Wednesday, December 30, 2009

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday

A blogosphere favorite: Wordless Wednesday

So it is that, as December blusters to a close, I give you my humble tribute to the master, reputedly born 25 December 1899 (some sources say 23 January). Hope you like the rare youthful photo. The woman in the photo is unidentified, as are the Scotties and Newfie.

Photo courtesy of Indiana University (

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Merry Monday, a Day Late

Merry Monday everyone. Oh yeah, it's Tuesday.

In our house, it should be dubbed Twos-day, because we're actively coping with a 2-year-old's whims and whams and whammies. And, I hope, not too many of the latter.

Nonetheless, if you have a moment, get thee on over to STL Mommy, a Web site I discovered in the last 1-2 weeks or so. It's great to have someone "nearby" to read, and I really enjoy the site. So much so, that I have the button on this little blog endeavor.

Kim at STL Mommy is right now hosting a Bob Evans gift card giveaway ( that looks like it's open to people all over the U.S., not just the St. Louis area. So, if you have a Bob Evans restaurant in your area and you like giveaways and the potential for free stuff, this is one you won't want to miss. Plus, it ends at 5 p.m. today--CST, I presume.

Good luck to all. Or, in online parlance, GLTA!

And have the greatest day possible. : )

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Curiosity Saturday

I'm following up on the Aloha Friday theme of December 25th.

I decree that today shall be "Curiosity Saturday." And in honor of that decree, I have a few ideas and questions that have been swirling around in my mucky mind (because I overthink things, okay!!)

>If a person has twins (or multiples) and one is born at 11:59 p.m. and the other(s) after midnight the next day, does a mom (or parents) have the option of just saying they're born on the same day or does the hospital force them to say they're born on different days?
>If a train leaves St. Louis traveling at 60 mph and another leaves .... (JUST KIDDING!)
>What new holiday traditions are you creating and what "old" ones are you following? Why or why not?

In answer to the latter, I wanted to leave out cookies for Santa this year--my husband's family did that (and I imagine it was one of his dad's favorite parts of the holidays!) but mine did not--but before I knew it, our 26-month-old was in bed (hubby did it while I was with our newborn!) and I hadn't put out cookies yet. But it made me think like an anthropologist, I guess. Why would I want to instill that tradition? To perpetuate the myth of a cheerful, albeit chubby, guy bringing presents and chowing down on left-in-the-night cookies? Not exactly. I guess it gets down to one word: hospitality. Greek myths, which I love, are replete with cautionary tales of ingrates who turn away disguised gods (Zeus and Apollo, I think, are legendary for testing their countrymen's, if you will, hospitality). But, Janus-like (if a spectrum of tales can be Janus-like), there are stories of people--most notably, Baucis and Philemon (a sweet story; look it up and read it if you haven't already)--who welcomed with open hearts and humble table. Welcomed complete strangers into home and hearth. (Today, this action would be the recipe for a home invasion in the making, sadly.) So, in a roundabout way, leaving cookies for Santa might be teaching our little ones hospitality. And hospitality is another word for "generosity." Who wouldn't want that reflected in a child?

Nonetheless, I challenge you, today on Curiosity Saturday, to question your traditions and rituals (if you will). Think about how they got started, whether they are worthwhile and why or why not, and what new ones you hope to create (and why).

Then will it be ... Something old, something new, something accepted, something eschewed? Hmm?

Friday, December 25, 2009


Hello-ha, welcome, and happy holidays to all, no matter what you call them.

It's Aloha Friday. The first Aloha Friday for my blog.

Check out An Island Life to participate in Kailani's Aloha Friday,, as well as link to others'.

Today's Aloha Friday question from me is perhaps an expected one, but it's important nonetheless. So, give it some thought--but not too much--answer it sincerely, and get back to the festivities ... much as I get back to motivating myself to make some buttermilk pancakes, country ham, and maybe some eggs for our breakfast.

>For what (or whom) are you thankful today?

My answer is simple. Family & friends.

How about you?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My Entry For the Kia Sorento Ultimate Road Trip Sweepstakes

Road Scholar
Wherever you are, whatever religion you cling to (or none at all), you know it's holiday time. And holidays, among other things, mean movement. Travel to and from. In the mind, from the home to the airport. Home to store. Store to home. From your lips to God's ears. Whatever the case may be, the month between, say, November 25 and December 25, is super malleable. As opposed to mighty malleable (in a Gabby Hayes or Festus, of that old TV Western with Marshall Dillon ... whatchamacalit? The Rifleman?), which is too close for comfort, in tone, to Mighty Mouse. But to get to the point, a Web site I follow, Mom Logic, has posed an intriguing question: "If you could take your family on a road trip anywhere, where would you go and why?"
You can find their post here:
Before parenthood descended on us like a plague of Japanese beetles on a crabapple tree or a picturesque waterfall in Costa Rica (take your pick; for us, it could be the same thing on the same day, depending on our 26-month-old's whims and whines through Terrible Two Town!), my husband and I had a daydream of taking our favorite classic car, the unfairly maligned Edsel, on an around-the-world trip.

Of course, nowadays, that's just not feasible. World conflicts; hatred of the United States thanks to, um, politics; the skyrocketing cost of petrol; safety; and two small children are enough of a roadblock to that plan.

Not to say that it was a plan. It was more of a vague vagary.

In any case, to answer the question, our ultimate road trip today would involve both kids sleeping or playing peacefully as our old red van cut a swath through the Midwest and toward the East Coast--over the Mississippi River and through the woods of Kentucky (or bluegrass, perhaps!?), all the way to grandma's house in Virginia. Friends and family is really the name of the game at this stage of life. Our newborn has never met Grandma and Grandpa on one side of the family. He's never met his aunt, uncle, and cousin. We could see friends, for, my friends who read this blog, time is too, too short. You really have to seize the day while the day exists!

Then, once we got done with the East Coast, which we'd like to tour up and down in said beaten-up magical mystery machine, again with peaceable tots in tow (as I intimated, what a pipe dream! hee-hee), we would head back through the country's bread basket and out toward the heat and desert to see more friends ... in Arizona. And, simply put, to see new places as a family and to carve out our own NEW AND IMPROVED dreams.

What we have now is so precious and so perfect in its imperfections and inexactitudes, it makes me shiver. I love my life, for I am so, so lucky. (That's why I can never win the lottery, because I have too much good luck with finding a loving hubs, his family, our friends, and our kiddos. Fate gives only so much luck to one person!)

With all this in mind--and remembering, per Mrs. Rosen, "life always matters VERY MUCH!"--let me know what your ultimate road trip would be.

And, just maybe, you'll be a Road Scholar like moi! : )

Friday, December 18, 2009

She's a Man, Baby!

"Do Male Bloggers Receive More Respect?" is the headline over at Freelance Writing Jobs,, from a few days ago.

It ignites an interesting question in me and fascinating perspectives from others who visit the site, which I've been reading for, I think, a few years now. I read the article just a couple days ago, and so I've had a little time to digest the concept and unfurl the wrinkles and create some new ones.

This debate really gets at the heart of this new blog of mine, C cubed. I had a blog in late 2006, that I kept up and going through about, oh, 2008 or early 2009. I could be a year off in either direction on the years (that is, with the "old blog" being started in 2007 and given up in 2009); as those who know me know, time is not my forte.

That is: what is my blog's raison d'etre? Where do I want it to go? What should it be?

Of course we know, as writers, that people import their own meanings into our texts, so we can't possibly be such control freaks as to direct, conduct, condone, and create every possible perspective of our writings. And why would we want to, really? Each person (reader) brings a different set of skills, emotions, experiences, and, ultimately, his or her own point of view.

So, over at FWJ, the site administrator, Deb Ng, posts that she resists being called a "mommy blogger."

Now, without making my post go on and on and on, I love language. As you all know. Methinks, however, that it is ALL about context. As Marshall McLuhan said, "the medium is the message," but I would also go so far as to say that the forum is the message, too. Freelance Writing Jobs is clearly not a "mommy blog." Nor is it even a "mom blog," which, to me, has a much friendlier (and less patronizing or condescending) connotation. It carries a better tone and tune to it than "mommy." However, I personally love being called "mommy" by my 26-month-old. It is a role I never thought, let's say even 5 years ago, that I would fulfill, much less love.

However, like Deb, I would much rather be known as a blogger than anything. Well, actually, in my case, I'd rather be known as a writer than a blogger. (No offense whatsoever to bloggers. Of which I suppose I am one. I blog therefore I am?)

And yet there are a great many blogs that I follow that could be called "mommy blogs." In fact, they wear that chapeau--I really should say "hats," for being a parent entails at least a hat a day, if not many more!--proudly. And I don't think that these blogs, taken in and of themselves and in their context (they are in their element, awash in coupons, toy and clothing reviews, children's literature giveaways and so on, as much as I am awash in a spit-up vomitus of, well, spit-up as a second-time mom of a brand-new newborn who's about to officially morph into an infant shortly), are abashed at all about using this phrase.

If you remember the book The Awakening, by Kate Chopin, one of my favorites, you might recall that the lead character Edna Pontellier, as I recall, has this sort of dilemma. How does she define herself? Is she a "mother woman" (the phrase used in this excellent book, again, if memory serves; you should check it out if you haven't already), or is she something above and beyond that? Something, someone nebulous and infinite but finitely defined as wife and mother. That is, when we wedge people into a narrow context or definition (he's gay or she's African American or she wears glasses or she's a tech geek or he has asthma), we do the worst kind of pigeonholing and, with the exception of Bert of Sesame Street, not too many people look kindly upon the lowly pigeon. All it does is, uh, mess things up, let's say to keep it clean (apart from the pij poo!).

So, rather than defining myself or my blog--which, by the way, it's taken me a year to just rename the damn thing, and it's still not that original of a name; I wanted Mom de Plume, but that, alas, was already taken (nothing new under the sun, damn ye, Bard!)--it really should be defined by my readers. All three of you. : )

For it is for you that this blog exists. Otherwise, it would be a private endeavor known only to me and done only for my enjoyment or disappointment or consternation or .... You get my drift. And because this blog is not an interior monologue, I am struggling with figuring out how to get it to people, if I should get it to people, what people should I get it to, what information should I disclose, what the blog's about (again, raison d'etre), and so on.

All this while, again, being a mom. And wife. And part-time freelance editor, fact-checker, and writer.

How the "mommy bloggers" do it, not to mention the other bloggers with a score of irons in the fire, I will never know. Loads of coffee or No-Doz, I suppose!

In any case, you will discover, if you don't already know, when you read the post at FWJ how a well-known writerly blogger came out as a woman when she had been posing as a man. Victor/Victoria, anyone?

It is with this last thought that I will leave you as you, I hope, head over to the FWJ post or at least consider yourself in terms of the mask, the facade you present to the world around you (if it is indeed a facade), whether you are a writer or other artist or simply, and significantly, a simple human "bean": WHO ARE YOU, WHO-WHO, WHO-WHO?

Tell me, who are you?!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hall, Yeah and Oh-My Oates

Deck the Halls and Daryl's jolly ...

Not really. Why would I deck my supposed-to-be husband, soulful looker Daryl Hall? : )

Once upon a time, there was a little girl (no, not with a little curl). She had a Cabbage Patch doll named Daryl with twinkling green eyes, a mini mohawk (can't really call it a carrot top, because it's not red) of blonde hair, and who wanted to be a singer when he grew up.

Said girl once took a Polaroid of Daryl Hall when he appeared on "Good Morning America" in the 1980s sometime AND she almost melted when she saw one of her first MTV music videos ever: "The Method of Modern Love." When Daryl Hall floated by on a cloud, paddling past her screen, this little girl thought she could truly die happy.

That little girl, my friends, was me!

And, in honor of that FIRST MAJOR CHILDHOOD CRUSH, I'm directing you to the Hall & Oates box set "Santa's Picks" giveaway sponsored by My Four Monkeys, Simple Kinda Life, and Mission Mommy blogs:

Check it out, and good luck to all.

Happy HALL-idays! Wink, wink.

Zhu for You

As you who read me--all two of you (thanks, Mom!)--know, I am inordinately fond of puns. Or pond of funs, perhaps!

And, as it's holiday time, I want to wax poetic on the intersection of the crux of the overlapping of the paralleling of movies, Christmas, and such.

Okay. I'll start making sense.

Zhu Zhu Pets. Reminds me of "It's a Wonderful Life," and Zhu Zhu's petals. I would imagine that's where this nearby (to us), in the 'Lou, company got inspired to name their Toy Sensation.

I don't know if our little one will like a Zhu Zhu Pet, but I'm going to give it a try (if I win one of the little holy grails, that is). To that end, there's an awesome giveaway at this new site I discovered today. In A Kid's World. You'll see the button on the blog, but here's the exact link to win a Mr. Squiggles:

So, I shall now close down the Zhu. (If I ran the Zhu, I would probably request a Mr. Squiggles. He could be like the young Gerald McGrew in Dr. Seuss' _If I Ran the Zoo_, too!)

Good luck to all who enter ... play the Scorpions song and just maybe you'll get lucky-ducky and win a furfunful of Mr. Squiggles!