had a job loss that will cause catastrophic change to their families. They live far away and I can't do anything of value to help them, other than send my sympathy and support from afar. Sigh. 

In other news, no one has yet taken on the pantoum. Try it, it might surprise you how fun it can be. 

Haiku News

Young mom lost heartbeat
for eighteen minutes, survived
by new CPR.

Leona Lewis
punched by some guy in bookstore;
guess he's not a fan.

Limbaugh dropped from bid
to purchase St. Louis Rams;
just a bad idea.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Poetry Challenge #17: Pantoum

As always, before we get started, stop by last week's thread to check out my readers' offerings here.

The pantoum is a form that has origins in Malaysia, and it used to consist of two rhyming couplets that were intended to be recited or sung aloud. Over the years it has moved to being a poem of any length divided into four-line stanzas. The second and fourth lines of each stanza are used as the first and third lines of the following stanza. The repetitions can be changed in punctuation to change their meanings, or you may add or change a small word. Because of its high level of repetition, this poetic form is particularly well-suited for evoking a past time. 

Here is the professional example for this week. Note that this writer has chosen to just retain a few key words of her repeated lines, allowing her a bit more leeway:

Parent's Pantoum
by Carolyn Kizer

for Maxine Kumin

Where did these enormous children come from,
More ladylike than we have ever been?
Some of ours look older than we feel.
How did they appear in their long dresses

More ladylike than we have ever been?
But they moan about their aging more than we do,
In their fragile heels and long black dresses.
They say they admire our youthful spontaneity.

They moan about their aging more than we do,
A somber group--why don't they brighten up?
Though they say they admire our youthful spontaneity
They beg us to be dignified like them

As they ignore our pleas to brighten up.
Someday perhaps we'll capture their attention
Then we won't try to be dignified like them
Nor they to be so gently patronizing.

Someday perhaps we'll capture their attention.
Don't they know that we're supposed to be the stars?
Instead they are so gently patronizing.
It makes us feel like children--second-childish?

Perhaps we're too accustomed to be stars.
The famous flowers glowing in the garden,
So now we pout like children. Second-childish?
Quaint fragments of forgotten history?

Our daughters stroll together in the garden,
Chatting of news we've chosen to ignore,
Pausing to toss us morsels of their history,
Not questions to which only we know answers.

Eyes closed to news we've chosen to ignore,
We'd rather excavate old memories,
Disdaining age, ignoring pain, avoiding mirrors.
Why do they never listen to our stories?

Because they hate to excavate old memories
They don't believe our stories have an end.
They don't ask questions because they dread the answers.
They don't see that we've become their mirrors,

We offspring of our enormous children.

I think I will attempt a slightly shorter version of this form, borrowing the idea of varying the repeating lines. Here goes.


Seeking out my family roots
like stumbling around in the dark,
trying to find my missing half.
I try to put faces with the names.

Each new face emerges from the dark
of the unknown, a foothold in my mind,
a name, perhaps a place I’ve never been
attached to some lost fragment of myself.

Unknown footholds in my mind
form a new pathway for my thoughts to tread
attaching formerly lost self-fragments
constructing a harmonious whole.

New pathways lead my thoughts on,
imagining ghosts of past lives
the new harmony of my history
sings my new national anthem.

I’ll find where I belong.

You can read more about the origins of pantoum as well as more examples here
OK, now it's your turn. Have fun!

Sniffles n' giggles.

My son woke up with a continuation of his runny nose from yesterday, but blessedly, it didn't affect his sleep last night, nor did it dampen his happy attitude today, so I am quite happy for my fortunate situation. 

The runny nose didn't slow my son down at all; case in point: he has started climbing on all sorts of things. First it was his little plastic chair, that was too near the kitchen table and he started getting things off of it. After I moved that, he moved on to standing on his rocking giraffe and his lion ride-on toy. I guess I should get used to it; next he'll be jumping off of things, right? Boys!!

Haiku News

November issue
of Playboy has Marge Simpson;
I can't make this up!

This guy invented
geothermal energy
for his own resort.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Hi. So, when my hubby was putting the boy to bed, I was trying to refill his humidifier so he could have it to help his stuffy nose as he slept tonight. Unfortunately, as I tried to lift the full, moist tank to carry it back upstairs, it slipped out of my hands into the kitchen sink. I immediately tried to pick it up, but that was a bad idea--it cut my littlest finger right at the base, deep enough for it to bleed. Ughhh. Not big enough cut for stitches, just annoying...

So I self-medicated with I'm sorry if this post doesn't really make sense. 

Hey, if anyone has a great idea/request for a type of poem to feature for tomorrow's Poetry Challenge, let me know. I'll need a suggestion by tomorrow night. Thanks!

Haiku News

Jerkwad of the Day:
Guy pretends to be Iraq,
Pentagon veteran.

Thousands of golf balls
found at bottom of Loch Ness;
is Nessie that bad?

OK, what the hell?
British veteran dies after
getting smoker's lungs???

Sunday, October 11, 2009


This morning I went to turn on the news while I fed the boy his breakfast and prepared for the day, when I suddenly remembered that it was the day of the Chicago Marathon. My brother has run and completed that marathon at least 2 or 3 times, and it's on my bucket list to complete someday--hopefully within the next five years. I mean, it's a great city and it's supposed to be one of the flattest courses out there. (I HATE running hills!!!) As I watched the grace and beauty and seeming effortlessness of the winning runners, I realized, I'll never, ever look that good when I run. Then again, who cares? I feel pretty great when I run lately. If I don't forget to take my fuel on my long runs. If I don't eat some Shot Bloks before a longer run (over 5 miles), I feel like I'm running through cement. Unfortunately, that's what happened on Saturday...but I made it through  my seven miles regardless. 

As I gave my feelings more thought, I realized that somewhere along the line I have accepted myself as a runner. I am a runner, even though I'll never win a race. I am a runner, even though the average observer may never recognize it. I am a runner, because if it's been a few days since I've run, my feet get itching to move again. I am a runner, because after the first minute or so the automatic motion is comfortable and comforting, sort of like rocking in a rocking chair, only with more sweat and wind. I am a runner, because I don't even breathe hard while I run anymore. I am a runner, because I can say I'm going to run x number of miles and I do it. I am a runner, because I have completed two half-marathons, the second of which was actually a joy to run. I am a runner, because I actually LIKE running now. Even on crappy run days. So there's that.

The other thing that I find inspiring about running is that I get some good ideas while out there. Sure, I usually listen to music, but I'm also doing a lot of thinking, relatively uninterrupted. I determined on my last run that I should probably make a major change to my novel-start project, to change the POV to first person from third. I am already worried it will be seen as some kind of Harry Potter rip-off, so that change will help distance it from any comparisons. I feel like my idea is different enough not to set off alarm bells anyway, but more distance is better. So I hope that will help me get going more on it...I'm now on page five, when I started this story nearly a year ago. Sigh...

Haiku News

Nineteen sixty-eight
Pan Am hijacking suspect

Israel left out
of Turkish NATO event;
Gaza is to blame.

Homeless find a voice
in St. Paul TV station,
spread awareness, too.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sneaky Saturday.

I have no idea how today got away from me. In any case, it did, and I'm still fighting off this crud I got the other day so I'll keep this one short and sweet. The boy enjoyed our early-dinner outing today and endeared himself to the waitress by shouting "HI!!" at her every time she came to check on us. And I discovered he likes tortilla chips. 

Haiku News

In speech, Obama
calls for Congress to pass bill
promoting gay rights.

Two die in "sweatbox"
while on spiritual retreat;
may be criminal?

Friday, October 9, 2009


I was determined to actually get some of the long-neglected house chores done today, so I sacrificed my usual mini-run during my boy's naptime to get a head start on it. Thank goodness I did since he decided an hour and a half was sufficient instead of his usual 2-3 hours. Sigh. I got the laundry started and took out two big bags of trash, and took up all the cans that had accumulated in the basement and put them in the recycling bin. After I put the boy down to bed, I steam-cleaned the carpet that my annoying dog sometimes treats as her personal restroom. Grr. I'm just glad I actually got some of it done instead of just meaning to, like usual. 

So far I am hearing some glimmerings of interest on doing a weekly poem-analysis thread, perhaps on Thursdays? That would give me a day between the poetry challenge and the analysis thread. Please feel free to comment on yesterday's thread and let me know if you think it would be a worthwhile endeavor. Also, if anyone ever has an idea of a poem which we can use for this analysis (I am thinking to use published poets' works, not our own), please also suggest away.

By the way, Alicia left another poem on the challenge thread; check it out here.

Haiku News

Obama wins the
Nobel Peace Prize; U.S. shocked,
Europe not surprised.

Twelve-year-old girl sues
Phillies for Ryan Howard's
record home-run ball.

Cicely was right:
husband shot gun-toting wife,
but not with her gun.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


The above title was not intended as an attention-getting throat clearing, just a functional one. Mercifully my sore throat has retreated to just being scratchy again, so hopefully with a bit more rest it will go away again.

Cicely and Alicia have added more to our little hodgepodge collection of poetry, you can check out their efforts here

Okay, so I do have a pseudo-announcement. I have been toying with the idea of presenting a weekly poem with my analysis of it, and inviting comments from you about what you see in the poem. If I did this, it would be another low-stakes, safe forum to throw out whatever you think of the poem. There are no wrong answers, although I'm interested in knowing why people see certain things in poetry (as in, what specific line/word/etc. gave you the idea that the speaker was angry with his mother?). I think it might be fun to have an analytical discussion thread going along with our writing. After all, the best way to improve your poetry is to read others' poetry. What do you all think? I'm not going to do it if you don't think it's interesting. Please comment on this post with your two cents.

Haiku News

New York, Chicago
among the top six worst hubs
for long flight delays.

Soccer mom who brought
gun to her kid's game found shot
dead with her husband.

Bad idea, Aussies:
group performs Jackson Five song
in blackface, whiteface.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Post-nasal drip = icky.

I am pleased that my free-for-all idea seems to have caught on already! Please check out Cicely and Mimi's efforts here

I woke up this morning with a sore, gunky throat. That is the beginning of most illnesses with me, but I am hoping that it is mostly due to the shift from air conditioning to the heater switching on at night. I guess time will tell. In any case, I'm going to bed when I'm done here.

Haiku News

Maksim Chmerkovskiy
says he's done with Karina;
source: Carter affair.

Interesting case:
Ex-Brazil legislator
flees, cops say from crimes.

I don't get this one:
Catholic brings Supreme Court case
against desert cross.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Poetry Challenge #16: Free-for-all!

Before we get started, let me call much-deserved attention to the courage of my lovely friend Alicia, who faced the daunting challenge of the Ode last week. You can read her devoted effort here

I have noticed a certain discouragement among my regular posters in recent challenges; hence the lack of specific assignment this week. I dare you to write a poem. Any poem. You can do any of the types we've covered in past challenges, or some new form I haven't touched on yet. Rhyme or not according to your whim. If you want, you can write the type of poem I'm going to pull out of my memory bank. 

With a nod to my friend and onetime-poetry writing professor, Muser, I will borrow one of his poetry prompts. He asked us to take the letters of our full names and write a poem made entirely out of words you can form from the letters in your name. Because I wrote my poem for Muser before I was married, I have some new letters to work with this time. I may end up with some of the same things, though. We'll see. Warning: this is NOT supposed to make much sense!!

Late Nite Poetry Redux
Sonar in an ear is a cent in a sack.
Error is par on a race: sine or cosine.
A pent pet stacks its crap,
pears pass as sticks sink
as teak in tea.

A con is a cone, a tease picks rice
in a tin net sent in a peck.
Or arks tick tock ten scents,
seek risk, son reeks, stinks, errs.

Increase a sick sin,
sent per pen in repair,
a rare pack on pace
to sack its art.

‘Tis a kink in a trek
apace in a park;
stack ink in air,
tack care in ice.

So, if my name-derived poem intrigues you, have at it. Or do something else that strikes your fancy. Go to it!

Long day.

I was afraid this would happen. After two mornings having to wake my boy up early to get on a plane, he woke up today at 6:30. Ugh. I hope he goes back to sleeping at least an hour later tomorrow! At least he was pretty happy anyway, despite staying up rather late in the hope that I'd catch the end of the Twins playoff game. I missed it, but I came downstairs from putting him down just as the game ended, so that was fun. 

Haiku News

Health reform that should
be popular for all folks:
Dems seek to ban health

insurance from deem-
ing domestic violence

"Horrorcore" rapper
suspected of killing four;
anyone surprised?

Saturday, October 3, 2009


That was our friends' wedding we attended this evening, in a word. They were married in a smallish vintage movie theater downtown and hired a truly excellent caterer. The passed hors d'oevres included brie and pear mini quesadillas, bite-sized guacamole and corn salsa cups, gorgonzola cheese quiches, and even fish and chips. The dinner consisted of a bit heavier bite-sized offerings. My favorites were savory cheese "cookies" with chipotle jelly (served on sticks!), mini chicken pot pies, meatloaf "cupcakes" with mashed potato "icing," skewered shrimp with pineapple, and fried risotto cakes. Dessert was a pie bar in lieu of cake. The pieces were smallish so I sampled the mixed berry, apple, and lemon meringue, but they also had strawberry and pecan. The bride and groom, after spending about 10 minutes trying to cut a piece out of their pie for the "cake cutting" portion of the evening, ended up picking up the entire pie and taking bites out of it. Too funny.

The following day we flew in to Minnesota for the day to witness what was supposed to be the last Twins game ever at the Metrodome, which was extremely exciting. Although I can appreciate a good pitchers' duel, I also like the big blowouts for the team I'm rooting for--we got to cheer for five home runs. The place was sold out, too, so the noise level was pretty intense. Oh, and my dear husband's father got us hot dogs, only he got the jumbo ones, which are like two feet long. I called it "eight days of meat," because it really is. It took me forever to finish it, and where I'd usually want something else by the end of a three-hour game, not this time! That was a workout in itself.

On our way home very early this morning, I was made aware of an FAA regulation that I'd never seen enforced before. Apparently, we were supposed to bring proof of our son's age since he did not have his own ticket on this flight. He has flown nine other times without a word of this to us, which is what we told the ticketing agent, but she would hear nothing of it and insisted if we couldn't prove to her that he was under two, we would have to buy him a ticket to take him home. Unfortunately, on top of this distressing news, the woman decided to talk to us as if we were idiots and repeat herself unendingly. She asked us if we had any proof of his age no less than five times. After the fifth time, my husband told her "Why the hell do you keep asking us that, we already told you we don't," to which she said he didn't have to curse at her, and that he should really think about what he is saying in the presence of his child. Um, what??? Finally, I had to page my pediatrician (it was too early for the office to be open) just to have her tell the lady our son is 20 months old. While we were waiting for her to call back, the lady said "make sure to let me know when HE calls back." Um, lady? My pediatrician's office has at least ten doctors, only one of whom is a male. Does that make them bad doctors or something?? Our pediatrician hadn't heard of that requirement either, so it must be a fairly new thing to enforce. In any case, we'll have to get a little copy of his birth certificate in case they ask for it again, I guess. Grrr. 

Finally, I noticed that no one has yet taken on the ode. I don't know what to do about that development; I'd like to write something else soon, but it's kind of depressing to leave the last challenge behind with no entries. What do you all think I should do? I'm also open to suggestions on what the next challenge should be. Please let me know!

Haiku News

Method Man's method
apparently involves a bit
of tax evasion.

People say sex sells,
but it doesn't sell as much
in this recession.

Friday, October 2, 2009

One of those days.

Ever had one of those days where you are surprised by how disappointed you are that something doesn't happen? I did, today.

I didn't think I cared that much about whether Chicago got the 2016 Olympics, although I thought it would be cool. I think it's a great city and would make an awesome backdrop to the Games. But I was actually depressed this morning when I learned that the city didn't get the Games. Maybe it's partly because some loud, misinformed people were complaining about how much money people were wasting on the Games that would lose money anyway. The other day I read up a little bit, and the consensus among financial experts was that Chicago resembled host cities Atlanta and Los Angeles, which both made a profit on their games because they already had the necessary infrastructure and did not plan ostentatious, unnecessary additions to what was there. Also, if you just look at the official planning committee website, they will show that the only money they were "wasting" was private donations:

Chicago 2016 is a privately financed, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to seek the privilege of hosting the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Its committee consists of over 400 leaders from the region’s business, civic, sport and nonprofit communities. No taxpayer money has been used to support Chicago 2016. If Chicago becomes the 2016 Host City, the planning and operations of the Games will be financed entirely through private sources.

Mkay? Do your homework before you bitch. Bitches.

Haiku News

site of big Olympic bash;
lots of work ahead.

Letterman's genius
lies in looking at his life
and finding humor.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Stupid rain.

I needed to get the boy's hair cut again, since it grows ridiculously fast, but it's a bit of a hike over there. Not a big deal, except that the stupid weather prediction was wrong. Again. According to, there was a 10% chance of rain in the two hours I was planning to be gone. It was raining as soon as I got outside, and it only got harder as I trudged home. Sigh. At least the boy was an angel at the barber's, and didn't complain about his feet getting wet.

Haiku News

Jerkwad of the day:
Day after Jon gets the boot,
tries to shut it down.

just as bad as drunk driving.
Please hang up and drive.

Hey, Kanye, I'mma
let you finish, but MJ's
tour's the best EVER!