Friday, March 13, 2009

Charlotte's Web is a horror movie

The Mister is away again (don't worry, I'll get mine sometime soon) and this evening after bath I decided to let Magnolia and Oliver watch a little Charlotte's Web while I cleaned up the Great Spaghetti Catastrophe of 2009.  I had just finished the last dish when I heard a blood curdling scream, a scream of unmistakable terror.  I bounded upstairs and intercepted my two weeping and terrified children right outside the TV room (also know as the office and guest room).  Behind them on the screen cartoon birds were flapping adorably in their nest while the golden sun rose over the bucolic Zuckerman farm. Honestly, it didn't seem that scary.
 "Was it the rat?" I ask, clutching them to my bosom. "Was it Templeton?" (I had been a little nervous about Templeton).
"The pig!" they squealed, still visibly shaken. "I don't like that pig who runs in the house."
"No, Wilbur is sweet.  He's a good pig."
"Turn it off," they sob, shaking.
I have damaged my children with Wilbur, and here he is in the all of his gruesomeness.  He doesn't mean to be "objectionable" but, oh, the horror.  The horror. . . 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Jury duty as vacation

What does it say about your life when you are sort of happy to realize that you have jury duty?  That you consider those eight quiet hours in that big, stuffy room full of impatient strangers and badly stocked vending machines to be found time, a lucky surprise akin to finding a $20 bill in the pocket of a coat you haven't worn in a year?
It reminds me of something I read once (maybe it was a movie?) in which the main character hoped to be involved in a minor but injurious accident so she would be forced into taking some down-time in the hospital.  The balance was a tricky one: She needed something that would earn her a few days in bed but that also wouldn't hurt too much. I totally get that.
So yes, that is my excuse for my tardy post--jury duty.  And no, I did not get picked for the seven-week trial.  I wanted to serve on a jury, I really did.  But seven weeks? I believe in civic duty, but I don't believe in it enough to lose wages and pay for extra childcare.  Which of course makes you wonder about who can afford to take seven-weeks off from their life.  Which then makes you think about the make-up of juries and what exactly a "peer" is and whether or not anything ever works as well as it should.  
I do know one thing--spending eight hours in the jury room of the San Francisco criminal court further cemented my opposition to the death penalty.  You do NOT want a bunch of people subsisting on Mountain Dew and stale granola bars to decide whether you live or die. 

A thing I like
It's not just because I am the voice of the dispatcher, either.  This animation about Darfur by the dear Mark Fiore is everything , in my humble opinion, a political cartoon should be: funny, depressing, clever, informative, and able to make a point without being preachy.  Watch it.  Then go to his website and click on the "do something" button.  He might not be preachy, but I am.

Monday, March 9, 2009

New tricks

Maggie in a bucket on the first sunny day in weeks

Remember number 3?  This little jobby: "learn to sew, even a little?"  Well, check.  I spent the first sunny Saturday in six weeks in a strange industrial building learning how to wind a bobbin and sew a French hem.  It was just me and one 2o-something hipster boy in an ironic t-shirt who barely spoke except to say he wanted to learn to sew so he could alter his thrift store clothes.  Oh, 20-something hipster boys, how it warms my heart to learn that some things never change.  And here I thought all San Franciscans were now driving minivans and discussing pediatricians or how, on second thought, maybe Botox isn't so bad.  But, no, many are still buying clothes by the pound at Thrift Town and fashioning bedrooms out of hallways with nothing more than an Indian tapestry.
But back to sewing.  Here's the thing: it's fun and I made a nice little drawstring bag, but now I'm scared it requires a knack for spacial relations that I genetically lack. Also, there was some nerve racking adding of fractions.  Still I plan to persevere.  I'm even planning on making everyone I know beautiful cloth napkins.  Squares, I can handle.   I think.
My mother-in-law just made this outfit for Maggie.  Cute, right?

A thing I like
Craft Haven Collective, where I took my class in San Francisco. Not only do they teach sewing to hipsters and anxious 39-year-olds, they also teach sewing and entrepreneurial skills to at-risk girls through Turning Heads.  Pretty cool, huh?  If you want to learn to sew, you should take a class there. Really, they are very nice.
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