Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Today is Fat Tuesday, with the eating of the calorie-bloated paczki and fasnachts and all the other fun foods and, erm, beverages. And the parties, and the parties, and the parties. Oh, and the parties...

Guess what February 25th is this year?

Let's Eat Right Day


Quiet Day

Monday, February 23, 2009

What the Heck is Paczki?

These are paczki - traditional Polish doughnuts, traditionally served each year on Paczki Day. AKA Shrove Tuesday. AKA Fat Tuesday. AKA Mardi Gras. AKA for 2009: tomorrow!

Paczki (pronounced poonch-key) are no ordinary doughnuts. They're made with especially rich dough, then deep-fried, shaped into flattened spheres, over-filled with confiture or other sweet fillings, and topped with powdered sugar, icing, or bits of dried orange zest. And at 500 calories a pop, you may want to go easy on them, no matter how good they taste.

Traditionally, paczki were made in order to use up all the lard, eggs, sugar and fruit in the house, because those items are forbidden during Lent - which begins on Ash Wednesday, which is the day right after...Fat Tuesday.

In Hamtramck - an enclave in Detroit, Michigan - they hold an annual Paczki Day Parade, a paczki eating contest, and festive Polish dancing. In fact, Hamtramck is known as The Place to go for paczki, and has one of the longest-standing Fat Tuesday celebrations. 

Now, for all you people that share my Pennsylvania Dutch roots, you may be getting a sense of déjà vu. And it would be entirely justified, since Fasnacht Day is the equivalent of the Polish Paczki Day. And no matter what you call them, they certainly are just as bad for you, and just as tasty, and just as fun!

If you can't find paczki in your town, make your own! I found some recipes here: Polish American Journal: Paczki Day. Just scroll down toward the bottom to find them.

Want to know more about Paczki Day? Check out these links:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Book Review: Hoot, by Carl Hiaasen

     Soon they stopped marching, and the kid began to loosen the knots on Roy's wrists. "Don't turn around," he said.
     "What's your name?" Roy asked.
     "I don't have a name no more."
     "Sure you do. Everybody's got a name."
     The kid grunted. "I been called Mullet Fingers. And I been called worse."
     "You don't really live out here, do you?"
     "None a your business. What'f I do?"
     "All by yourself? What about your family?" Roy asked.
     The boy rapped him lightly on the back of the head. "You ask too many nosey questions."

Roy Eberhardt is used to being the new kid, due to his dad's frequent transfers for work. He is also used to facing bullies, and so he has learned to deal. But being the new kid at Trace Middle School has him dealing with more than just Dana Matherson, school bully. He's also tangled up with a host of other odd characters: Beatrice the Bear - a fierce girl who plays on the girls' soccer team, Garrett - the king of fake farts, a bald foreman named Curly, a runaway boy who sometimes goes by the name Mullet Fingers, a corporate big-wig named Chuck Muckle, and a pretty young starlet with a startling voice. And all of them are tangled up with endangered owls, a vacant lot, Mother Paula's All-American Pancake House, the police, politicians, and parents with questionable behavior.

For Teachers and Librarians:
Hoot is a real hoot - with a few serious messages craftily weaved throughout. It is sarcastic, funny, action-packed, mysterious, and full of memorable characters. Those traits alone are enough to lure even your most reluctant readers into the book and hold their attention all the way through. But you will also have quite a large number of ways to use this book in your classroom. It touches on corrupt politics and business practices, conservation, animal activism, protected species vs. development, bullies - and ways to outsmart them, friendship, being the "new kid," right vs. wrong - and how to decide which is which... The great thing is, all of these are totally kid-centered, so your students will easily be able to relate, and to discuss, and to apply what they learn to their own lives and communities.

For Parents, Grandparents and Caregivers:
Hoot is one of those books that appeals to such a wide number of groups, you will love it as much as your kids will. If your kids are dealing with bullies, this is a great example of how to deal with them and survive with your dignity and self-respect firmly intact. If your kids are into environmentalism, this is a strong example of just how powerful kids can be at making a major impact in their communities. If your kids are going through being the new kid, for the first time or the fiftieth time, they will identify with how Roy handles the same situation. If your kids know of someone at school who acts a little strangely, perhaps this book will prompt them to show some compassion - since we never truly know what our friends deal with at home. And if your kids and you are going through a rough patch, maybe this book will help both of you see each other as possible allies, rather than adversaries. But most of all, it's a great story: funny, mysterious, and full of action.

For the Kids:
Reading Hoot is something you don't want to pass up: it's funny, sarcastic, full of action and mystery, and who can turn down a book that has a bald guy in it...named Curly? Roy Eberhardt is new to Trace Middle School, and it's not his first time being "the new kid." But, being the new kid more than once has taught him a few things about how to deal with everything from bullies to making new friends. When Roy looks out the bus window and sees a shoeless boy running like the wind - away from the school bus - he can't forget it, and sets out to find him. Roy has no idea what this one bit of curiosity is going to drag him into, but once he's there, he learns a lot about himself, and about other kids, and about the adults around him, and about the power kids can have when they work for something they care about.

For Everyone Else:
Hoot should be on everyone's Must Read list. It's smart, and sarcastic, and mysterious, and it gives you a lot to root for: a boy finding his place in a new school, a tiny endangered owl species struggling to survive, another boy shunned by his own mother but embraced by others, and kids banding together to stand for what is right. Don't miss it.

Wrapping Up:
If you're looking for a well-written book that will make you laugh, and get angry, and empathize, and cheer, then Hoot is the book you need to go out and find. Read it, and be immensely satisfied.

Title: Hoot
Author: Carl Hiaasen
Pages: 304
Reading Level: 10 and up
Publisher and Date: Random House Children's Books, 2004
Edition: 1st Paperback
Language: English
Published In: United States
Price: $8.95
ISBN-10: 0375829164
ISBN-13: 978-0375829161

Author Spotlight: Carl Hiaasen

Columnist, journalist and novelist Carl Hiaasen uses news headlines and stories, a healthy dose of satire, and his own passion for environmentalism to fuel his writing for both children and adults.

He dreamed of being a journalist from a very young age, and has been writing ever since his father gave him the typewriter he requested at the age of six. Back then, he wrote about neighborhood kickball and softball games. In high school, he banged out a newsletter for his friends, called it "More Trash," and filled it with rants and opinion pieces sparked from, for example, being on the receiving end of the dreaded parental "No."

While writing "More Trash," Hiaasen learned to use humor and satire to get his point across, finding that those were tools that drew in a bigger audience. He has been using those tools in his writing ever since. In a Los Angeles Times interview with reporter Margaret Wappler, he said:

"You've got to be funny sometimes. All my humor comes from anger. Satire is terrific therapy. Making people laugh is a joy, but making them think about something serious is the ultimate reward."

Hiaasen entered Emory College in 1970, then transferred to the University of Florida two years later, graduating in 1974 with a degree in journalism. He then spent two years working for Cocoa Today, out of Cocoa, Florida, before accepting a position with the Miami Herald as a general assignment reporter at age 23. From there, Hiaasen moved on to that paper's weekly magazine, and then to its investigations team in 1979. He switched again in 1985 - still with the Herald - to write a regular column on Sundays in the opinion and editorial section, and continues to do so.

It wasn't until the early 1980's that Hiaasen began writing novels for adults, together with the late William D. Montalbano. His first solo effort, Tourist Season, came out in 1986, and he went on to publish nine others. His first young adult novel was Hoot (2002) - a Newbery Honor winner, followed by Flush (2005), and the recently released Scat (2009). His novels are typically classified as "environmental thrillers" and housed in bookstores' mystery sections.

Carl Hiaasen was born (March 12, 1953) and raised in Plantation, Florida - the first of four children. He now lives in the Florida Keys with his family.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Reality Check

As I sat with a book in my favorite reading spot the other day, Handsome Boy bopped noisily into the room. I looked up to find him inches from the couch, gazing intently at me. His usual impish grin was replaced by lips set in a firm, thin line.



"There's something wrong with that song - Row, Row, Row Your Boat."


He nodded. "Life. Is not. A dream." Then, leaning in until our noses were practically touching, he intoned, "It's real."

He stared at me for a few seconds more, eyes wide and head nodding gravely. Then he turned and bopped back out of the room.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

All Hail the Mighty Thumb!

Sir Isaac Newton once said:

"In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God's existence."

Perhaps Newton's admiration for this most versatile digit is the reason why Thumb Appreciation Day is celebrated on February 18th. In fact, let's just go with that, since I didn't find one shred of evidence pointing to the actual originator. (And honestly, does it really matter? A party is a party, no matter how silly the reason.) 

So, as we appreciate our thumbs today, let us ponder a few reasons why this most important - and most overlooked - of appendages is indispensable. 

If there were no thumbs: 

...we couldn't have a Rule of Thumb. What would we use for our benchmark phrasing? Rule of Pinky? Nah. No dignity. No dignity at all.

...gardeners would lose that most coveted of titles: Green Thumb.

...those suffering from boredom would lose their most accessible method of relief: twiddling one's thumbs.

...never again could we link fingers with an opponent and shout out, "ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR! I DECLARE A THUMB WAR!"

...typing would be darn near impossible. And forget texting.

...whatever would we call those teensy pictures that stand for files on our computers?

...hitchhikers would have a hard time. Imagine trying to get someone to stop and give you a ride when all you can do is point the way past you.

...Siskel (if he were still among us) and Ebert would be out of a job.

...amateur photographers everywhere would have to find some other body part to block the lens and mar their otherwise masterful creations.

...the couch potatoes among us would have to ditch the remote and find some other way to surf.

...little guys could no longer produce artistic masterpieces with stamp pads, markers, and their two small-type opposable digits.

...we'd have to invent a whole new phrase to describe the clumsy among us. "He's all thumbs" wouldn't mean much anymore.

...we could say goodbye to tennis, ping pong, racquetball, baseball, softball, basketball, lacrosse, bowling, hockey, American football...

...there would be no more penny pinching. No more pinching of any kind, for that matter. And where's the fun in that?

...what would all the poor thumbsuckers do for comfort? As I understand it, fingers or a pacifier are poor substitutes.

...that whole "right to bear arms" thing would be a moot point.

...the literary world would lose a couple of giants in the field: Tom Thumb? Who's that? Thumbelina? Never heard of her.

And as a final reason for the season, consider that thumbs provide us with an outlet to exercise our constitutional rights, as Marshall Lumsden so eloquently points out:

"At no time is freedom of speech more precious than when a man hits his thumb with a hammer."

And lest anyone get all "that's sexist" on me, may I point out that a woman uses her precious free speech elsewhere, as she would never be clumsy enough to whack her thumb with a hammer in the first place...


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

That's a Vegetable, Isn't It?

So, my husband C and I were in NYC on Valentine's Day, having dinner at Spice Market. It's a fantastic restaurant: very trendy, very chic, very romantic. Since I'm: A. not very trendy, B. hardly chic, and C. much more of a giggler than a romantic, I was doing my best to be a grown-up. 

It didn't last long.

We had just been seated at our table. I was perusing the menu of delicious-looking cocktails (and privately wondering if it would be unseemly to just order all of them at once) when my eyes froze on this one: 

Kumquat Mojito

Now, I had a vague notion of what a kumquat is. And that vague notion was that a kumquat is 1. a word that is impossible to say without snickering at the very least, and 2. probably a vegetable. 

I blinked. Then I read it again. Out loud. Kumquat. Mojito. Snort. Snicker. Giggle.

I looked over at C, who looked up from his menu with questioning eyes. I carefully pointed to the incriminating drink, then clapped my hands over my mouth to stifle the great guffaws I could feel coming on. He cracked the tiniest bit of a smile (having learned from experience that it is never a good idea to fully encourage me). 

Usually I would have dissolved into hoots of laughter by this point, but I managed to compose myself, take a deep breath, and regain the illusion of adulthood once again. 

But that was not the end of it. Oh, no.

The next day, I was at the grocery store. Understand, I live in a two-stop-light town (we added the second one last year) so our produce section is typically garden variety. But that day, as I went in search of oranges, guess what I found serendipitously stacked in between the oranges and lemons? 

Huh. A kumquat is not a vegetable. It's a fruit

Who knew?

But kumquat is still funny to say.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Picture Book Round-Up For Valentine's Day

When Valentine's Day comes around, I think of friendship and family and love. Here is a selection of some of my favorite picture books that fit right into those themes:

My Penguin Osbert, by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel, illustrated by H. B. Lewis

A cute story illustrating the cautionary admonition "be careful what you wish for," and showing the lengths to which a boy will go for the happiness of his pet.

Bad Dog, Marley! by John Grogan, illustrated by Richard Cowdrey

Marley's family loves him, but his puppy antics are ruining their home and their things as he gets bigger and bigger. So they decide they must find him a new home...until Marley's big save surprises them all and pulls him even further into their hearts.

Frog and Toad Are Friends, by Arnold Lobel

The quintessential friendship between Frog and Toad is timeless, endearing, and a great example for the little ones of what friendship is really all about.

Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum, in the cocoon of her caring family, loves her name. Then she goes to school, and the kids make fun of her name, and they make fun of her, and then she does not love her name, and she does not love school. But when she and her class meet the music teacher, things start to change...

Just Like You, By Jan Fearnley

A sweet story about all the little things a mom does to show her great love for her special little one.

Rainbabies, by Laura Krauss Melmed, illustrated by Jim LaMarche

An old couple who longs for a child to care for has their wish granted many times over when, after a moonshower, they discover twelve tiny rainbabies. A story of love, and devotion, and the rewards that can come from both.

The Patchwork Quilt, by Valerie Flournoy, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Tanya's grandma uses patches and scraps of fabrics from everyone in the family as she works on a family quilt. Each piece of fabric has a story to tell, and her grandma shares the tales as she works. When her grandma gets sick and can't work on the quilt anymore, Tanya decides to take up where her grandma left off, and soon the whole family joins in to help. A wonderful story about family, and love, and memories, and togetherness.

Goodnight, My Angel: A Lullabye, by Billy Joel, illustrated by Yvonne Gilbert

Originally a song written to his daughter, Billy Joel has converted that hit single into an equally touching bedtime book. A lovely story showing the special bond between parent and child, the book also includes a CD of Joel's single, Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel).

The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn, illustrations by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak

Chester Raccoon is afraid to leave his mom and go to school. But his mom is clever, and she finds a way for him to feel close to her no matter how far away he is. A tale of love and reassurance.

Miss Spider's Wedding, by David Kirk

A love story about a very unlikely pair. Will they let others dictate their feelings? Or will they follow their hearts?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rollin' Out the Welcome Mat

My parents are coming to visit this weekend. Since it's also Valentine's Day weekend, I added a few extras to my usual Preparation for Visiting Parents Checklist:
  • Heart-shaped watermelon slices? Check.
  • Dyed red spiral noodles? Check.
  • Naturally red spaghetti sauce? Check.
  • Cherry 7-Up? Check.
  • Heart-shaped cherry Jello Jigglers? Check.
  • Frozen broccoli? Check. (What? I can't make the entire dinner red. I need some contrast for visual interest...)
And what, you may ask, is on my usual Preparation for Visiting Parents Checklist? 

Just this:

*If you're new to Bugs and Bunnies, and you have no earthly idea why I've invested in a Tower of TP just because my parents are visiting, click here to get up to speed. Then you can come back to this post, and gaze at the Tower of TP, and sigh, "Ahhh. Now I get it."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In the Name of Motherly Love

This is what my hands looked like earlier this evening. Note the lovely (?) green tint staining my fingers and caked beneath my fingernails:

Why would she do this? You may wonder. 

Is she an Elphaba wannabe?

Nope. (Full disclosure: I am going to see Wicked this weekend - finally! - but I'm not so much of a fan that I would dye myself green. Although... ...nah.)

Aaaanyway, my now emerald green digits got that way in the process of making this dinner, at the earnest request of Handsome Boy:

The ear-to-ear grin that greeted me at dinnertime made it all worthwhile.

And ten points to anyone who can correctly identify the artificially colored foods.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

February 11th is Be Electrific Day!

No, I did not make that up. But I know who did, and that someone started Be Electrific Day back in 1998. She is professional speaker Carolyn Finch, and she defines electrific as:
"an abbreviation for an electrification project - which means to put light where light has not been before."
Now, one could take this definition as the genteel version of that old admonition, "put it where the sun don't shine," but it actually has a much more positive intent. 

See, February 11th is the birthday of Thomas Alva Edison: "The Wizard of Menlo Park," holder of 1090+ U.S. Patents, inventor and businessman, and founder of General Electric, among many other impressive accomplishments too numerous to list here. And, Mr. Edison brought light where light had not been before - electrically speaking, of course. Therefore, we have Be Electrific Day, so that we can celebrate not only this prolific inventor's birthday, but also - as Ms Finch's program suggests - "the electricity within each of us."

Well. I don't know about you, but most of the electricity within me lately is of the static variety. My family is more than a little annoyed. Shocked, really. But I don't see the problem. I'm just celebrating this Little-Known, twelve-year old holiday, you know? 

If I can do it, so can you. Go ahead! Get in the holiday spirit: scoot your stockinged feet across the carpet, scope out someone who looks a little energy depleted, and share your electricity within. 

But then you might wanna get ready to run...

Welcome to Edison's Homepage

* Edit 2/12/2013 The following two links originally posted with this article appear to no longer work. Sorry about any inconvenience:

Monday, February 9, 2009

February 10th is Plimsoll Day!

So, what's a Plimsoll? I had the same question, so I looked it up, and found far more than I bargained for. First of all, I was asking the wrong question, initially. Plimsoll isn't a what. He's a who. Or at least he was a who, back in the 1800's. (Not the Seussian variety Who - upper case. Just the part of speech variety who - lower case.) He looked like this: 

Plimsoll Day is set aside to remember Samuel Plimsoll, a member of the English Parliament back in the day who championed sailors' safety while traveling the world's waterways in crammed-full ships. He was instrumental in the amendment of Britain's Merchant Shipping Act, which came about in response to the then-national problem of dangerously overloaded ships. Plimsoll's bill, dubbed the Unseaworthy Ships Bill, passed in 1876, and required that a mark be present on a ship's hull to indicate the waterline at which maximum cargo capacity was reached for the vessel.

Ah, but politics is a wily profession, is it not? For the law merely required that said line - which came to be known as the Plimsoll Line, or the Plimsoll Mark, - be painted on the boat. It did not say the line had to be an accurate representation of the safe waterline position for the ship's cargo load. That little stipulation didn't make it's way into law until 1894.

Today, the Plimsoll Line is universally recognized, and is actually several lines - each one indicating the safe waterline mark in relation to both cargo type and water type (salinity, temperature, ocean region, and season):

Now, back to my initial question: What's a Plimsoll? It's a shoe with a canvas upper and a rubber sole. Modern Plimsoll shoes - aka sneakers - look similar to this:

But which came first: the sneaker or the man? Hmmm. You tell me. See, the sneaker in question was originally called a "sand shoe," invented for beachwear by the Liverpool Rubber Company in the 1830's. It wasn't until sometime after the Plimsoll Line was created in 1876 that the distinctive footwear came to be known as a Plimsoll Shoe (since the rubber band between the upper part of the shoe and its sole resembled the Plimsoll Line on a ship's hull). So one could logically conclude that the shoe came first. But, add to the mix that Samuel Plimsoll was born in 1824, which predates both the shoe and the legislation, and you're back to the whole chicken vs. egg conundrum all over again. 

Well. I learned something today. How about you?

The Plimsoll Line (International Load Line)
* If your browser takes you to a 404 Error from the above link, I've noticed that some browsers substitute the "+" in the actual address with a space instead (which shows as "%20" instead). Below this little explanation is the actual address, typed out. You may need to type it directly into your browser for it to work properly. I hope you're able to get to the page. The page is brief, yet informative, and is the source of the plimsoll line graphic in the post above:


Friday, February 6, 2009

Book Review: Enigma: A Magical Mystery, by Graeme Base

Young Bertie Badger's Grandpa was a conjurer of note,
With magic spells and magic wand and magic hat and coat.
A Master of Illusion, an Ambassador of Fate,
The famous, one and only, world-renowned Gadzooks the Great.

Bertie Badger has great fun visiting his grandpa at the Retirement Home for Elderly Magicians, and watching him do his magic tricks. But one day, Grandpa greets him at the door with terrible news: someone has stolen his special magical props. In fact, the thief has stolen everyone's magical props. And worse still, Grandpa's beloved magic bunny rabbit is missing, too. Bertie is determined to get to the bottom of things. Will he find all the missing props? And who is behind this disappearing act?

For Teachers and Librarians:
Little guys love magic, and Enigma: A Magical Mystery will be great fun for them. Older kids thrill in trying to solve mysteries, and Enigma is full of clues, hints, mystery, and code. As is usual in a Graeme Base book, have your students look closely at the colorful and detailed pictures for the hidden clues and interesting goings-on shoehorned into each and every page. 

This is a great book to use with a mystery unit: have kids identify the components of a mystery story; let them keep detective booklets to keep track of all the possible clues they find within, both in text and pictures; have them create a list of questions to ask the theft victims, then let them play parts and act out their questioning; create a class chart to keep track of the clues they find on their own, discussing how they think the clues will or won't help solve the mystery; have them come up with possible solutions to the mystery and back up their positions. Use the letter at the end of the book to crack the code and discover the hiding places of each item.

You can use this book to fit curriculum in a variety of ways: reading genre (mystery), analytical thinking, math (code), deductive reasoning (figuring out the clues), poetry (the story is in verse), rhyming pairs and phonics, art appreciation (color schemes used in each scene, pictures hidden in the illustrations), components of magic shows (the various methods of magic performers employ)...and so much more.

But most of all, use this book to let your kids have fun with a story, and enjoy reading or having it read to them.

For Parents, Grandparents and Caregivers:
Enigma: A Magical Mystery is the perfect book to get you and your kiddos involved in a sweet story, and have fun activities to do, as well. The story portrays a great example of how a kid can be helpful, shows a positive family relationship, provides a priceless opportunity for you and the kids to bend heads over the book and eagerly search for hidden pictures and clues, and will get you working together to break a code and solve a mystery. With beautiful illustrations, a fun story told in rhyme, and an opportunity for family togetherness, what's not to like?

For the Kids:
Do you love finding clues and solving mysteries? Do you think it's fun to find hidden pictures and solve codes? Do you think magic is totally cool? If so, then Enigma: A Magical Mystery is the book for you! Bertie Badger's grandpa is a retired magician, but he still does shows for Bertie. One day, Grandpa's magical props go missing - and so does his magical bunny rabbit. Will Bertie be able to find them? Can he figure out who took everything? You will find clues in the pictures, and can help find the missing props by solving a secret code. The author and illustrator, Graeme Base, has even hidden little pictures within each big picture for you to have fun searching and finding! What are you waiting for? Go find this book!

Wrapping Up:
Enigma: A Magical Mystery is a warm and fuzzy story packed with magic, mystery, hidden pictures, and a secret code. It's a book sure to be a favorite with the kids, and a great addition to anyone's Graeme Base book collection.

Note: To find out more about author and illustrator Graeme base, click here: Author Spotlight: Graeme Base

To read my review of another Graeme Base title, click here: Book Review: The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery

Title: Enigma: A Magical Mystery
Author and Illustrator: Graeme Base
Pages: 48
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Publisher and Date: Abrams Books for Young Readers, September 1, 2008
Edition: 1st
Language: English
Published In: United States
Price: $19.95
ISBN-10: 081097245X
ISBN-13: 978-0810972452

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Philosophy for the Traveling Masses

One of my favorite things to do on long car rides is read bumper stickers. So lately, when I see a funny one, I scribble it down (only if I'm a passenger, of course). Here's my List of Vehicular Words of Wisdom so far: 

 I'm only speeding 'cause I really have to poop.

Not so close! I'm not that kind of car.

Well. That was fun. But short. 

So I turned to the web to see if I could find a few more to add to my collection (until our next road trip), and it did not disappoint: 

Isn't a smoking area in a restaurant like a peeing area in a swimming pool?

It's not how you pick your nose but where you put the booger.

If at first you do succeed, try not to look astonished.

Why is "abbreviation" such a long word?

Cannibals won't eat clowns...They taste funny.

"Reintarnation:" Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

Come to the dark side. We have cookies!

When the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.

I child-proofed my house but they still get in.

When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

What I really need are minions.

And there it is - my fledgling List of Vehicular Words of Wisdom. If you've come across any bumper stickers that gave you a chuckle - and remember, family show here - drop me a comment and tell me all about it, so I can add it to the collection.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Will Not Go Gentle Into My Goodnight

I have made it no secret that I plan to be mildly difficult and candidly outspoken in my old age. And I plan to smile evilly as I do so, and giggle as I provoke the appropriate levels of exasperation in my loved ones. I have told my husband and children to be prepared for it, and at times I even get in a little practice. (So far, the kiddos are delighted. My husband...not so much.)

Well. I thought that just saying whatever I want and possibly bringing the occasional shock value to the conversation as I journey through my Golden Years would be fun. (And it will be. Oh yes.) I also thought that would be the extent of my mischief.

But then I read this article on MSN.com: 4 Body Quirks, Solved. It's all about four inevitabilities of aging that many view as, well, not necessarily plusses. And I agree that three of the four are none too desirable. But the fourth one...oh, the fourth one:

Digestion typically slows with age, giving bacteria extra time to transform your meals into hydrogen and methane. The gas itself may not behave as discreetly as it once did, either; in an older person, it tends to build up in the lower colon before making a sometimes rapid and noisy escape, says Karen Hall, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of medicine at the University of Michigan who specializes in geriatrics and gastroenterology. "There isn't necessarily more gas," she says, "but there's a higher potential for embarrassment."

Notice the article doesn't say whose embarrassment. 

Oooh! This is gonna be fun!