Thursday, March 31, 2016

Meme of the Day. . .

This is so true.

And it's not just hip-hop songs. I have this Clash mixtape CD and even though the song "Police on My Back" features an instrumental emulation of British sirens, it makes me tense when I hear it while driving. There's honking, too.

I'm left wondering, "What have I done?" Still, it's the clash, so. . .

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Overheard in the 99-cent store.

Today I hit the 99 cent store in search of a bottle and some milk. Despite the fact I was in scraping-by mode with change, I bought Savannah this super-cheap monkey washcloth puppet, probably made by some infant in outer Mongolia.

When I get broke, it's not like I just "don't shop fair trade"—a concept which I believe in and love, don't get me wrong. But when I'm mining my coin collection, I shop in emporiums stocked with NAFTA-enabled items whose greedy carbon footprint and global trail of economic casualties ensure that anyone who goes there by choice is doomed.

(I know. That's a lot of guilt in one sentence. I got a plastic bag, too : (

But back to my outing. I saw a teenage black girl point to a package of those little cereal boxes, in this case featuring the brand "Pops."

She said, "I used to like those when I was a kid."

Her friend one-upped her. "I used to TEAR those up."

And I get it. Because I used to tear them up, too.

Bucket list or F*&%-it list?

Someday I'd like to host a webinar.

or. . .

I pray I never have to host a webinar.

I'm torn. Your thoughts?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Memes of the Day: Why I otter. . . .

Sometimes a bad pun is completely warranted.

And sometimes an animal meme is so wickedly accurate, it's like looking into a mirror.

Blog post of the day: On wee ones' destruction of books. . .

I just read a blog post on the BookRiot site that I think every parent of a toddler or young child can understand. It's called "How I learned to stop worrying and let my toddler destroy his board books."

I give the blog's seemingly anarchic premise a big hear-hear!

courtesy of
I've run into a parent who doesn't let her two very small kids get their hands on books, because they WILL destroy them.

I also once encountered a private daycare where they had no books—red flag!—because the children would destroy them.

As a book-lover borne of book-lovers, who always supplied me with books (some of which I destroyed), I just can't feature not giving my 2-year-old the chance to peruse and possibly rip and ingest classics like "Goodnight Moon" and "Hop on Pop" and "Are You My Mother?"

I long ago came to the conclusion that I'd rather have my kids absorb reading material while f*&^ing it up than to not read.

 Give A.J. O'Connel's post a read and see if you agree.

Droppin' an album. . .

I am having the best time ever with the free beatlab music composition program. Then, thanks to the free wix web creation program, I'm making a website with a music page. I need to get a real domain soon.
On that page, I have a home-baked ambient, in-progress album called "Dreamcicle," free for download. Check it out if you're bored!

In which I get all DYI (not to be confused with DUI). . .

I am in the midst of a fancy DIY project. It's even fancier when it catches the sun properly.

I am using the awesome power of glittery nail polish to create a Sleeping Beauty's castle-like effect on stepping stones in my garden. Savannah, 2, likes to walk on the stones.

The best part of it all? Since I already had the stones and most of the nail polish—I got a bit more at the dollar store—no wallets were harmed in the creation of this project.

Dreaming of Jeannie. . .

When I was a kid, I used to wish that I lived in Jeannie's bottle. I just thought it was so swank, and also private and chill. It was the original small house.

But it makes me wonder. Did my early design preference reveal me to be boho-chic or ethnic-eclectic?

Etsy find of the day

There is something weirdly compelling about The Bayer Unicorn Head Mount featured on the WhiteFaux Taxidermy shop on
If you're not familiar with Etsy, it's this huge marketplace of vintage and handmade goods that is representative of the new economy. When money and jobs don't trickle down, people make their own jobs. More power to them.

There are some who might say, Sarah, there are better things you can do with $92. Perhaps something decadent like loading up your son's lunch account at school. I say, "But look at that sparkling horn."

I have only one complaint about the artists who created this majestic piece of art. They have listed it as being appropriate for a "kids room."

I say, what are you talking about? No one who wasn't alive in the late '70s and early '80s really understands unicorn mania.

I had a unicorn barrel purse decades before my youngsters, Alex, 7, and Savannah, 2, were a twinkle in my eye!

I haven't bought the unicorn head—it's not a shopping kind of week. But I did the next best thing and favorited it. Is it your favorite too?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Legalize it. . .

I love this quote. . .

by Margaret Wise Brown.

"In this modern world where activity is stressed almost to the point of mania, quietness as a childhood need is too often overlooked.

Yet a child’s need for quietness is the same today as it has always been—it may even be greater—for quietness is an essential part of all awareness. In quiet times and sleepy times a child can dwell in thoughts of his own, and in songs and stories of his own."

Friday, March 25, 2016

Song of the Day: "Bastards of Young" by The Replacements

I have a song going through my head these past three days: "Bastards of Young" by the Replacements. It came out in 1985. I was 11 when it came out and somehow never really heard it. Even when they played oldies on the go-to station of my teen years, KROQ.

I was first introduced to the song via the 2009 movie "Adventureland."

Can I just tell you how great that movie is? Subtle. Wistful. Nostalgic. Funny. Cool.

The acting is very nuanced, especially the performances by Kristin Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg. I love the rawness of Jessie Eisenberg and the 4-star alarm, expression-wise, that is set off by any emotional moment. He has the opposite of a poker face.

And I think Kristen Stewart, who is so often accused of being cold and un-emotive and wooden—and, hence, a bad actress, is actually spectacular to watch. She constantly has micro-expressions flitting across her face that show what she is feeling.

So anyhow, watch Adventureland. You won't regret it.

And the film starts with the song "Bastards of Young" by The Replacements. And it's just so elegant and elegaic. Somehow almost painful to listen to at age 41--the whole fleeting-youth wistfulness. But it's really a great rock song.

 << previous song 
                                                                                  > > next song

I made this post about books for boys on Facebook. . ..

And I got so many good suggestions. 

Here's my post:

Alex, 7, and I are most of the way through Judy Blume's "Fudge" series and have embarked on The Great Brain series. I'm breaking it up with smaller storybooks to keep reading feeling light.
Anyhow, I think I'm going to break with tradition and read the Little House on the Prairie books with him. I don't know if any boys read those books or are read these books. Parents of boys, please advise.
I'll try to hold off from indulging myself too much with fare like "A Little Princess," although I can't make any promises. But what are some classic boy books? (And don't say Harry Potter, because we know well and good that girls are as likely to get an Owl-borne invitation to Hogwarts as boys.)
Also, I know, again, it's a touch early, but did anyone read the Hardy Boys series? Are they any good? It was all Nancy Drew for me, so I have not idea if the books are a rollicking ride or dull as toast.

And here are the thoughtful comments. I'm ready for a trip to the bookstore:

  • You are making great book choices. I read the little house series with my children and advocate the hardy boys. That's series is best for grades 4 and 5
  • Jameson really likes the "Magic Treehouse" books right now. Granted girls like those too, but I think they are much more interesting to boys. Madelyn loved the Wimpy kid diaries too, which just depends on their sense of humor rather than their sex. Those are fun, and lots of boys about this age I know like the "39 Clues" books.
  • The Hardy Boys and Chronicles of Narnia books can be read at this age, but I think kids a bit older would enjoy them more....4th grade +.
  • I agree with ye ole , Cronicicles of Narnia!!! The Lion,Witch, and the wardrobe. And Oh my gosh, check out.. Where the Red Fern Grows!!! Idk if the ending is too emotional for his age, your choice mama. I'm going to read it again soon.
  • How about the encyclopedia brown series and have you gone through all roald dahl's work yet?
  •  Fudge! What about goosebumps?
  • Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L'Engle. Roald Dahl's, I second. Perhaps The Hobbit if Alex likes fantasy. Have a look at the work of Shaun Tan and Andy Griffiths (both Australian kids authors). I know what you're asking for in terms of suggestions, but don't subscribe much to the idea of gendered literature.
  • Jacks absolutely loved Pippy Longstocking. After reading the books, he watched all the old episodes and movies. 
    Now we're in the middle of Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series.
  • Also try the How to Train Your Dragon books. I loaned the set to my nephew. I'll see if he's done with them.
  • Treasure Island, swiss family robinson, Tarzan, The jungle book, Peter pan!
  •  I read the little house on the prairie books to Dillon. He enjoyed them. Laura is a tomboy and there is a lot of description about how Pa built stuff. I love Laura Ingalls Wilder as an author so much. She has wonderful descriptions and writes very well. I am reading a biography of her right now that Holly recommended to me. I love reading stuff she recommends and then we talk about it. Holly is reading the Little House books right now. She even read Farmer Boy which is the only one I haven't read. I read the Shakespeare Stealer, Bud, not Buddy, The Tale of Despereaux and the Watson's go to Birmingham to Dillon to name a few that I remember off the top of my head. You can look to see if they are appropriate for Alex's age. Also, we read the first Harry Potter book to Dillon when he was about 8 years old when it first came out. He loved it and read the subsequent ones as they came out on his own. I know you said you didn't want to hear about Harry Potter but can't resist since I love those books so much too. Holes is another good book for boys and also girls. You probably should save A Little Princess for Savannah. Although it's a great story that I also love too. Perhaps Alex might like the Secret Garden better since there are boys in it too? Anyway, enjoy reading aloud to Alex and Savannah. I love it and still read aloud to Holly and she is 10 years old, I think I read aloud to Dillon even when he was 12! Holly has me reading Roald Dahl out loud to her right now. Those might also work for Alex.
  • I ♡ Farley Drexel hatcher!!! I went back and re-read the fudge series and the two added on books as well... wonderful.. Judy blume is my idol
  • My boys loved The Hardy Boys!
  •  How about Roald Dahl?

It was such a wonderful conversation on such a wonderful topic—books, and the intimate, magic and important act of reading with children or encouraging reading in kids. Ex libris forever!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Celebrity scoop. . .

I just read this vapid headline and, because I'm vapid, totally clicked on the story.
Gwyneth Paltrow Hosts Star-Studded Lunch With Cameron Diaz, Reese Witherspoon, and Drew Barrymore
It's for Gwyneth Paltrow's new Goop skincare line. 
Why do I get the feeling that Drew Barrymore is going, out of the side of her mouth, "God, there are a lot of bitches here in one picture."

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Here I go again. . .

I can't afford concert tickets, and I never have a babysitter. But I love good old rock 'n roll, and my soul shrivels when I never see it live.

This is why my significant baby daddy, Brian, and I—along with two friends—will be going to see the Silversun Pickups, with opening act Foals, perform at Pomona's Fox Theatre this April.

I first saw the Silversun Pickups long ago at Coachella, when I was pregnant with my son who is now 7. I knew they were something special. I can't go to Coachella anymore because you have to go to all three days nowadays, which is economically unfeasible and plus there are these two little people always calling me mommy.

Anyhow,  the Silversun Pickups have a female bassist, which is something I have long admired, be it D'Arcy of the Smashing Pumpkins, Kim Deal of the Pixies (a personal favorite—I love her bouncy bass) or Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth.

I play bass myself and know how liberating it is for a woman to strike a chord that makes the room hum.

I'm listening to some brand-spanking-new Silversun Pickups in order to get sonically ready, i.e. be prepared to sing along (quietly, I hope) as I jump to the music.

I'm liking "Cicadian Rhythm." And man, do I wish I looked as cute as Nikki Monniger in a little black dress and that I spent just a quarter of the time she does wielding a bass.

I'm simultaneously accepting and rebranding my current age, which is 41, going on 42.  In the original "Bridget Jones Diary," there's a line I like. When Mark Darcy (the delicious Colin Firth) gives Bridget a smakeroo at the end of the movie, she says, "Nice boys don't kiss like that." To which he retorts, heart-flutteringly, "Oh yes, they f***ing do."

And so, when a small part of me says 40-some mums don't go to rock concerts, the best part of me says, "Oh yeas, they f***ing do."

Monday, March 7, 2016

My favorite sounds. . .

 My favorite sounds include:

The voice of Morrissey which—though it may sound bleating to those who are not aesthetically disposed—sounds confiding to me. Have you heard his early solo song, "Interesting Drug"? Amazing. 

It's my first song of the day for today.

The dramatic voice Savannah puts on when I draw a sad face: "Oh no. He's sad."
The sound of Minecraft from the other room which means that, though I may be a neglectful parent sometimes, Alex is alive and thriving in a pixelated universe.
Bernie Sanders voice, which though East Coast accenty and yellish, sounds dulcet to me because he recognizes that some change is in order.
"Down by the Sea" by Men at Work. This song, showcasing the virtuoso vibrato of frontman Colin Hay,  is my sonic patronus, and I bring it out when I need peace. If I ever did yoga while listening to it I'd probably explode into a cloud of light and love. It's my second song of the day.

Bruce Broughton's score to a lesser-known but awesome Steven Speilberg production, "Young Sherlock Holmes."
and finally, Johnny Lydon's cockney accent in the Public Image Limited song "Rise" when he insists, repeatedly, that, "Anger is an energy," only he says it like this: "Anger is an ener-jay!" This PIL joint is my third song of the day.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Election strategy. . .

Throw good money after bad.
Toss the bathwater out with the baby.
Win every vote by a hanging chad.
Answer yes-or-no questions with maybe.

—Sarah Torribio

Sloth. . .

If sloth is a sin, sign me up,
for it's really my favorite critter.
Its napping and smiling and eating a-whiling,
then napping make my heart go pitter.

—Sarah Torribio

The Garden of Enid

Have you ever heard the story of the Garden of Enid?

Enid could do whatever she liked, and knit however long she wanted,
so long as she never unraveled a certain forbidden ball of yarn.

Well, Enid was a curious old bird, so you can guess how that went.

Write in candidate. . .

I don't want a demagogue.
I'd much prefer a demigod.
Don't point out who to blame things on—
just point the way to a sleeping faun.

—Sarah Torribio

Easy-peasy. . .

How do I win the readers' hearts?
With words, of course, you say.
You simply string them in a row
and people shout hooray.

—Sarah Torribio

Emily Dickinson is one of my heroes . . ..

What would Emily Dickinson do
is a question I often ponder
when I'm dressed in white and feeling bright
and allow my mind to wander. 

—Sarah Torribio

It's my bar of chocolate. . .

Veruca Salt was right

What do I want besides everything?
All of it and a lot more.
Take abundance and happiness—unbridled pleasure
and peace, and then make it times four.

—Sarah Torribio