Saturday, December 29, 2007

Isabel's Brother

I'm onto my Forth revisit to having a cold (and getting rather tired of it). My dear family is also onto their Nth iteration of having a cold (or, to be excruciatingly mathematical, their "Sth" iteration), so we had just finished watching one of my top ten movies of all time (Singin' in the Rain, and the song. I love how in that movie that the only possible responses to "Moses supposes his toës are roses, but Moses supposes erroneously. For Moses he knowes his toës aren't roses, as Moses supposes his toës to be" are "Hoop-di-do-di-do-di" and "It couldn't be a [many different kinds of flowers] but a 'rose' because it rhymes with 'Mose'" and one of the standout, knockdown, silly, fun and funny taps of all time) and were onto one of my other top ten movies of all time -- The Importance of Being Earnest (you can do further search on your own, I'm sure).

At the end of that movie, where "'Earnest' Worthing" discovers he does, indeed, have a brother, Isabel turned to me from her scootched (scootch-scootch-scootch she squeaks as she pushes me further toward the edge of the big-big bed) in snuggled position.

L'il Iz: He has a brother! she exclaimed happily.
Me: Yes
L'il Iz: I want to have a brother.
Me, ouch: Yes, I want [you to have] a brother, too. kissing her head tenderly.

Bedtime, and bedtime stories occupied her mind with other things. Now the problem is how to occupy my mind with other things? She may already have a baby brother, and we hope she may have one yet. After all, Sarah Was Ninety-Nine Years Old when she conceived Isaac ...

Geography Lessons

Verbatim post from Diane's blog; entry May 13, 2007

The Princess stands on a chair next to the schoolroom's world map and declares, First we will go to Canada, then we go back home. Then we go straight to Mexico.

I ask, What will we do in Canada?

Visit all the people there.

How about Mexico?

We will give them money.

Then we'll go to e-ma-la, that little pink place.

(I looked at the map.) Oh, Guatemala.

Then we will go to sawf America.

South America.

After South America, we will go to Aus-tray-lia, right over here. After Australia, we will go to China. Then we will fly to A-si-a.

Are we done?

No, not yet. Next I want to go to Greenland, that's right over here, Mama.

She picks up a stick. There are two Russias! We'll go to this Russia, this one, (pointing with stick) the one with Asia.

... then my comment:

My dear lady,

Please remember that the Princess was born in the Old Dominion, Virginia-THE-Commonwealth, South of the Mason-Dixon Line. In this light, South (pron. Sawf) America is pronounced Sawf Uhmereka.

Remember, this is the Sawf -- a pan is not "oily", it's "gaizy". People older that you are addressed as "Sir" and "Ma'am", unless there's a group of them, then they are called "y'all". Tea is always served cold (unless it's 4 p.m., and that's when one dresses in one's finest and enjoys small cucumber sandwiches served on Royal Albert), and the afternoon is spent on the porch drinking a Mint Julip.

Remember, this is the Sawf, so save your Confederate money, for we will rise again!

Thank you, and y'all come back real soon now.

High Five!

As we were eating lunch, EM was crowing about her excellence in using her peripheral vision.

EM: Look, Papa! I can see you.
Me: That's great, holding up my hand, how many digits am I holding up?

EM keeps her head facing forward, but her eyes noticeably slided over to look.

EM: Five!

After much laughter, her mother explained the proper use of peripheral vision, and we demonstrated by example, I held up my hand for my dear wife to count digits and ...

EM and Isabel, in direct view of my demonstration, shouted together: Five!

... at which the parents did the only thing left to them, exchanged high fives.

N.B.: see how I artfully side-step the great "Is the thumb a finger?" debate. Digits come from the Latin: di meaning ten and gits from the Sawfern (e.g. Git on ovah he-ah, so I can learn you real gooh(d)!)

Monday, December 24, 2007

(Disaster) Dinners with Dad

News from the front:

You didn't know that a pater familias cooked, did you! Well, I'm not going all Alan Alda here, but I do enjoy a turn at the stove, now and then.

3 successes deep frying cat fish fillets on Fridays. Unqualified success there.

1 success steaming cat fish in the "Chinese" style. My view: the result was unsubtle. The cat fish was hard, not flaky. The tastes ran to gross. But the family enjoyed it. Everyone asked for seconds and all but the Até-of-the-delicate-tastes finished their seconds, too. Huh.

1 unmitigated failure deep frying chicken. I tried for Anda's fameous fried chicken taste and ended up with hard and stringy fried chicken. You know what I'm talking about: the kind of fried chicken that when you bite into it, instead of a piece in your mouth, you have only a slight mark on the unmoved, whole, piece in front of you. Ugh. The tiny chicken wings turned out nearly right, so I think I need to stick with those, and leave cooking of chicken thighs to the crock pot or some such. How can a guy with Louisiana blood mess up fried chicken, for crying out loud?


So, entirely out of character, I accepted a phone solicitation (I usually state my name, and if I don't get an answer within two seconds, or if I get the "May I speak to Mr. A-cu-lare?" (after having already stated my name), then I hang up ... this time I didn't, because the Hand of God was at work, as you shall see).

After the phone conversation finished, I was the proud owner of a 20-week subscription to the Washington Post ... but only because they have a weekly chess page (written by a world champion, no less).

(Me: But it was on sale!
Cara Spoza: GRRRRRR!

Authors note: What does GRRRRR! mean, in the context that my soul-mate reads the paper every morning now? ... I win!)

So, channelling the spirit of my favorite father-in-law, I was doing the crossword.

EM, a good little girl, and always curious: What are you doing?

I explained through demonstration: Look, 1-across says "Bird of Prey", and we look on the puzzle ... 6 letters. Hmmm. E-A-G-L-E? No, that's 5 letters, so let's look at 1-down: "At a distance" and on the puzzle that's three letters. F-A-R! So, 1-across must be F-A-L-C-O-N. See?

EM, excited: May I do that, Papa? Please; Please!

I handed over the crossword puzzle to my six-year-old; my heart swelling with pride, but caution. Was I pushing her into an intellectual exercise too hard for her? Would her heart break when it was crushed against the mercilessness of the uncaring crossword puzzle? I was about to warn her to use a pencil, but I saw that she selected one already.

She studied the puzzle seriously. Then writing precisely, filled out 1-across:


EM: Hm, all these numbers are making the puzzle hard, Papa.

I agreed with her (successfully containing my mirth), and commanded her to show her mama her amazing triumph of 1-across.

My little girl's all growed-up now!


The new Dance Dance Revolution (Universe 2) came out, so I was off to Best Buy (as the local game store did not have it).

Me (announced to the family): I'm off to Best Buy to get the new DDR.
EM, surprised: Why do you have to exercise at Best Buy?

While her mother laughed uproariously, I explained that I was buying the game, not exercising there. EM pondered this a while.

EM: But Papa, why are you walking to Best Buy?

This comment put my cara spoza on the floor.