Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lines I Wish I'd Written

From Dora the Explorer.
Dora: (to Bennie the bull.) Can you give us a ride to the nut farm in your go-cart?
Before this my favorite line was from The Station Agent.
Olivia: Can I at least give you a ride back to your train station? The hotdog guy told me you lived there.
Hmm. Interesting that they both involve transportation and food.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Aaargh, You Scurvy Pirate!

My seven year old son has become concerned about coming down scurvy after he and his friend read about pirates in a Stephen Beisty cross-section book. This prompted him to try oranges. Unfortunately after touching one section he was repulsed by the texture and refused to eat it. Still he 's uneasy about the prospect of succumbing to such an illness. He asked about symptoms of scurvy the other night while I was making dinner.

C: What does Vitamin C do anyway? (He scoffs, trying to shake off his fear.)
E: Oh, you know, it helps the body create collagen.
C: What's that?
E: It makes up about every part of your body - your muscles, bones, eyes, teeth. That kinda thing.
C: Well, what happens when people get scurvy? (He starts giggling.) Do they lose their muscles? Do their eyes fall out? And their teeth?
E: Well, yeah. It's a serious disease.
C: Do they die?
E: They used to, but now we know that Vitamin C can prevent scurvy. There's absolutely no reason to die from scurvy these days.
C: Are there other foods besides oranges that have Vitamin C?
E: Sure. Tomatoes.
C: Yuck. What else?
E: Umm. Broccoli. Lettuce (as I make a salad).
C: Mom? I'm going to try lettuce tonight.
E: Really? That's great.
C: I'll try one piece.

Later. At dinner. Carter takes a quick bite of lettuce.

C: I like it. It tastes like apple. It's really good (as he sereptitiously put the lettuce on his napkin).
E: Why did you put the lettuce on your napkin?
C: Dad? Did you know that-
E: Carter? Why did you put your lettuce on the napkin?
C: I don't want it on my plate. It has salad dressing on it. Can I have it plain?
R: Sure. There's more lettuce.
E: No. We don't have any more plain lettuce.
C: Can I have it plain next time?
E: Just remember. You're going to have to eat a lot of lettuce if you want to prevent scurvy.

It's come to this. Threatening my child with scurvy. I will say this. It's gotten him interested in the properties of food. At the grocery store he asks me what vitamins are in certain foods. Like in the checkout line the other day, Carter asked me about garlic.

C: Can garlic save your life?
E: Well, it has properties that help combat certain diseases - it can boost immunity.

The checkout guy looks at me -

CG: Boy, that's an awkward question, isn't it?
E: How so?
CG: Well, you don't think vegetables can actually - they have things that save your life?
E: What vitamins and minerals? You don't believe in vitamins and minerals?
CG: Sure, I mean, I know that. But you know, garlic is just- if you didn't know the answer to his question you could just as easily say phytochemicals. (To Carter) Garlic has phytochemicals which is just a fancy way of saying plant chemicals.

The checkout guy looks up at me and winks. Ah. My friends. This is what we call a teaching moment. Some days I allow these moments to pass and become part of the noise. But in this case, I decide a smackdown is in order.

E: Do you know what those chemicals are?
CG: No.
E: Did you know they can be broken down into alkaloids like caffeine - I assume you drink coffee? Does it stimulate your nervous system or is that just your imagination? Or there are carotenes like lycopene which acts as an antioxidant? Or phenolic acids like capsaicin which can help relieve arthritic symptoms? Do you have problems with vampires?
CG: (rendered speechless)
E: See. Garlic works on many levels. I can't believe you work at Whole Foods.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Is It Just Me?

I was driving by the local pumpkin patch yesterday and saw this.

Yep. It's for the kiddies. Nothing says tasteless like an inflatable Titanic slide.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Chaos is A Friend of Mine

The Top Ten Most Incomprehensible Bob Dylan Interviews of All Time can be found here.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Recent Additions to My Skill Set

I have a confession. I didn't learn to blow my nose until I was in my thirties. I think it was when I was pregnant for the first time. People tried to teach me, but I never quite caught on. We didn't have the internet then (back in the 80's) - so I didn't see this. My neighbor claims she didn't learn to sneeze until she was in her 20's. She was afraid it would hurt so she held her nose and kind of squeaked. I didn't like the feeling in my eardrums when I tried, so I gave up. This might be because I had a hole in my eardrum when I was child and it was incredibly painful. I mean I can't think of any other reason. Except this is yet another life skill my parents didn't impart to me. Come to think of it, I can't recall them ever blowing their nose. We never had Kleenex in our house. Am I a mutant?

Incidentally, this discussion came up because we were discussing how difficult it is to teach our children to blow their noses. I'm determined to impart this skill to them before they leave for college.

Found this little animation by Alexandre Alexeieff entitled Le Nez based on Gogol's The Nose. Enjoy!

What life skill should I conquer next? Well, anger management is an ongoing process. I can change a tire. Butcher a chicken. Make a fish costume. Perhaps yodeling?

Or whistling? Or both? Both?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Finding Your Level

My son was in a bad mood yesterday at the park and told me that he wanted to be a reporter and tell everyone that the park needed to be cut down. I tried to engage him by getting him to write a story about it, but that only made him more frustrated. He told me, "Well, I'll just be the President. They don't have to know anything or listen to anybody. They can do whatever they want. I can have this park cut down then."

Thanks, George, for bankrupting our children's future and their minds.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Good News/Bad News

  • Jimmy Carter may be elected one more time.
  • George H. W. Bush may be elected one more time.
  • Bill Clinton may not be elected president again, as he has been elected twice already.
  • George W. Bush may not be elected president again, as he has been elected twice already.

Thank the 12th and 22nd Amendments.