Monday, February 25, 2008


No, it's not an acronym for some prehistoric reptile with only two teeth.  It's the founding of a new blog!  Anke and I have had so much fun coming up with nonsense definitions for the Captchas on Blogger that we've decided to take it to the next level.

Thus, the founding of the BICADIBL, The Bilingual Captcha Dictionary Blog, at   ...So go on over and enjoy some of the first juicy tidbits and join in the fun with a morsel of your own.  It's meaning-making on a useless (but highly personally-rewarding) level!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Every cloud has a...

...microbial lining?

Fascinating and apparently true, there be little critters up in the mesosphere (ahem, that's above the stratosphere, for those keeping score).

So, perhaps we should think twice about whether that white, untouched snow is really that much cleaner than the yellow snow....

Go read. It will do your brain good!

Monday, February 18, 2008

It's a Snowmergency!

OK, well maybe not really a "mergency" (as my son calls them), but we are all pretty much going bananas up here. Not only have we pulverized our previous snowfall total record (which, I may add, was set in the notoriously noxious winter of 1978), but we are apparently getting a little too loopy up here.

I would call it cabin fever, but, being that we all live in some form of modified suburbia, I'm not sure that that keeps to the spirit of the phrase. All I can say is that my gas fireplace (controlled by a switch, thank you very much) is workin' overtime.

I just went out a while ago to shovel the 10 feet from my driveway to my front door of its 8" of snow (underlayed with a stunningly beautiful 1/2 inch of ice) and it took me over a half an hour. After which time, aside from being in a slightly surly mood, I couldn't feel my fingertips.

Well, I had planned to go out and take pictures this morning of the gorgeous trees, branches encased in ice (they looked like wonderful, weird tootsie-roll lollipops) but alas, it was too cold. I was too much of a wuss. I could say something deep about the fleetingness of beauty and change and blah blah but truth is, most of what I can think of is "Thank God for the Attached Garage".

Then, I stumbled upon this post on the Isthmus (a local Madison free newspaper) web site titled, "We're one snowstorm away from anarchy" (make sure to read all the way down, it gets better and better) and almost peed my pants. I said almost, friends. Thank God I didn't. No one likes peecicles.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Down to Earth

So I know it's been a while since I've written a "real" blog post... and suddenly, kapow! I have ten million things I want to write about. And, of course, very little time to actually sit down and do it. Better that way than the other way around, I suppose!

Today I was reading a Richard Scarry book to my son for the umpteen-millionth time. (I say that with all love, because I do truly love Richard Scarry books, and I love that my son loves them). He requested a story that hasn't been on our top ten Scarry radar, called "The Accident". Now, there's nothing grand about "The Accident" per se. It has the usual Scarry cast of characters who get into an unfortunate pile-up because they were not looking where they were going. Then a fellow named Greasy George comes along and he does a predictably bad job at putting all the cars back together, equally combining the parts from all the cars and the motorcycle until each vehicle is absurdly cock-eyed.

Again, cute, but we've seen this kind of thing before. And then, in an aside, you see a voice coming out from under an engine hood. It's Seargent Murphy's radio. It says, "Come in, Seargent Murphy! Your little girl Bridget will not take her nap. Come home immediately!"

I've seen this page probably zillions of times, but today this little snippet just made me heave a happy sigh. I'm not sure when Richard Scarry wrote this story, but it was probably at least 30 years ago. And apparently back then mothers were getting fed up with their kids some days and calling in the big kahuna.

Sometimes I feel like a wonderful mother. Sometimes I feel like an hysterical knit-wit who doesn't even know how to garner the cooperation of someone 1/3 of her size. And sometimes I feel like I'm insane for getting frustrated and saying to my husband (as we all do, I suppose?) "Here. Here's your child. Now you deal with him!"

Somehow it's the collision of all these feelings that gave me some moment of clarity today. That, and the fact that, suddenly, my little guy is saying things like, "Hey mama! Come here! I have an idea!" and wanting to have his hands cleaned and even eating gasp! stir-fried chicken and vegetables over rice at the table and trying bamboo shoots and liking them. "Bamboo! Bamboo! Bamboo!"

Yet for all the progress today held, I still must type with the strains of evening protest in the background (doesn't want diaper on, doesn't want this set of pyjamas, wants those pyjamas) which makes me so annoyed and yet amused. Seargent Murphy, we have a problem indeed. Come in immediately!

Thursday, February 14, 2008