Emptying the Trash:

Remove the full garbage bag from the can, leaving a bag-free can for the next person. Extra points if the next person is holding a dripping coffee filter. 



If you have ever said the following words, you are a giant Music Nerd:

“Woah! Straight to the descant! And this is the O-L-D-E arrangement, too — all dotted eighth notes and stuff. Marsh Chapel is not kidding around this morning!”

I refuse to identify my source on the grounds that I might incriminate my… uh, herself. Yeah.

Chris: Look at this (on Huffington Post) “White Supremacist Home Defaced by Racist Graffiti after Revelations About His African DNA.” Apparently, the graffiti was done by members of his own white supremacist group.

Me: Can you continue to be a white supremacist if you have African DNA?

Chris: I mean, maybe you could find some open-minded white supremacists…


(Actually, I was wondering more about what happens to your mindset with a revelation like that but, as usual, his was funnier.)

Willow (14) has taken to watching Supernatural. It is apparently about two suspiciously handsome guys wandering the earth helping a variety of suspiciously gorgeous young women rid themselves of ghosts and demons and whatnot.

So, from the other room, I hear sort of Supernatural-y screams and moans and groans… then realize that some of the cacophony is actually Willow, curled up tight in her chair, hand over her mouth, eyes big as platters.

Me: Anything I can do to help you?
She: Um… make the asylum less scary?
Me: Is it an abandoned asylum?
She: Yeah…?
Me: (shrug) Honey, some things…

As we know, my 8-yr-old, Possum, is exceptionally fabulous in many ways. She is also an ADHD kid, and a rare girl with extra H (most girls are inattentive). She’s very bright (and we have the tests to prove it) but has difficulty with a lot of practical things.

We also know that I WILL NOT hear one single word about overdiagnosis of ADHD or pathologizing normal childhood behavior unless YOU YOURSELF have had to break tasks like “Get dressed” into redirectable steps as small as “Pick up your other sock.”

Because when something gets in the way of this very bright girl getting herself dressed, and it gets in the way every single day, that something is a real thing. She has to deal with this stuff all day long, and we are constantly trying to find ways to make it easier. So when something works, there is cause for celebration. Viva Head to Toe!

Here’s how it happened: one morning, as I was walking her through all her getting ready tasks (still in my pajamas, mind you, because if I walk away to get myself ready I’ll come down to find that although she has written a symphony for water glasses and established a talking school for the dogs, she still has only one sock on) She got distracted. I tried to get her back on task by saying “OK, what else do you have to do? Try this: go head to toe and tell me all the things you need to do in the morning. You need to brush your hair, right?”

To my shock, she started sing-songing: “I… brushed my hair, I washed my face, I brushed my teeth, I ate my breakfast” (we’re at the esophagus now, of course), “I have my snack for later, I have my water bottle, I took my medicine… I have clean clothes, I have clean undies, I have… only one sock!” And off she goes to look for the other sock.

WHAT?! I know. Totally worked, from the first day, and still works. If it doesn’t work for your kid, I have no advice: I don’t know why it worked for mine, it just did. A good supplement is, “Pretend you’re walking out the door to go to school. Missing anything?” That’s good for backpack, homework, extras like umbrellas or boots.

Thing is, we try very hard not to punish symptoms if we know that she’s doing her part and just having trouble. It’s much easier to determine that if you can find some tools that really help her get the job done — then “trying” isn’t about whether she puts the sock on, it’s about whether she’s using her tools.

Watching “Sherlock” (Yes, again, shut up!) The Blind Banker this time, and we’re about to find out how Soo Lin Yao knows the killer:

SOO LIN: He came to my flat. He asked me to help him to track down something that was stolen.
JOHN: And you’ve no idea what it was?
SOO LIN: I refused to help.
JOHN (leaning forward): So you knew him well when you were living back in China?
(She nods.)
SOO LIN: Oh yes…

Chris: Oh yes… he was my father.

SOO LIN: … he was my brother.

Chris: (Still in SOO LIN voice): Close. They both end in… “ther”.


Now, by the way, here’s a public service announcement: Don’t ever go to the movies with my husband. Or, in my case, do always go to the movies with my husband, because I am the same kind of jerk, the “that would never happen!” jerk. And yes, since you asked, YES, Tony Stark’s MIRACULOUS survival after launching himself into low orbit in the prototype Iron Man suit and landing hard enough to break the suit apart BUT NOT, apparently, hard enough to break his fragile human skull apart… YES, that IS my biggest problem with the story.

Chris LOVES to put words into characters’ mouths — this one was pretty tame, but let it not be said that there was ever a lewd misinterpretation or repulsive bodily function my husband couldn’t drop into the running dialog. I have, in fact, missed crucial plot points because my husband was saying “heh… heh heh… she said ‘duty’!”

Our favorite ruin-the-movie game, aside from “Spot the Wilhelm“, is called “Dead, Dead, EXTRA Dead”. It goes like this: HUGE explosion, ridiculously huge, big enough to take out the whole city. Our heroes are running (human speed record = 28 mph, Usain Bolt) and so yes, of course, safely escaping explosive velocity (always faster than the local speed of sound in the materials; speed of sound in dry air at 68 degrees = roughly 768 mph) but oh, dear, getting a little close so they DIVE away from the blast… KABLOOM! Cut to our heroes on the ground, coughing.

“Hey! That would never happen!” So we feel the need to point at various characters and name their fates based on how far away they were: “Dead… dead… EXTRA dead… maimed… traumatized…”

I understand that our running patter drives people insane — “Stop it! You’re ruining it! Just watch the movie!” It’s just one more reason we’re glad we found each other because no one else could stand it.

Unless you could…? In which case, come on over! We’ll have an Avengers film festival and a heated argument about Thor’s hammer and the “laws” of physics.


Chris is reading the news. 

“Oh, good. Britain is out.” 

“Of what?” 


“Wait, JUST Britain?” 

“No: The UN isn’t going to do anything because China and Russia hold vetoes on the Security Council.” 

“Right, so that left us with…?” 

“That left us saying, ‘C’mon, France, c’mon, Britain, you’re our friends, lets do this thing!'” 

“And France said…?” 

“France said,”

[Cue OUTRAGEOUS French accent…]

 “Emmm… sorry, but we have some… cheese to… monger.”