So, Devin has a Word Detective notebook. He periodically chooses a word that is interesting to him, and draws a picture and writes a short definition. We then discuss it and use it in a sentence. He started with words like oxen and solar, but has moved on to sarcophagus, black widow and boa constrictor. Lest you worry about him, he is bringing some adorable stuffed animals to the class auction tomorrow because he thinks it will make the girls smile. He’s a complex guy, you know.
Devin had a “Sentences About Me” assignment yesterday. It was quite illuminating.
- I like to … play on the computer
- I am best at … math
- My friends think that I am … funny
- My parents think that I am … sweet
- I wish I had a … monkey
-I wish I could … rule the world
-My favorite thing about myself is … everything
Well, I guess if he could rule the world, the monkey would make a nice sidekick.
Yesterday, Devin & Sherman surprised me with 3 dozen roses and some raspberry-filled chocolates — so sweet. Today I get my favorites to eat. I’ll make fresh guacamole for snacking this afternoon. Then for dinner, we will have saffron chicken, grilled corn, and sauteed mustard greens. Dessert will be strawberry shortcake.
I fixed the marinade for the chicken this morning, and it smelled so good. I love the combination of saffron, lemon juice, ginger root, and turmeric. Combined with some Greek yogurt and parsley, the flavors are just exotic enough to give it that Middle Eastern flair. So yummy!
As an added bonus, it really cooled off yesterday afternoon. Today it will only get up to around 67 degrees F. Just perfect for eating outside.
I love my husband. I think he is very smart, and he can do things with Excel that boggle my mind. But sometimes what he brings home from the store confounds me. This weekend we went shopping to pick up a few more camping supplies for their big Boy Scout camping trip next weekend. There were the usual suspects: propane, stocking cap (brrrrrr, that’s why I am NOT going), lantern. But amongst the camping gear was a, shall we say, unusual item.
Beerfest? Really? Well, I guess into every life a little tastelessness must fall. I suppose I should feel lucky. While we were grabbing lunch, we went by a store that sold gambling supplies (poker chips, tables, etc.). Devin thought we should get this sign: Men, no shirts, no service; Women, no shirts, free drinks. Yes, we are a classy bunch.
Our Nintendo Wii decided to stop working on Thursday afternoon; it wouldn’t even turn on. Last night, Sherman sat down at the computer and scoured the web for solutions. Thirty minutes later the darn thing was working again — yippee! This morning I told Devin that his Dad had fixed the Wii, and this was our little exchange:
Devin: That’s awesome!
Me: I know, isn’t he the best dad?
Devin: Yeah, he’s even better than a flying monkey!
Because how can you respond to praise like that?
Okay, I needed a distraction from the reality of 1) stupid anti-healthcare reform lies and 2) mommy-guilt related to my son’s teeth (more on that later; lucky you). How about using some of those brain cells for something truly important? Say, like, coming up with a list of the 10 greatest fictional characters of all time. Yes, yes; that is a wonderful way to spend a Tuesday afternoon. So, off the top of my head:
Betty Crocker – a compilation of several women (maybe men too, for all I know!) at General Mills, Betty symbolizes American home life. Cookies and milk; a frosted cake under a dome; a steaming casserole from the oven. But she doesn’t want you to have to do it from scratch. No! Betty is there to help the busy moms create a loving, safe, yummy home for her family. Whether you wanted to be like her or strangle her, she is part of our modern history.
Sherlock Holmes – a Victorian-age CSI. Who doesn’t like a good murder mystery? Truly a genre-defining character.
Rocky Balboa – gritty, downtroden, loyal. He was the American underdog, rising despite all the odds. Forever fighting the bad guys.
Mickey Mouse – please, who would have thought you could build an entertainment behemoth around a rodent?
Frankenstein’s monster – is he truly a monster, or just a misunderstood creation of man? Should we fear him or pity him? He set the standard for future multi-faceted monsters/creatures.
Holden Caulfield – brought to life in the ’50s, amongst media images of white picket fences and families grilling burgers with neighbors, Holden behaved and talked like a real teenager. And who couldn’t admire a fictional teenager that could cause so much trouble amongst real-life adults, to the point of getting himself banned from many bookshelves for decades?
Don Corleone – yes, I know I deliberately made that vague; was I referring to Vito or Michael? And that is the point. The Godfather trilogy elevated the position of Don into our everyday lexicon. We had heard stories of the mob previously, but nothing permeated our psyches and our mental images like these iconic movies.
Pac-Man – no other video game character has higher brand awareness among Americans. Even my mom, who has never heard of Link, Samus, or Thrall (you DO know them, right?), knows Pac-Man.
Jay Gatsby – because we love to hate the rich, while at the same time desparately wanting to be one of them.
and finally, my #1 fictional character of all time: the honest politician. Because you just knew I had to go there.
Sherman & I were discussing the odds of winning the the MegaMillions lottery which is currently up to $325 million. Devin overheard us and asked if we could win. I tried explaining the astronomical odds, but that concept isn’t very well grasped by a first-grader. He said if we won, that we should buy a mansion. Okay, Devin, what’s so special about a mansion. His answer? It has disco balls!
Well, of course, what was I thinking? Disco balls!
What would you buy?
This week Devin signed up for Cub Scouts. Five of his friends from kindergarten also joined, so we are starting our own den. On the way home, I mentioned that he was part of Pack 770. I told Devin we would need to learn that number. He said, “That’s easy mom; it’s our area code.” Why, yes; yes it is.
In less air-headed news, I found out I get to be one of the room parents again. I loved it last year and I’m crossing my fingers for this year. I’m also doing collaborative teaching where two parents run the class for 3.5 hours four times a year so the teachers can do on-site training. My training session will be September 10. I can do this, right? And in one of those rare I-should-really-do-that moments, I signed up for our local veggie co-op. Our first pickup is Saturday morning. Wonder what we’ll get?
My mom and I were talking this morning about the latest news on health care reform. I told her that Sherman is pretty much on board with the idea that health care should be a right, like education or clean air. He’s not sure about how it should be implemented but he doesn’t feel it should be completely left up to free markets, like say, the restaurant business. My mom was talking about conversations with her friends and their fear of Medicare cuts. She had her facts down cold but Baseline Scenario has a well-written post about this very issue. Basically, Medicare spending HAS to be reduced or we will plunge deeper into fiscal chaos. Seniors need to take control of the reform debate now so they don’t face draconian cuts later. And if you want some fun (but true) reading, follow the link to A ‘Common Sense’ American Health Reform Plan.
The current proposals I see out there don’t have any fundamental changes to the way we approach health care. I’m afraid if we do see reform come out of Washington this year, it will be a bonanza for the insurance companies by adding millions to their insured rolls. What I don’t see is a way to save costs, LOTS of costs. Dr. Mark Hyman wrote a wonderful piece over at HuffPo that really captures the essence of this concept. We in America pay more for less (less quality, I mean).
I challenge everyone who believes in real healthcare reform, and not just health insurance expansion, to really try to engage people in this debate. What qualities would their ideal system possess? What would it avoid? Why do we need reform; why isn’t the status quo acceptable? What are they afraid of if the system changes? I will be glad to provide research to address specific questions. No system is perfect, but ours is not the shining star we like to profess. Even the oft-maligned (by American conservatives, at least) NHS in the U.K. has many fans, including the brilliant Stephen Hawking. But I’m sure he’s just been influenced by the liberal media.
Well, Devin has the first three days of 1st grade under his belt and I have made a few discoveries.
1. It is very difficult to please a bunch of East Cobb parents when it comes to adjusting bus routes. Okay, not difficult, just impossible.
2. I made a fool out myself asking his teacher what he did wrong on one paper. Turns out that was a happy face, not a sad or confused face. Hey, I rely on body language. Work with me here.
3. School exhausts a 6 y/o like little else. I would have had to work overtime to get him this tired during the summer. Only a trip to the water park resulted in a quicker bed time.
4. We still need to work on Devin’s spelling. They were supposed to draw a nervous face and a happy face and write a corresponding sentence. Obviously (if you’ve been anywhere with my son recently) yellow jackets still make him nervous. This one threw me for a loop though: “Sins make me happy.” Turns out that science (but not spelling) makes him happy.