Thursday, March 05, 2015

Mix Tape Shuffle: Go home, playlist! You're drunk!

It's mix tape time! And in honor of the drinkingest holiday we know of, we bring you the Drinking Songs edition of the MixTape shuffle.

There are songs I love that are all about drinking. I credit this to my dad, whose love of country music during the heyday of the drinking song cultivated this love. The bottle didn't let me down on this one, and I came up with a long list of drink-related tunes... but then I thought about it a little more.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

I Celebrate National Grammar Day

You read that right—happy National Grammar Day! It's a thing.

No really—it's for real. It was founded in 2008 by the founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (also a real thing), and is hosted by Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty. I shall be celebrating National Grammar Day by re-reading Fogarty's books (Grammar Girl's 101 Misused Words You'll Never Confuse Again & The Grammar Devotional).

Monday, March 02, 2015

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

If you're alive and on the Internet today, you know it's Dr. Seuss' birthday. I don't know how you can be a member of Generation X and not have had Dr. Seuss make a gigantic impact on your childhood.

I can remember that book club you could join, where books would come to your door each month—books! Delivered! Each month! I don't think we partook of this magical opportunity but the magic of getting books in the mail was not lost on me. This was a big thing in the 70s—see also Doubleday Book Club and Columbia House Records and tapes, where you could get like 20 records or tapes by taping a penny to the card and mailing it back. This may or may not be why the music business lost a lot of money. But I digress.

Monday, February 23, 2015

We Walk: A suburban photo essay

Where will the walk take you?
 I love our neighborhood, Mom; it's like a choose your own adventure book because there are so many streets.
My kids are suburban kids. My dog is a suburban dog. My husband and I are both city and suburbs and small town and all the things from moving around. I think attending the same school for more than a year or two in a row was a novelty for him, with parents that traversed the country from left to right on the regular, thanks to the US Navy. For me, it was inner city then small town then slightly bigger town then big city then foreign country then here.
We chose a house in a neighborhood with sidewalks and an elementary school within walking distance. We chose this neighborhood for its "walkability," with visions of the kids on their bikes and rollerskates making tracks up and down the sidewalks. I had visions of my kids enjoying the free rein that I enjoyed as a kid, but within the relative safety of a designated neighborhood. Because we're Generation X and that's how we do.

I would walk these sidewalks after taking her to school, worrying that the sheer uniformity of it all was stifling. It's now how I grew up, it's not the environment that I recall. Would it be enough? She's developing the personality of a warrior. She protests against unfairness. Demands conservation of resources.
I never want to live in the city. I always want to live here, she says.
She doesn't see how the suburbs where we live might be counter to her warrior ways. But this is her battleground. We discuss ways she could make a positive change, right where we live.

As we walk, I try to get her clued into the street signs—I thought at 10 a kid would have a better sense of direction, but it appears not. I prompt her as we go.
You see that street sign? What street are we on? {turns corner} How about now?
I guess I thought they would teach that at school? Seems useful information. Probably something I picked up out of necessity as I explored on my own.
When I'm 16, would you draw me a map so I know how to get places? Like to the pet store if I need a pet? Or the office supply store for pens and papers and what-not? Or the gas station, in case I need a slushy?
I promise her that by the time she starts driving, she'll be able to figure out how to get places.

For now, walking in our neighborhood, the puppy leading us around by the leash, is enough of an adventure for us both.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Not quite a love song

When I was a teenager, growing up in the frozen tundra, one of my prized possessions was my radio. I don't remember now what it looked like—I went through a lot of radios of various sizes and abilities—but I do remember Friday nights, listening to the radio and love song dedications.