Thursday, March 20, 2008
One of the things I really love about the small city I live in, just 6 miles south of Pittsburgh, is the fact that I often see deer and wild turkeys roaming the streets and lawns of the tree-lined, quiet streets. I had a wonderful early morning walk last summer and followed a deer up one street, stopped and watched her watch me, steam coming out of her nostrils.
However, many think of deer as a nuisance. I know that they cause car accidents, and sometimes serious ones. Most of the problem is that they eat prized hostas and tomato plants. The municipality decided something had to be done to control the population. My understanding was that trained sharp shooters were coming in to cull the population at some local parks and at the city golf course, only shooting in the middle of the night and with bows, not guns.
Well, it has just come to my attention (through BlogLebo) that residents can apply for a permit from the USDA to shoot deer in their own yard. Mind you, Mt. Lebanon, where I live, is completely residential, houses on small lots, most people living within 200 feet of neighbors. How is this okay? You can see here that there have been some problems...I just can't help but feel outraged and disgusted that this is happening.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
This is a cool site that gives the top news stories from the year you were born (as long as it is after 1900).
What I thought was REALLY cool was that it turns out four of my favorite books were published the year I was born: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard (which is where the quote at the top of my blog comes from), Sula by Toni Morrison (which I fiercely analyzed, page by page, word by word and made me want to be an English major), Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig (one of the only books that has ever made me really cry), and Turtle Island by Gary Snyder (keeper of one of my favorite poems, For the Children, which I 'gifted' to many of my students).
If only I wore spiky girly shoes, this would be even funnier and excellent fodder for teenaged blackmail. "Cooper, you better do the dishes (clean your room, do your homework, ...), or I will show all your friends the pictures of you walking around in my gold and rhinestone highheels!"
Sunday, March 9, 2008
I read this on another blog and found it all too realistic. Before having a child I would have thought this cynical and trite, pessimistic and down right child-degrading. Oh the things I have learned in the past 2 years. I am particularly close with Lessons 14 and 15 right now, as this sums up Cooper's relationship with me lately. Enjoy a laugh or three.
Go to the grocery store.
Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
Pick up the paper.
Read it for the last time.
Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their:
- Methods of discipline.
- Lack of patience.
- Appallingly low tolerance levels.
- Allowing their children to run wild.
Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.
Enjoy it, because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.
To discover how the nights will feel...
- Walk around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly.
- At 10PM, put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
- Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
- Set the alarm for 3AM.
- As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink.
- Go to bed at 2:45AM.
- Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off. Sing songs in the dark until 4AM.
- Get up. Make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years.
- Look cheerful.
Can you stand the mess children make? To find out...
- Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
- Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
- Stick your fingers in the flower bed. Then rub them on the clean walls.
- Cover the stains with crayons.
How does that look?
Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.
Time allowed for this - all morning.
Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a jar of paint, turn it into an alligator.
Now take the tube from a roll of toilet paper. Using only Scotch tape and a piece of aluminum foil, turn it into an attractive Christmas candle.
Last, take a milk carton, a ping-pong ball, and an empty packet of Cocoa Puffs. Make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower.
Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.
Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.
Get a dime. Stick it in the cassette player.
Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat.
Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.
Get ready to go out.
Wait outside the bathroom for half an hour.
Go out the front door.
Come in again. Go out.
Come back in. Go out again.
Walk down the front path.
Walk back up it.
Walk down it again.
Walk very slowly down the road for five minutes.
Stop, inspect minutely, and ask at least 6 questions about every cigarette butt, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue, and dead insect along the way.
Retrace your steps.
Scream that you have had as much as you can stand until the neighbors come out and stare at you.
Give up and go back into the house.
You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.
Repeat everything at least (if not more than) five times.
Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full- grown goat is excellent).
If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat.
Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight.
Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys.
Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.
Hollow out a melon.
Make a small hole in the side.
Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.
You are now ready to feed a nine- month old baby.
Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street, Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon.
Watch nothing else on TV for at least five years.
Move to the tropics.
Find or make a compost pile.
Dig down about halfway and stick your nose in it.
Do this 3-5 times a day for at least two years.
Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying "mommy" repeatedly.
(Important: no more than a four second delay between each "mommy;" occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years.
You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.
Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the "mommy" tape made from Lesson 14 above.
You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.
(Author Unknown, but they must have had kids...)