Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Window ledge of kitsch, and other business

You know, if I posted a little more often, I wouldn't need to cram everything into these giant posts ...


Mad's (was) asking us to show our kitsch--once I saw her mad stash, and Cinnamon Gurl's, well, I knew I had to share too.

We have a window-ledge of kitsch, and punnily enough (if you will), it's in our kitchen. Kitschen?

From left to right: a brass toothpick holder from Panama, a gift to me from Pynchon's parents after their cruise there last year; a terribly ugly cow clock, thoughtfully and expressly left behind for our use by the former owner of our house, who thought it matched too nicely with the kitchen for her, in good conscience, to deprive the kitchen of it; a bar of soap from the University of Victoria, where I go to teach workshops and stock up on tiny bars of soap; a tiny Beefeater figurine, a gift to Pynchon from an uncle (I think); my very first academic award, the French prize for the morning junior kindergarden class in 1977-78. I was obviously destined for great things.

(I feel a pang about the french prize. The JK teacher is my godmother. But! I still speak french, and just today spent the day placoter avec une amie qui vit pas loin d'ici. So while the circumstances surrounding the award may have been dodgy, it turns out all right in the end.)


You know what I didn't put in my list of ten things that silence my inner critic? That I really wanted to put in? But forgot? I'm really good at folding fitted sheets so that they look like regular folded sheets, not some rumpled elastic disaster. The latter outcome was my standard until one bright morning in Saskatoon, when I was visiting the same friend who now lives in Chicago and put Sage and me up for BlogHer. Anyhow. I was visiting her and sleeping on the futon that was the daytime couch, so every morning I folded up all the bedding. All of a sudden, I just knew how to fold that fitted sheet. A miracle! The rest is history. I can even sometimes manage a decent fold of those sheets that are elastic all the way 'round.

This, people, this right here, is what makes the blogosphere so compelling ...


Commenting on my last post, Oh The Joys offered to exchange me her weather for mine. I then made a crack about my roof leaking. Because the camera was on the fritz, I could not then show you what I can now, which is my roof leaking all over Pynchon's Dell and soaking my daycare file as well as my newly purchase (sob!) copy of Jurgen Habermas's timeless classic, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Worse, the book is not destroyed, but simply warped. Now people are going to think I was reading it in the bathtub. I may be a complete nerd, but, well, I do have some standards. And Habermas in the tub is a level to which I will not stoop!

(Habermas, suffering some structural transformation, the grey triangle underneath the computer's power supply. Sigh.)


Pynchon is the main pedagogue in our little family unit: Monday morning, after breakfast, but before daycare, he taught Munchkin the answer to the following question--"What does a duck say, Munchkin?"--"QUACK!"

Feel free to quiz her on the major barnyard fauna, as well as domestic animals. She can match sound to species for: cow, pig, sheep, duck, and dog -- and also monkeys, but I'm not sure how to classify that. Surprisingly, considering we actually have a cat, Munchkin can't seem to nail the meowing bit--when asked what sound a cat makes, she invariable moos. No wonder Poor Crazy Kitty is in a huff.

By the way, what on earth possible purpose does it serve to teach a deeply urban baby how to moo and baa? This is not a vocabulary that can be of any use to her. I'm trying to teach her to say 'grande nonfat latte' but she finds the barnyard so much more compelling ...



kittenpie said...

They have to know these things so they can sing Old MacDonald, silly.

Hey, I love me a good miscellany, even if you make me wait for it.

slouching mom said...

So much making me laugh here -- Habermas in the bathtub! As if! I read him in college and couldn't parse his words AT ALL.

Also -- fitted sheets! LOL! You need to teach us your secret so that we can all have a Martha Stewart moment.

And I'd suggest you get on that, teaching your girl the idiosyncracies of ordering from Starbucks or any other coffee emporium. These days, I see kids as young as ten ordering coffee drinks in Starbucks.

Kyla said...

The sheets! Tell us the secret! You must. Josh is always mentioning how his grandma is the only one he's ever met who can fold them that way, I want to learn just to shock the pants off him.

Start on the Starbucks lingo might take years to get through the menu and various options.

Beck said...

I just wad my fitted sheets into a ball and stuff them into the bottom of the cedar chest. Are you telling me that I am SO wrong?
You have the same cow clock as my grandma.
Farm animal sounds are necessary to remind children of our innate agrarian link. And little cats don't meow for cats because cats don't meow - mine only say "Nrrrr!"

Amy U. said...

In light of my recent rant on MS herself, I hate to say it, but she did teach the audience how to do the fitted sheet fold once. I immediately forgot. I'm in the other camp. The elastic ball of sheet camp.

cinnamon gurl said...

Ha ha! I have been telling myself that animal noises are not essential, because Swee'pea can only meow (and it sounds more like a gentle moo) and pant... no quacking, no baaing, no neighing.

Sorry about the roof leak -- that sucks! Our tub is leaking into the kitchen, but because we're considering selling we don't want to sink thousands into new plumbing just yet so we've just put a little ricotta container under the tub so it doesn't go into the kitchen.

Gwen said...

"Grande nonfat latte." Ha!

(Hi, I'm Gwen, I'm here from B&P)

There was a time, when we were selling a house in the city and therefore had to spend too many showings at the Starbucks on the corner, that my oldest daughter--then 4--knew all about how to order her frappuccinos. It was not pretty.

And: omg, pass along the fitted shit folding tips because that's something my suburban children, who I plan to raise into barefoot, pg, kitchen dwellers, really need to learn. And they won't get it from me.

(I was joking about being pg and barefoot. But you knew that, right?)

NotSoSage said...

The fitted sheet fold. I know how to do it, but I'm too lazy. Oh, and Joe does all the laundry. :)

Jenifer said...

My Mom folds the sheets so good I can't tell which one is fitted and which one is flat in the closet...on days where I fold them, it is pretty evident.

As for animal sounds they purely for our enjoyment is my guess.

Coffee lingo rocks and "double double" was one of Rosebud's first words. The girls often use the cardboard trays and saved cups for playing "drive-thru" games with their kitchen.

nomotherearth said...

I believe that matching sounds to animals is part of the standard testing for toddlers, therefore even us urbanites must teach to the test.

I will confess now, that the Boy mastered "Grande! Grande! Grande!" before he could tell me what a cat says. I'm a bad mother.

Oh, The Joys said...

Well if they moo and baa it entertains ME.

Alpha DogMa said...

My rural kids can easily identify farm animals (though we are 200km from the nearest farm) but can more readily speak about timber harvesting and the pulping process. They do, however, think emergency sirens are coyotes howling.

I too can fold a fitted sheet to look like a flat. I learned from Martha Stewart - which does taint my joy at having this skill.

Omaha Mama said...

No folding of fitted sheets. Nu-uh.

Animal sounds, like body parts, are coming in bits and pieces for my boy. He's got the nose. He's got the moo. That's about it. I'm no good with the quizzing and the teaching (and I, am a teacher, hmmm). I tell him once and expect him just to have it. Luckily it comes up in the books we read and songs, so he gets some learnin'. Just not from mom.

Could that oh so grown up girl in the hat be your Ms. Munchkin? Oh my. She is a doll baby, but seems to be inching towards toddlerhood. Baby no more.

Bon said...

we've been wondering about the whole farm animal vocabulary over here as well...wondering if really knowing what animals are supposed to say has really served us well in our lives thus far, and if an alternative (grande nonfat latte might be a bit high-falutin' for PEI, but say, Youtube or West Nile Virus could come in handy) might be wiser for us to focus on.

and Habermas is only read in either the tub or the bed in our house, not because he's romantic, clearly, but because i can only get about three pages at a time without dozing.

Karen said...

I'll bet you could teach to order a cookie!

Sandra said...

oooh ... you can fold fitted sheets ... you MUST show me!

I remember when my guy first started on all the farm animal noises and had never seen one. Ever.

Christine said...

just catching up here. . .

loved your list--so honest and perfect. i'd come to brunch ANYTIME!!!

and i used to be able to fold sheets like that, but i have gotten lazy and now pretty much shove them in the closet.

ewe are here said...

I LOVE the animal sounds. Way back when, I did a thursday 13 about all the different animal sounds MF could identify...:-)

I envy your sheet folding abilities and patience. I understand how to do it, I think I'm just too lazy to take the time it needs to do it right.

And I must have that cow clock. It will fit right in with my kitchen kitsch!

moosh in indy. said...

Old McDonald had a latte, EIEIO with a whip whip here and a cream cream there,
Well, I don't drink coffee so I'm not much of a joke maker in the department.
I really need to do that meme, and read a few books.
Damn smartiepants.