Thursday, April 29, 2010

It Is My Destiny. My Karma.

Last night I was preparing dinner when my son entered the kitchen desperate to share his new fort with someone. Let's just say, his tactics with negative responses are getting smarter...

My Son: "Mom, I just finished making my fort!"
Me: (stirring dinner) "Cool."
My Son: "Now I need an agent to come play with me."
Me: "Really?"
My Son: "Yea. It can either be a girl, or an adult... or both!"
Me: "Honey, I need to grate some cheese."
My Son: (excitedly) "That's the password!"
Me: "What is?"
My Son: "The password is: 'I need to grate some cheese!'"
Me: (trapped) "You've got 5 minutes."


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You Know You're Pregnant When...

... (besides the obvious clues) you find yourself...
  • Lunching on mushrooms dipped in ranch dressing with a side of cottage cheese mixed with applesauce. And find it very satisfying.
  • Eating raman noodles like you're in college again.
  • Single-handedly eating half a can of chow mein noodles within a matter of minutes.
  • Tearing open a package of granola bars you've just purchased, and devouring one before you've even walked two steps out of the store.
  • Sending your husband out at 9:30 pm, because you must have KFC and you must have it NOW!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Where Vegetables Taste Nothing Like Vegetables

At 14 grams of fat per 2 tablespoons, I don't know that drenching our veggies in ranch dressing is the answer to poor nutrition and childhood obesity either...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Trees

I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow is lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

- Sergeant Joyce Kilmer

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Monsters on the Bookcase

Here are two books about monsters that we found through some library visits and enjoyed reading (and which I find very clever and fun):


"Dark Night" by Dorothee de Monfreid, is a cute story about how Felix, the little boy, escapes from some woods filled with ferocious beasts. (My son laughed so hard he lost his breath the first few times we read this!).


"Leonardo the Terrible Monster" by Mo Willems, puts a spin on what it means to be a terrible monster.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bullet Dodged

Ever since we told my son he would be getting a little brother or sister, he has expressed to my husband several times: "Whew! It's a good thing were boys, so we don't have to feel the pain."

I am not amused.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down

I think anyone would agree that gay characters are becoming more and more prominent in TV programming. In fact, in a recent MSNBC article "Ugly Betty" is credited for opening the doors for other shows to "come out of the closet" so to speak (e.g. "Glee", "Modern Family", basically every show). Jarrett Barios of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation called the show "groundbreaking" in this respect. He particularly admired the show's depiction of a gay teen. America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) is also quoted as saying,
"There are certain things that people just don't expect anyone on television to talk about and whenever we dared to go there, it would make some people uncomfortable. But the only way to really make an impact and to inspire people to think is to venture into risky territory,"


This quote fully supports my belief that TV, like any other art, approaches its craft with a story to tell and elements are used to fulfill that intent (questioning traditional values, pushing the envelope, tolerance, "inspiring people to think", etc.). Writers include certain lines in the script for a reason, characters are introduced for a reason, plot lines have a purpose... except maybe for "Lost". Can anyone tell me what what happened to that show?? These days, I think it would be naive to believe that you can relax in front of the TV and accept it only as entertainment that bears no relevance to our world. People are in the business because they see an opportunity for influence.

To me, there is no question as to what TV producer's motives are in introducing gay characters to shows that are popularly entertaining. In general, I think people are more forgiving of controversial elements of a show, if it means they'll be entertained.
The question is, how much garbage we are willing to swallow for a few laughs?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Money For Nothing

Over the last few months, my son has begun to understand the concept of earning money to buy things he wants. Unfortunately, he is not saving for penny candy. He only wants Legos. This means that at his current salary, it takes months to earn enough money to buy what he wants. As you can imagine, for a young boy this is an almost intolerable amount of time to wait. The other morning, we had an enlightening conversation about how he was going to speed up the process, and I found myself teaching him a lesson I didn't expect to at such a young age:

My Son: "Mom, today I'm going to make all the money I need to buy the Legos I want!"
Me: "The set you want is $15. It's going to take a lot longer than one day to earn what you need."
My Son: (undiscouraged) "Yeah, but I'm going to make money and buy it tonight."
Me: "Honey, I'm sorry but you just won't be able to earn everything today. It's going to take a lot of hard work and waiting."
My Son: (excitedly)"No. I'm going to get some markers and paper and make all the money I need. Then I can buy it."
Me: "Honey... that's illegal."


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wonderland

While watching Disney's animated "Alice and Wonderland" with my son, a conversation took place between the Cheshire Cat and Alice that eerily resembled conversations I often have with my son/the Cheshire Cat.

Cat: "Oh, by the way. If you'd really like to know... he went that way."
Alice: "Who did?"
Cat: "The white rabbit."
Alice: "He did?"
Cat: "He did what?"
Alice: "Went that way!"
Cat: "Who did?"
Alice: "The white rabbit."
Cat: "What rabbit?"

I actually felt true exsaperation for poor Alice, rather than the intended amusement.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Call to Serve

The other day, my husband and I spent some time in our yard pulling weeds and raking out the dead spots of grass. My son became excited with the smell of industry in the air, and brainstormed ways that he could help us. When he grew bored holding the trash bag for my husband, he finally decided his best contribution was to make an 8.5 x 11 paper "advertisement" that read, "You can help us clean our house" and stood at the curb trying to drum up business from passing cars. Surprisingly, nobody stopped. My son was frustrated with the results of his efforts, to which I had to explain... we just don't get enough traffic on our street.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Be Counted

I found this statement from the First Presidency in the LDS Newsroom, and thought I'd share. Not only is it our duty as a citizen, but it's also nice for genealogy purposes too, right?:
"The United States Constitution mandates that a census be counted every ten years. This census is used to determine the makeup of state legislatures, local school boards, and other government bodies and to determine how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Church also uses census data for planning purposes.

"The Census Bureau will soon deliver census questionnaires to every household in America. We urge all members to respond to them in an accurate and timely manner. It is an important obligation for all citizens to be counted in the census."

Additionally, mailing the form in saves tax money from being spent on workers personally visiting homes to collect information. But be careful! Here's an interesting article I found over at MSNBC about Census fraud.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Did Jesus Really Live Again?

Did Jesus really live again?
Yes, when the third day came,
He wakened and he left the tomb;
He called Mary's name.

And there were nail-prints in his hands
And a spear wound in his side.
Did Jesus really live again
After he had died?
Oh yes! And so shall I!

-Mabel Jones Gabbot
"Children's Songbook", vs. 1 & 3

Painting by Harry Anderson

Friday, April 2, 2010

Design Friday: I.M. Pei

So, I decided to take a break from the Elements & Principles of Design this week, and focus on another master architect of our time, I.M. Pei (pronounced I.M. Pay). I actually just watched a PBS show on his Suzhou Museum in China, and was excited to research him. His works and impact are so extensive I really don't have enough time to do him justice, so merely consider this an introduction.


I.M. Pei was born in China in 1917, and moved to America when he was 17 years old. Here he received his bachelor's degree in architecture at MIT, and his graduate degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he studied under Walter Gropius (the founder of the Bauhaus, and I can't even believe I haven't highlighted him yet!). In 1983 he was the winner of the Pritzker Architecture prize, which is considered the Nobel Prize of architecture, and has been the recipient of many, many awards. He is considered a master of modern art, with works dotting the globe.
For a list of his works, follow this link to the website of the firm he founded, Pei Cobb Freed and Partners (formerly known as I.M. Pei and Associates). He has also worked with his sons in their firm, Pei Partnership Architects, but outside of the Suzhou Museum, I am not sure which works he has designed with them.
Two of his works that I have been able to see with my very own eyes are the entrance to the Louvre in Paris (1993):

picture from: pcf-p.com

... and the East Building of the National Gallery in Washington D.C. (1978):

picture from: pcf-p.com

I'll have to give these works their own post. But I did want to note two things: As you can imagine, the modern entrance to the Louvre was highly controversial to the French. Pei's intention with his works is to not only honor the tradition of a city, but also move it forward into the present.
Also, here's a little known fact about the East Wing of the National Gallery. As you enter, there is a granite wall that has the names of the architects and builders engraved in it. The granite surface of I.M. Pei's name has been rubbed brown from all of the people who have touched his name when they visit (...including moi).

Reference:
- pcf-p.com/a/f/fme/imp/b/b.html