Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Boxes in the Garage...

...are no longer in the garage. They have been expurgated to my front room... and my bedroom... and my kitchen (which is pretty much my whole house).

These are not just the boxes of kitchen gadgets and linens from when I moved home before my mission, either. These are ALL my boxes from my parents' garage, even the ones containing the relics (and I have a LOT of relics) from my childhood.

Methinks I see a major purging and trip to DI on the horizon.

Friday, December 10, 2010


The good news: Anya caught her first mouse ever.

The bad news: It was in my bedroom.

More good: Anya is fed well enough that she did not feel the need to eat any part of the mouse (which gets gross, let me tell you).

I'm increasingly grateful for my childhood pet experiences, as I actually bred and raised hordes of mice (well over 100, maybe over 200--they had big litters of 8-13 mice each time, so they multiplied pretty quickly, and we had fun raising the cute tiny baby mice). Thus I don't freak out when I see a dead rodent, and I'm not too worried, because I haven't seen any other signs of mice around my house. Granted, I haven't been looking, but usually when I'm in a place with mice (I haven't been in many, but I have been in some, mostly cabins) I can hear them scurrying around at night and I see their droppings and things they've chewed, but I've experienced none of that so far, so maybe this was just a stray little girl who came in from the cold. Poor thing.

Besides that, my downstairs neighbors have 2 or 3 cats, and I have Anya, so if there are more mice, they'll hopefully get caught (but I'm still telling my landlord, don't worry).

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Money Talks

...and it says, "You spent HOW much on smashed coins at Disneyland?"

I will tell you:

  • 17 smashed quarters at $1.25 each (one dollar for the smashing, plus the quarter to be smashed)
  • 3 smashed dimes at 85¢ each (75¢ for the smashing, plus the dime to be smashed)
  • 7 smashed nickels at 80¢ each (75¢ for the yadda yadda, you get the picture)
  • 78 smashed pennies at 51¢ each (50¢ + 1¢)
= $67.18
(you guys can do the math to double check me if you want, because I did it mostly without a calculator).

The good thing about collecting smashed coins is that they are an inexpensive souvenir compared to everything else sold at Disneyland. The bad thing is that once I start collecting things, I like to have a well-developed collection. Besides that, buying the smashed coins never actually suffices as a souvenir; I usually get something else too, even if it's only one of the delicious chocolate-covered peanut butter graham cracker sandwiches. Okay, I guess food isn't actually a souvenir, but the point is that the spending never stops with just the coins.

All the same, it is kind of fun to have some sort of quest when I go to Disneyland. It's like a game, a very slow blackout game that I'll never get blackout on because they'll always keep changing the machines.

It's Disneyland. It's a diversion. What else can I say?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Smashing Pumpkins

One thing I detest about Fall is that so many poor pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns get kidnapped from their porches to be smashed unmercilessly* in the road. For some odd reason I have a particular affinity for pumpkins, so to see mangled and run-over pumpkin bits in the street makes me sorry for both the pumpkin and whoever owned the pumpkin. I should probably also admit that this shenanigan happened to me more than once as a little girl, so I know how traumatizing an experience it can be for a child.

This year I was given three pumpkins by a very generous friend who grows them herself. One is a sugar pumpkin, which I intend to bake and make into bread. The second pumpkin is about the size of a basketball, and then the last one is about the size of a large grapefruit, or maybe a small cantaloupe. Or at least it was.

The grapefruit/cantaloupe-sized pumpkin started to rot early for some reason, even though I hadn't carved it. Its skin was getting soft. I put both it and the bigger pumpkin out by my porch to be festive (you couldn't really tell from a distance that the smaller pumpkin was rotting). They sat there for a few weeks. Finally, I decided I needed to do something with my poor little rotting pumpkin.

You know how sometimes when you see a spot of mold on your cheese or your bread or some vegetables left in the fridge you just leave it there to see what the mold will look like as it grows? Well, I had this vague idea that it would be neat if I could watch my little pumpkin as it rotted. With that in mind, I removed it from the porch and put it on a small tree stump behind the garage. It's a very hidden stump, out of view of everyone except my downstairs neighbors, and then only if they go out their back door (which they never do).

Unfortunately, my downstairs neighbors had a party one night. It was quite a party. It involved all sorts of interesting chemicals and substances, and when I came home around 12:30am there were people wandering randomly around our yard, and even into our neighbor's backyard. It was… quite a party.

The next morning as I looked out my front window I saw a smear of orange in the road. My first thought was that it was a pumpkin, but it was way past Halloween, and my own pumpkin was still intact on my porch (I checked), so I figured the smear must be leaves. I didn't give it much more thought after that. As I left for work, however, I noticed that my little rotting pumpkin was not on the stump behind the garage, and the truth hit me: it was a pumpkin in the street, and it was my pumpkin.


I wonder what it is about my pumpkins that scream, "Take me! Throw me on the asphalt!" Maybe it was because it was soft and rotting. Maybe they figured it had been forgotten and they were helping me out. Maybe they were drunk.

Maybe I should stop leaving my pumpkins on the porch.


*Did you know that "merciless" and "unmerciless" mean the same thing? Weird, huh?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I'd forgotten how hairy long hair is, how it sheds all over the place, clogs the drain in the shower, clogs the drain in the sink, leaves shining strands on shoulders of sweaters and coats…

I'm used to cat hair all over the place, but long hair—even when it's my own—is a different matter entirely.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Occasional Piccolo

I always have a difficult time remembering how many Cs are in the word occasion or occasionally. Tonight, however, I sat down and thought about it. I played around with the letters and spelled occasion, ocassion, and occassion. Ocasionaly. Occasionaly. Occasionally. Occassionally.

It's a tricky word!

Then I thought of the word piccolo. I always know how to spell piccolo. I don't know why. I just know how to spell it. There are two Cs in piccolo. There are two Cs in occasion, occasional, and occasionally.


Now I will never forget it.

Friday, October 22, 2010


This is my fridge:

Actually, it's not my fridge, but it's the fridge that came with my house. Note how there is only enough room in this fridge for two gallons of milk. Yes, two gallons. I go through two gallons of milk in a matter of days, so this is a problem. No matter how I've re-arranged (or removed) the wire racks, however, the fridge still only fits two gallons. Until last week.

The door of my fridge is a little bit ridiculous in that it has this can-holder built into it:

I don't even drink stuff out of cans, generally speaking. And I certainly can't remember the last time I ever bought a canned drink. I was really annoyed that my door had so much wasted space, until I got the grand idea to remove the wiring for the can holder. Once I had done so, guess what I discovered? I could fit another whole gallon of milk in there! Observe:

Yes, it does stick out a little:

And yes, I do have to be careful as I open the door to make sure it doesn't fall out:

But hey, overall I think it's a pretty good solution! Now I can fit THREE gallons of milk in my refrigerator, and only go to the store once or maybe twice a week, instead of every other day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Digs: 13 Things

I don't live with Tree-Hugger anymore. :o( BUT, there are good things about the new place I live. Here are 13 of them.

1. I'm in the same ward.

2. My room can be really dark, so it's great for sleeping in.

3. I'm not in the basement. I wasn't in the basement before, either, but I just really hate basements, so I consider this a good thing.

4. There's room for both my big bookcases, as well as my three smaller ones.

5. My new place looks kind of cute inside. If you don't look closely.

6. My house looks cute from the outside, too.

7. The hardwood floors look nice*.

8. The hot water is just the right temperature, and comes out after just a few seconds of running the water.

9. I got to pick out the window treatments!**

10. Once I get all my boxes from Mother and Father Edit's garage, I'll have all my own kitchen stuff again! I haven't seen my kitchen stuff in over 3 years. Boy, I've missed it. How can one miss measuring cups and mixing bowls, you ask? Hey, they're really nice measuring cups and mixing bowls!

11. I have adequate closet and storage space, which is nice.

12. My house is architecturally interesting.

13. There are a lot of electrical outlets.

Bonus 14, because it's mixed: I don't have wireless (no wireless = problem for online student), so I've bought a device which allows me to access the Internet via the 3G network. It basically turns my laptop into a big phone, so I can get an Internet connection wherever I can get phone service. Woohoo!



*When they're swept. Remember how Anya is carpet-colored? Yeah, well, I no longer have a carpet, and carpet-colored whitish-tannish hairs really show up against a lovely dark hardwood floor.

**I honestly wouldn't be so excited about this if I hadn't been the drapery specialist at BB&B. But I was, so I am.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tis the Season

I started practicing Christmas hymns on the organ on Sunday. Hooray! I am going to make Joy to the World all brassy and sparkly, and Hark the Herald Angels Sing will be powerful and mighty. I still don't know how to handle Once in Royal David's City though. What am I supposed to do with those scales in the bass? I need an organ class.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lo Weight

The last few times I've used my scale, the display has flashed "Lo" on the screen.

That means I'm losing weight, right?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pillsbury Dough Boy Goes Kaboom

Did you know that if you leave a canister of Pillsbury biscuits in your fridge for 5 months after the expiration date, they will explode? I didn't know that either! Well, now I do, but I didn't before today.

Who knew?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's The Little Things In Life...

I love when I buy a new anti-perspirant that works well. It's like this great secret I carry around that makes me smile all day long.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pillow Hog

When Queen Tuffett and I used to share a bed on family vacations, we'd usually wake up in the morning to find that I had sprawled myself out all over the bed, and she had hogged all the covers. I thought it was a good system.

Now that we are all grown up, I only ever share my bed with Anya, who, as it turns out, is more of a bed hog than I am. This is what I wake up to almost every morning:

My head is usually on that little corner of pillow you see to the right.

Luckily I use a queen-sized pillow. Otherwise I think she'd boot me straight onto the mattress!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Diddle Diddle Dumpling

Diddle diddle dumpling, Anya my cat
Likes to bat around her brown stuffed rat.
Her tail twitching, her ears laid flat,
Diddle diddle dumpling, Anya my cat.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Awkward Pose

You know how shoe ads often show a pair of legs in a typically "bashful" position, with the toes pointed in? Like this:

Or like this:

To me, these legs do not look bashful, or playful, or even particularly well positioned to flaunt the shoe to its greatest advantage. To me they look grotesque. Misshapen.

As I was looking through the Target ad this week, I came across the worst example of all.

Girl on left: leaning casually against the wall, legs crossed. Suave. Cool. I want these boots.

Girl in middle: somebody find this woman a bathroom, FAST!

Girl on right: oh my goodness, that poor dear. Look at her sad legs, all deformed and twisted. And she has such nice kneecaps, too. Maybe if I buy those boots it'll make her happy.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Looking For A Place To Live

Honestly, is it too much to ask for a nice private one-bedroom home, with room for all my bookshelves and my piano and my desk, that'll let me have a cat, isn't at the top of a hill, looks cute, has a/c and laundry and a garbage disposal and good plumbing, isn't part of a huge complex, is located in a good part of town, isn't infested by bugs or critters, has off-street parking, and goes for under $400 a month? I mean, I'm not asking for the world here, just the basic amenities. Sheesh.

Oh, and a pool would be really awesome, too, but that's totally optional.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010


And of course on the Tuesday that I blog about never receiving anything good in the mail on Tuesdays... I receive a 17-page letter from Elegyrl.

Go figure.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tuesday Mail

I have this theory that nothing good ever comes in the mail on Tuesday.

So far I think I'm correct.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Spider Attack!

Last night, 10:00 pm: I got home as usual, petted my cat, and went upstairs to change my shirt. As I pulled on the clean shirt, I noticed something dangling from my glasses on an invisible line. I figured it was a spider. It was. Sometimes this happens, that a little spider dangles from my glasses; not frequently, but a couple times in my life. I lifted it by the string to look at it--it was teeny tiny, smaller than the eye of a potato--and then I killed it.

12:14-ish am: I was in my room, on the internet, when I felt something on my arm. Can you guess what it was? Another spider, same size and species. I killed it.

1:10-ish am: I went into the bathroom, and while I was contemplating the mysteries of the universe, up from the side of the sink crept an enormous ugly spider. Actually, as far as spiders go it wasn't all that bad looking, but on principle, it was ugly. I made a noise and ran to my room to grab a slipper, as that is my preferred killing method: the shoe. I approached the spider cautiously, then SMASH! I killed it. It may have been the same kind of spider as all the little ones, but I am not positive.

2:00-ish am: I was beginning my stretches as usual, when I noticed something dangling from a strand of my hair. For real? I thought. What is going on? I did not stop to observe this spider, I merely killed it.

At that point, I was alarmed. It's not unusual for me to get a spider in my room once or twice a year. But four spiders in one night? And three of them itty bitty babies? There was only one logical explanation: egg sac. Some thoughtful spider had laid an egg sac somewhere near my room, which had burst open finally, and now I was being invaded. It was time to get serious.

I took my trusty can of bug spray and sprayed around in the corners and along the bottoms of the walls of the room. Anya, at the first puff of bug spray, grew terrified and dashed out of the room. Go figure. Normally she likes eating spiders, but I didn't have time to let them grow up to a size she could see (she is sometimes not so observant).

Then, as I was thinking about the spiders I'd seen, I realized that they had all come (with the exception of the big one) from the ceiling.

Aha! I thought. That is where I will search next.

2:30-ish am: With a flashlight in one hand and a tissue in the other (babies can escape the shoe, but not the tissue), I walked around the room, shining the light on the ceiling, looking for culprits. I found a surprising number of specimens, at least a dozen, all just sitting in place on the ceiling. One was sitting on my lamp. I killed them all (except for the one who made a daring jump to avoid my capture; that one was smarter than the rest, and could also be living in my pajamas now).

I also inspected any items in my room that were close to the ceiling, or at least higher than the floor. My music stand sits near my bookshelves, and had some spider threads running around it. My peperomia was also a popular spot for the budding spiderlings to cast their aspiring lines. Cursed spiders.

To ensure the death of all spiders, both today and in the next two months*, I sprayed the ceiling liberally with bug spray. Luckily the window was open and the fan was on, but all the same, it was not a pleasant scent. I folded down my blanket so I could see any spiders more easily against the stark whiteness of my sheet. Leaving the bug spray to do its thing, I visited the bathroom once more.

2:45-ish: Returning to my room, I flashed the light around the ceiling, but found no spiders. I examined my bed, and was happy to find two tiny dead winged things there (gnats, I suppose). The bug spray was working. Excellent.

3:00-ish (but actually it was later): I went to bed. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh...

I've found no spiders in my room so far this morning, and hope it remains that way. If they do dare to show up though, you know what I will do: I will kill them.

The end.

*I am being kicked out of my lovely home and therefore only care about my house for the next two months. Our landlord let us know that he is planning on moving in come October, so we need to be out by then. He'd warned us when he first took over the property that he was planning on doing that at some point, so it's not like it's some big surprise, but it still stinks.

Guess I better repair that hole in my wall.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I haven't had bangs in 20 years--not since I decided to grow them out in the fourth grade. However, being swayed by the opinions of important people (namely my best friend and my hairdresser), and also being a bit curious myself, I have decided to try them out again. There aren't very many of them, so they look kind of thin, but hey, they're bangs!

It's only the second day, so I'm not sure how I feel about them yet. My hair is my one true vanity (and can you blame me? just look at that glorious shining mop!), so if the bangs can't cut it (har har har), they may just have to grow.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Curl Up With A Good Nook

Have you heard of the Nook? It's quite fantastic. It's like the Kindle but better, because instead of a bunch of ugly little buttons it has a nice sleek touch-screen panel beneath the reading screen.

As of a few months ago, I had no desire whatsoever to even contemplate buying any sort of e-reader. I own a gazillion books and I love them. Ebooks are like electronic keyboards. I have a nice digital keyboard instead of a real piano, and while it is convenient, and while it has the keys in the right place and has pretty good key action, it doesn't feel the same as a real piano, and I can't play it if the power is out. Similarly, I didn't want to be dependent upon an electronic device to be able to read a book. Plus, I don't like reading stuff on a screen.

One day, one of the teachers at the Salt Lake Center came in with his Kindle, and I asked him about it. He let me look at it, and I was amazed at the reading screen, which didn't look like a screen at all. I mean, it did, but there was no annoying backlight or colors or anything; it looked like the page of a book.

I could read on that, I thought. And thus the desire began.

I've owned my Nook for about a month, and I do very much like it. I have a lot of different thoughts about it, actually:

-I love that the Nook is so slim that I can carry it in my purse. I basically take it with me wherever I go.

-You know how most people love their iPods and carry around their music all the time? I have an iPod, and lots of music on it, but I hardly ever use it unless I'm cleaning my room or washing the dishes or something like that. Maybe after so many years of sitting in front of the trombone section I just value my silence more highly, but my Nook is to me what an iPod is to an iPod junkie. I loved carrying a book around with me before, and this way I can carry LOTS of books around with me.

-I can technically just use my Nook at church instead of my scriptures and the Gospel Principles manual and all that. I don't, because it's easier for me to flip through the scriptures manually, and I like to see the notes I've written in the margins. There's a way to make notes on the Nook, but it's kind of laborious, and my fingers are fatter than is convenient for the touch screen. But when I travel, I fully intend on using only my Nook. It takes up way less space and weight.

-Harry Potter is not available as an ebook. Do not ask me why, because I do not know. This, for me, is a very sad fact. I'm hoping they'll become available at some point.

-The scriptures and church stuff is also not available in ebook format. The scriptures, Ensign, Gospel Principles manual, and other such documents are available in PDF format, which the Nook can read (with effort), or there is a non-LDS company which offers the Triple Combination and the King James Version of the Bible, too, but there is currently no church-approved ebook version of the books.

-It's odd to download books and not physically have the book. I don't like being dependent on the device. I can't go browse for ebooks at DI. I can't buy them used for cheap off Amazon. Nook is a step ahead in that you can loan some ebooks to other Nook owners, but still, you have to have a Nook... It's just different, you know?

-I love going to the gym with my Nook. I don't need anything to hold the pages back, and it sits there perfectly on the treadmill as I walk. I can swipe my finger across the touchscreen to turn the page, or I can push the button. Easy!

-I can change the font size and style, though not the line spacing. The Nook saves my place in all the books I read, and I can also add bookmarks and highlights and notes.

-Perhaps my absolute favorite thing is the built in dictionary, which allows me to look up words right then as I am reading. I am the type of person who likes to look up new words, or even look up old words, but if there's not a dictionary nearby while I read, I tend to forget the word. Thus I love love love looking up words whenever it tickles my fancy. I had no idea I'd enjoy that so much.

-Browsing is, surprisingly, not as difficult as I would have imagined. In fact, it's pretty easy. You just slide your finger over the little marker, and it turns the pages to follow where you are, much like normal browsing. Nook is put out by Barnes and Noble, who also allow you to preview any ebook for free for up to one hour while you are in the store with your Nook. This makes sense to me, since it's pretty much like browsing physical books: you can't browse those from your home, either.

-There are, unfortunately, not a whole lot of ebooks available. Ok, ok, I know there are millions, but if you go to the children's ebook section of the B&N website, there are only 2194 books available, and a lot of those are duplicates, a lot of them are recent series, some of them are not actually children's books at all, and a lot of them are just junk. I want Harry Potter. I want The Bartimaeus Trilogy. I want more Newbery Medal books. Today's current books aren't necessarily available for download at the same time the physical books go on sale, either. I've read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, and I have pre-ordered Mockingjay; I really would have loved to just download it, but it's not listed as available yet. Alas.

-The Nook is great for novels and such, but I wouldn't want to read a picture book on it. It could be useful for textbooks too, if it had a color screen. I saw an e-reader that had two screens and folded like a book, and one of those screens was color while the other was not. I think that model has potential for the developing market, though I can't recall who made it or what it was called.

-The ebook market is still so new that the formats are not all the same between companies. With a physical book, it is all paper. Paper is paper is paper. Yes, there's different quality of paper and ink, but you can read it. Kindle and Nook and Sony use different file formats, which I think is dumb.

-The Nook is an electronic device, and I am sometimes one of those people who likes having the coolest electronic device. Already I am looking at the newest Kindle and kind of drooling over the features (8.5 ounces! a month battery life! PDF notes! and they finally added wi-fi and beta web!). This does not bode well. I love my Nook. Can I just use it for ten years or so before getting annoyed at how clunky it is? Sheesh.

-While B&N boasts that there are millions of free ebooks, most of them are Google books that have been scanned using OCR text recognition, which does a pretty pathetic job of converting the type into text. That was one thing I learned early on: if you want a decent copy of a book, you need to pay for the formatting and editing. To me, it's worth it.

-Last of all, I can play Sudoku and chess on my Nook. I do enjoy a chess game now and then, though I'm not so great at it, but I like Sudoku much better, and it's easier to do it using a machine than doing it by hand (I'd only ever played Sudoku in the newspaper before). Now if only the Nook had the NY Times crossword puzzle...

Bottom line: E-readers are coming, and that is a good thing. Books will always exist, just as CDs and sheet music exist along with Mp3s and iPods. Nook is catching up to Kindle, Kindle is catching up to Nook, other companies are joining the market, and it's going to be one big party before long.

The end.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Magic Blanket

During the summer I usually don't use my blanket when I sleep—at least to begin with. Instead, I fold the blanket over at the foot of my bed, or sometimes I just kick it off the bed entirely. The magical thing is that when I wake up in the morning, I am always wrapped up in my blanket, though I can never remember retrieving it from the floor. Do I grab it in my sleep? Do the magical nighttime fairies cover me up as I slumber? The world may never know… though sometimes when I wake up, the blanket is turned sideways so that my feet stick out. Maybe that's a clue; I think the magical nighttime fairies would at least turn it the right way.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July 14

Vive la France!

Friday, July 9, 2010


I have just written my very first script. For those of you who don't know what javascript is, it is a very complex and intricate computer language that very few people can attempt, let alone master (hee hee hee). Ok, ok, so I copied the script from a book, BUT I did change it to work with my files and not the ones given in the example, and considering I can't even read javascript or know anything about it, I thought that was pretty clever of me. The script makes it so that when you put your mouse over the button, the button changes so you can tell your mouse is hovering over it. Exciting, eh?

Learning this stuff sure makes me appreciate the websites I visit. I understand why some of them look the way they do...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Time Has Come!

The time has come to start blogging again! Can you even believe how delinquent I've been? Seriously? You can't? Oh. Well, I can. :o)

Speaking of time, here are some crazy cool watches:

Sweet pocketwatch (I have a thing for pocketwatches.)

Beautiful wristwatch (which I would want if it weren't so darn huge)

This doesn't even look like a watch.

This one is super easy for me to read, but considering it looks enormous on that man's arm, I'm guessing it would look even more gigantic on my own arm.

I love that site. I love looking at their watches. They're not even watches, really, they're more like… art time pieces. I think that's how they describe them. So, so lovely.

I have cat hair all over my computer. How did it get there? Blech.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

La Sirenita

When I was 8 years old (in the 3rd grade) a fantastic movie came out: The Little Mermaid. I can still remember the first time I saw it: we were late to the movie and were walking into the theatre just as the orange fish slipped out of the sailor's hand, swam deep into the ocean, and heaved a sigh of relief. When I saw the movie for the first time on video, I was amazed at the entire first musical number that I had missed in the theatre.

For some reason, The Little Mermaid continues to be my favorite Disney movie. I have no clue why. I don't particularly like mermaids, or sailors or boats, or the coral- and sea-foam-green-colored merchandise that goes along with it. I just love the movie. I love the songs and the music (including the horn parts). I love the dog, Max. I love how Ariel's bangs bounce around in front of her forehead like a quail plume. I love the sea witch, Ursula. I love how Eric isn't some wussy pretty-boy but actually does something, like going back to save Max, and taking Ariel on a fun tour of the city, and being okay with her driving, and determining to not lose Ariel even though she's a mermaid again, and throwing a harpoon, and steering a rotting ship into Ursula's abdomen. I mean, what isn't there to love about this movie?

On Saturday I watched it in Spanish. It's a movie I can watch in Spanish easily, since I have the whole thing memorized (more or less) in English. I wonder if Mother Edit hates this movie because I watched it so much when I was little. I've heard that can happen.

And now, here are two mermaid stories for you:

1. We used to have these diving rings that we would throw into our pool and they would sink to the bottom. I liked to put my feet through the rings so they held my ankles together and I could swim like a mermaid. (By the way, swimming like that doesn't actually work too well, and you have to be a pretty good swimmer to not drown with your ankles tied together.)

2. I sometimes used to pretend the house was filled up with water, and I wondered why people didn't live like that. I was convinced that I could actually live underwater if there was a way for me to breathe. Given that I spent many of my summer days in the pool (dinner was merely a blip that occurred between swimming sessions), that isn't too surprising.

I would tell you a third funny mermaid story, but I don't know if Queen Tuffett is still embarrassed about it. I think it's pretty darn cute and hilarious. It happened twenty years ago...

Monday, May 31, 2010

While I'm on the Subject...

Here are three websites I enjoy. They all have bad words in the title.

The ***ing Librarian

S*** My Kids Broke

Where the H*** is Matt?

I will warn you right now, these sites contain language. But I enjoy hearing the (blank) librarian's rants, and seeing all the stuff I don't have to deal with since I have no kids, and the video of outtakes on Matt's website is pretty funny.

So there you have it.

And my next post will not be about bad words, just so you know.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bad Words

Yesterday I received the June issue of The Friend magazine. Yes, I still subscribe to this children’s magazine. I like it. Plus, I want to see if they’ll ever print the story I sold to them. Anyway, the monthly “Trying to be like Jesus” section of the magazine includes short anecdotes from children who have done something good. The stories usually include stuff like being nice to a sibling, helping someone with chores, saying hi to a loner, etc., and they’re pretty cute. This month (June) I read the following:

“One day at school I was reading a book from the school library. I had a bad feeling because there were some bad words in the book. During recess I went to the library and told the librarian. She reported it to the headmaster. They took all the copies of the book out of the library. I felt good because I chose the right.”

Isn’t that just fantastic? I wonder what the book was. Was it Harry Potter? That has some bad words in it. Or Huckleberry Finn? That does too, though it’s probably too advanced for her age group. Or maybe Bridge to Terabithia? James and the Giant Peach? The Great Gilly Hopkins? How to Eat Fried Worms? The Catcher in the Rye? Ok, if it were my elementary school and they had Catcher in the Rye, I would probably pull that from the shelf too. :o)

I’m not saying I like bad words. I don’t. In fact, if you look through any of the books I own, you will find that most of them have black lines and written-in revisions where the swear words used to be (though sometimes I just revise books because the writing is terrible). But removing books from the library? There are certain books I have not started or finished because I didn’t want to deal with the language or subject matter. But in that case I just put the book back on the shelf and moved on. I could understand maybe marking a book cover with a warning label, if the community or area requires such a precaution, but removing a book entirely?

I think it’s not so much the story but the underlying philosophy that upsets me. Carried to other areas of one’s life, what does this mean? If someone says a bad word, should we rat on them and have them reprimanded? What if it’s our teacher or boss that is swearing, then what? If a person does not live according to the standards we uphold, does that mean we shun them and banish them, remove them from our lives? What if that person is your brother? If your friend orders coffee to go with her donut, do you turn your head every time she takes a sip?

I know we’re told to avoid the very appearance of evil, but we’re also told to seek after anything virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy. Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring instigated riots when it was first performed, but I would say that it is worthy of praise. Does the fact that it has to do with a human sacrifice mean we should never listen to or perform it? And what about the Bible? That’s not exactly without violence, sex, scandal, or swear words.

Don’t get me wrong: we need to teach our children to judge good and evil, and we need to provide them with age-appropriate reading materials. But if something comes up, like a bad word, wouldn’t it be better to teach them how to deal with it, rather than just make it disappear? Eventually, they’re going to have to face problems they can’t just ignore, things they can’t just make go away. Then what will they do?

Actually, now that I think about it, I would want my daughter to do the same thing she did. I would want my daughter to come tell me about the bad words in the book she's reading. But my solution wouldn't be to take the book away and get rid of it (most likely). I would just give her a black gel pen and tell her to have fun.