Friday, October 29, 2010

My Autumn Quilt

Look! It's a fall quilt! Actually finished in fall!

Okay, so granted, it was started in fall of 2006. And I just finished it tonight.

Still! A fall quilt! Finished in fall!

Yes, the photo's blurry.  Squint and use your imagination. 
(The pattern is "Strip Twist" by Bonnie Hunter at

Monday, October 18, 2010

Humor. Because, y'know, it's Funny

There is a scene from the old TV show Star Trek: Next Generation  that is quoted frequently in our house.

To set the stage:  The human members of the Starship Enterprise have been infected by something that creates intoxication-like symptoms. Data, the guy on the left, is an android, (i.e. not human) and Lt. Worf, on the right, is a Klingon. (Also not human.)

Data: "There was a rather peculiar limerick being delivered by someone in the shuttlecraft bay. I am not sure I understand it: [quizzical look.] 'There was a young lady from Venus, whose body was shaped like a...' "
Picard, cutting in quickly, voice tense: "Captain to security, come in!"
Data: "Did I say something wrong?"
Worf, shaking his head: "I don't understand their humor either."

Pretty sure that last line is the rest of the world, describing my family. 

We have fun, though.  Meals together are mildly manic, kind of like long games of multi-player humor ping-pong.  The ball gets batted back and forth from person to person at warp speed, (get it? warp speed? it's a Star Trek joke!) with everybody taking the opportunity to smack it around.  Nobody is left out and no topic is off-limits, from people to politics to current events to the time I was taking out the garbage at midnight and heard my divorced, sixty-something neighbor and a very vocal, you know...

"Wait," says my husband, "are you sure?  Couldn't it have been"

"  I believe I can tell the difference between live and Memorex." 

There is a table-wide silence as we digest that.  (Or maybe my kids are trying to figure out what "Memorex" is.)  And then the topic changes and the ball is airborne again.  "Oh!" says somebody, "did you see The Daily Show last night?" 

My family amuses me so much that I've long thought that any of the gang of us could do standup comedy.   And as of this weekend, the thought is no longer theoretical.  My fifteen-year-old son is now an actual standup comedian.  He made his debut on Saturday night during open mic time at the local teen center, and he apparently knocked 'em dead.  He had to print out his notes from my computer and left them onscreen after he left, and I must say that they were pretty dang funny.  (No, I'm not going to quote him here.  You'll have to wait for the live performance and/or YouTube video.  Both of which will apparently be coming soon.)  

I wasn't there, given that I'm not actually a teen, but he said that after he finished, the head of the center came up to him to get his contact information so she could call him for their next standup comedy night.  And if that's not heady enough for a fifteen-year-old, a kid he'd never met took down his name and said that he wants a live band and a standup comedian for his sixteenth birthday party.  And the comedian he has chosen is... 


My son.

Pretty exciting stuff if you're fifteen.  Enough to get the dreams flowing. 

Last night he turns to me and says, "So how old do you have to be to be on Comedy Central?"

(Hey, it could happen, right?) 

I told him that A) I have no idea, and B) yes, he does still need to finish his Language Arts report. 

Because I'm pretty sure that life-changing superstardom can't quite be reached before fourth period on Thursday.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On Linguistic Creativity and Cow-Related Expletives

A Skype conversation between me and a fellow soccer-loving friend.

Friend: France game is on espn 360 if you have that

Laurie: It's also on the French channel. So I can watch on my actual TV

Friend: oh la la

Laurie: mais oui
Laurie: By the way, French people actually say, "Oh la la" a whole bunch.

Friend: As they should

Laurie: In soccer it's usually more of a groan, when somebody does something bad. We were at the France-England friendly in 2008 and the guy next to me, every time somebody would screw up, would go, "Oh la la." Or "Oh la vache" (Oh, the cow) or "Oh la putain." (Oh, the whore.)

Friend: Oh the whore... What a great saying.

Laurie: I know, huh?
Laurie: I was kind of fond of "oh, la vache," though. Because who would be creative enough to think of using a cow in an expletive?


P.S.  Yes, that photo is just what you think it is:  French Laughing Cow cheese.  Or, literally, "The Cow Who Laughs." For some reason it seemed appropriate.

P.P.S. Three days after I posted this, it has just occurred to me that "Bulls**t" is also a cow-related expletive. So those Frenchies have nothing on us Yanks.

Monday, October 04, 2010

I Love Teenagers, Part II

My 15-year-old son was home sick today. (Technically he was home sick only after second period, given that once you get to high school, classes do not take a break to accommodate viruses.) After a two-hour nap, he came upstairs and made a Freschetta pizza, then walked by me on his way downstairs.

"I think it's funny how the entire pizza fits on one dinner plate," said the super-skinny cross-country runner, holding up the plate to show me.

"Yeah?" I said. "I think it's funny how you consider the entire pizza one serving."

"What can I say?" he said. "I'm a teenager."

Indeed he is. Indeed he is.