Thursday, March 18, 2010

A star is born . . . ?

So the tall boy will be making his film debut soon -- although I'm sorry to tell you that you will have a hard time finding the movie at your local AMC theaters.

These four high school pals came over to film him for a class project, and proceeded to boss him around our kitchen, with a Flip camera capturing the glamour.

I had a hard time telling what approach the Scorcese wannabes were using, as they directed him to "make a sandwich!" Being the ever-vigilant mom, I asked them if they were speaking in some sort of film school code -- because it sure sounded like "make a sandwich" could go in a lot of different directions, and some of them could get him kicked out of school.

They just looked at me with four pairs of limpid eyes and said, "Oh no! We just want him to make a sandwich!"

"Are we talking PBJ here, or something a little more risque?" was my next question.

"Well -- we will get extra credit if he makes a creative sandwich . . . " answered Sophia Coppola.

After examining all the contents of our refrigerator, he decided to make a Ramen sandwich -- which sounded nasty to me, but cracked the future Golden Globe winners up.

Then the bossy part started: "Get out a pot! Don't waste the water! Get a sponge -- you're making a mess on the stove!"

But they got distracted by Annie the Wonder Cat -- talk about a film star! -- and left the tall boy standing in the kitchen with a package of noodles, still trying to find his character's motivation.

Creative strife broke out between the actor and his directors as they discussed the genre and themes of the film. The tall boy was headed toward some sort of existential approach -- something like "Solitude and the Sandwich -- a Reverie." But it seemed the directors had another vision for the film's message, because the two who were not completely mesmerized by the cat told him, "OK, now dance."

Here is how the tall boy responds to being told to dance. It's the high school equivalent of stomping off to his trailer in a huff, calling for his agent.

The director tapped her foot patiently, thinking she could wait him out.

But she doesn't know from foot-tapping. The tall boy Does. Not. Dance.

Luckily Ramen only takes three minutes to prepare, and the drama subsided as the tall boy began to put the actual sandwich together. The next crisis arose when they said, "OK, now take a bite."

The tall boy howled with laughter. "Do you really expect me to eat a Ramen sandwich?" he choked, and I do not kid when I say these girls were not laughing at all.

"The whole point is that someone has got to eat the sandwich, tall boy." What kind of class are they taking??

"Hello, sunny girl! How about a delicious Ramen sandwich?!"

Hmm . . . . "Not bad!" she said brightly. Annie was skeptical.

I just love the sunny girl -- and now these high school film students do, too!

How 'bout that Ramen sandwich -- with a side of nail polish?!? The Pioneer Woman has nothing on my tall boy!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

In honor of the day . . . .

. . . and a "Generous" Irish blessing
to the lot of you:

And may you be in
Heav'n a half hour before the
Devil knows you're dead!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Here's what I love: old photos of old friends

This picture makes me so happy! It was taken after the 1979 Madrigal Dinner Feaste, in which I performed as part of the fabulous Woodbridge Singers. Every face in this photo brings back a happy memory -- and reminds me of the completely goofy adventures I shared with these people.

I'm the girl cracking up, at the left. I even remember what I was laughing about -- but I won't tell you!

Image credit:
Madrigal Singers: Kevin Flynn/WSHS Yearbook 1979
courtesy of Wade Corder -- Thanks, Mr. Sowerberry!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Poetry Slam: Metamorphosis

Pitching machine: ready!

Cleats, lacrosse sticks, shorts, sunscreen --

Huge change since last month!

The haiku fest continues every Wednesday.
You could join in too, you know!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

FOXNews Spackle Report: An Update

So my fabulous national television debut went off without a hitch yesterday, when the parent panel on textbook development aired without any evidence at all that I was ever in the room. So that's good.

The urchins did have their brush with greatness, when the camera focused on their very own textbooks while the shimmering angel/fairy person talked about the "Texas textbook controversy."

The SA/FP (shimmering angel/fairy person) also put up her own blog post about the event; this screen shot represents my on-line appearance in its entirety. It's good to see that I have overcome my pesky problems with slouching.

My forehead did have a more prominent place in the piece --

-- so as it turns out, I'm pretty glad about the spackle.

Monday, March 8, 2010

"Quick, Marge -- get the spackle knife!"

So my friend Renee and I were asked to speak as part of a parent panel, by the surprisingly nice people at FOXNews. Yeah, I know -- weird, right? I found it surreal on many levels.

But it was also most excellently fun. People, dig us -- we actually waited in the green room! We walked through the newsroom on our way to the studio where the taping took place, and I really wanted to see a TV monitor on someone's desk tuned into the E! entertainment network (Oscar night, people! Why wasn't someone checking out the red carpet?!). But no -- everyone' monitors were dutifully tuned into FOXNews. Lame . . . .

Our discussion was moderated by Shannon Bream, who did her best to seem like a normal woman of average beauty, instead of a gorgeous, shimmering angel/fairy-person. She's smarter than you think she is.

But really, I mostly wanted to tell you about my experience in the make-up chair. I mean, let's be real; I was absolutely feeling a total Diane Sawyer/Annette Bening vibe coming off of myself -- except without the fabulous career in journalism or acting, and lacking the stunning beauty part, but whatever. So the whole make-up chair scene obviously stroked my vanity.

However . . . while Renee (she of the porcelain skin and naturally curly hair) was dismissed after a brief encounter with a foundation sponge, eyeliner, and a light dusting of powder, I -- and I swear I am not making this up -- was spray-painted, plucked, concealed, and spackled within an inch of my life. I swear to you, the woman used an air brush on me -- the kind boardwalk vendors use on cheesy T-shirts.

The make-up babe clearly felt that she needed to provide quite a bit of assistance. At one point she asked me if I had ever heard of lip balm. I do not think she was complimenting me. My hair was curled, back-combed and sprayed -- and all the while the hard-working artist was ever so slightly shaking her head.

Do you think that ever happens to Diane Sawyer?

If you want to see the glamorous end product intellectually stimulating panel discussion (or at least whatever is left after they edit the heck out of it), tune in to FOXNews tonight during the 6:00 p.m. hour.

Image credits:
Artist at work: R. Brock 2010
Shannon Bream: courtesy of FOXNews 2009

Friday, March 5, 2010

Look how lovely!

I wanted to show you these gorgeous boxes. Some of them were given to me as gifts, but I have also started giving them to myself, because I love them so. They are the creations of my friend, Christie Allen, a gifted artist who designs each unique box. Every detail is so delicate and precise -- she even hand-tints some of the papers she uses.

Look at these lovelies more closely:

If you think the exterior is beautiful --

-- just look inside! Did you ever see anything so dainty and fine?!

This beauty shows off the meticulous hand-tinted papers that make each of these boxes one-of-a-kind pieces of art.

Fabulous! Wouldn't this be a perfect gift for a bridesmaid?

I claimed this box early one summer afternoon -- and then I guarded it jealously as friends admired it throughout dinner.

I didn't quite say, "Back off, bitch! It's mine!" But I came close.

This tiny thing is such a pretty little Christmas trinket -- I hate to put it away when the season is over!

And this one will definitely live on my desk year-round; it reminds me of a Renaissance tapestry.

Christie's new website is up and running, and she is adding additional photos of her lovely creations every day. Check her out here!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Snapshot: Renaissance beauty

Check out my oldest girl, who traveled the halls of her high school last week in Renaissance finery, regaling the lucky minions with Shakespearean sonnets as a fundraiser for the Drama Club. Yes, those are pearls in her hair.

One of the tall boy's pals commented to me later that he was a little embarrassed when she went down on one knee before him in the middle of his math class, and began to spout "really mushy stuff."

I said to him, "That's OK. When you are 49 years old, and your knees hurt when you play basketball with your kid, and the traffic stinks, you will be able to call up the memory of a beautiful young woman who recited a love poem to you -- on behalf of another beautiful young woman."

He looked at me very seriously, and then he said, "I'll be a lucky man, won't I?"

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Poetry Slam: Chrysalis

You know, you could join in the haiku party yourself! Check it out at Jenn's wonderful blog. You know . . . that blog?

Little girl's body
Could not hold her giant heart.
And so she grew up.


From outside no change
is seen. But the soul is fed
by non-stop loving.*

*Chrysalis offers spiritual renewal to young people through a three-day retreat experience and follow-up community gatherings. Aimed primarily at high school and college youth, it is an offshoot of the ecumenical Cursillo and Emmaus movements. More information can be found here.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

". . . and obey the Law of the Pack!"*

This past weekend it was all Scouts, all the time for my family. And can I just say that I love the Scouting program; I am seriously all about it. I was a Girl Scout myself for many years; I've been a Cub Scout Den Leader, Brownie troop leader, and Junior troop leader, a cookie mommy, a day camp slave volunteer, an Empress of Paperwork (my real title in the tall boy's troop -- I know because I gave it to myself).

But have mercy, but it does all seem to happen at once; it wears on a girl.

February is a big month in the scouting world (for both boys and girls) because of this man:

Lord Robert Baden-Powell,
universally called "B-P" by scouts

. . . and this woman:

Olave, Lady Baden-Powell
called the "Chief Guide" by Girl Guides and Girl Scouts;
called "that woman" by early Boy Scouts,
who were jealous of her influence over B-P

Girl Scouts and Girl Guides all over the world celebrate "Thinking Day" in February because Lady Baden-Powell's birthday was February 22. Thinking Day is a celebration of international friendship and understanding. Cub Scouts also celebrate the anniversary of Scouting in February with their "Blue and Gold Banquet," where "banquet" equals "pizza." This is because Lord Baden-Powell's birthday was also on February 22.

OK, so get this! Yes, Lord and Lady Baden-Powell shared a birthday -- exactly thirty-three years apart! Scandal! One can see why some early Boy Scouts were suspicious of Olave; "gold-digger" was one of the kinder things she was called. I was gossiping about these two to a fellow Boy Scout volunteer (the poor couple have been dead for decades . . . oh, well!) and he asked, "I wonder what kind of merit badge old B-P got for that maneuver?"

I'm thinking maybe Olave earned the badge, though . . . .

But reluctantly, I will put aside the ancient gossip to tell you that the sunny girl and I went to Thinking Day on Friday night, and really did have a swell time. She and her troop learned about Ecuador, and presided at a table where they served fried plantains to the daring eaters in the crowd.

I was completely mesmerized by this urchin's awesome hat. Don't you just need it?

These Girl Scouts rested after attending Carnivale in Brazil.

The older girls who organized the event frequently used the "sign's up" gesture in a vain attempt to quiet the chattering hordes. Futile. . . .

So then on Saturday we attended an Eagle Scout Court of Honor. At this ceremony a young man who has earned Boy Scouting's highest award is formally recognized. It's a big deal, people -- our Congressman attended!

Other Eagle Scouts help to honor the newest member of their exclusive group; here's the pink-hatted boy from the ski trip.

He cleans up pretty well, doesn't he?!

Here's a quizzical, not to say annoyed, gaze from the tall boy. This is to make up for the fact that unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the new Eagle Scout; the kid gave "remarks about his experience as a Scout" and I have never laughed harder in my life. He was hilarious, I'm telling you. He also created the tall boy's new motto: noting that the Boy Scout motto is "be prepared," the Eaglet commented, "As many of you know that has been a difficult motto for me to embrace. [Much guffawing and snorting from scouts who know this first-hand] I feel that my motto is 'be just prepared enough.'" It brought down the house.

*Let's see if Coleen will tell us why the title of this post made her spit her tea out.