Saturday, February 23, 2008

Out of sorts

Did you ever have one of those out of sorts days? Those days when NOTHING seems to go your way, even when you know you are one of the luckiest people on the planet?
1. I elected NOT to bring my XC skis to Digger's home in this natural south shore paradise. And it is a PERFECT day for skiing. So, I'm mad at myself from bringing a 1/2 eaten bag of pirate booty, but not skis And, I feel like a load.
2. Digger and I head to the used video game store because I want a new Zelda adventure, and find out they have NO GAMES for his antique gaming system.
3. We go to the candy store so I can pre-order chocolate covered peeps to send to my family for their celebration of Easter. And the woman behind the counter doesn't understand a word I am saying. And I am so irritated at this point that I grab a card and say I'll take care of my business with them online.
4. We get back to Digger's little bungalow and I find out my computer won't see the wireless. So I can't get online. Digger comes to the rescue, and sets up his desktop Mac.


5. So I go to the candy store online and find out their website has expired. So, no chocolate covered peeps for me. At least not from stupid Puopolo's Candies.


6. While this silliness is raging around me, I'm making white cake. And I want to make Jell-O Poke Cake. Because Digger has never had it. And I think the cake was too hot when I poured the Jell-O in and the Jell-O (which wasn't Jell-O but some crappy store brand fruit flavored gelatin substitute) was poorly mixed which means I wrecked the cake and we'll have to throw it away but we won't know until tomorrow when it has allegedly finished "cooking" in the fridge.

Okay, as I type this I realize I'm being a brat. Life is not terrible. My friend, we'll call him The Postman, just had his third son about two months ago. His first two sons died within six weeks of their birth. So, this is his first child who has survived to two months. And, on Friday, the Son of The Postman fell out of the bed and was rushed to the emergency room for a baby CAT scan where they found out he has a hairline fracture on his skull. THAT'S a bad day.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lucky Kitty

I have often wondered about the origin of the Lucky Kitty - you know the one that you see in Chinese restaurants or groceries - the porcelain cat with the wide eyes and the paw raised?

I started to do some research on this today, and found another blogger had already done it. So, I introduce you to the legend of the Lucky Kitty - or Japan's Beckoning Cat.

Let me summarize, so I feel like I did SOMETHING to create this post, instead of just saying, "go here."
1. Lucky Kitty is actually Japanese and it means Maneki Neko or "Beckoning Cat"
2. Maneki means "invitation"
3. If the cat's LEFT paw is raised, it is welcoming customers
3a. If the cat's RIGHT paw is raised, it is welcoming money or luck
3b. The higher the raised paw, the greater the luck
4. If the cat is BLACK, it is beckoning health
4a. If the cat is GOLD, it is beckoning riches
4b. If the cat is PINK, it is beckoning love
4c. If the cat is GREEN, it is beckoning academic achievement
4d. The most common lucky cat color is calico, as these are the rarest in Japan and therefore, the luckiest.

Thank you Wild Ink and Wikpedia!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Kids say the darndest things!

I just got off the phone with my seven year-old niece. Here is our conversation:
ME: "Hey C! What are you doing?"
C: "Uh, I don't know."
"Are you doing homework?"
"Playing with the Littlest Pet Shop?"
"I know! You're playing video games!"
"No. I'm just standing here Aunt CF."
"Right. So, did you know that it is Gammy's birthday on Saturday?"
"Really? Why?"
"Well, because Saturday is the day we celebrate when Gammy was born. Guess how old she is."
"I don't know, maybe a hundred?"
(I start snickering) "Why don't you make Gammy a birthday card telling her 'Happy 100th Birthday.' I know she'd love that."
"Is she REALLY a hundred?"
"No, she's 64."
"Really? I thought she was 65!"
"Nope, Gammy was born in 1944, which makes her 64 this year."
"Whoa! She was born before George Washington!"
"How did you figure that out smartie pants?"
"Well, he is dead, so she must be born before him."
"Uhm, no, if he is dead and she is still alive, she was probably born AFTER him."
"Oh. Well what if George Washington was Gammy's father?"
"Well then he'd be my grandfather and your great-grandfather squirt."
"Yeah! Then I'd be related to George Washington and I could be a Social Studies Project! Hey, what if Abraham Lincoln was Gammy's father? What if...Abraham Lincoln and George Washington were married!"
"Well, they lived in the olden days when men couldn't be married to each other. If they were alive today they could be married, but not in the olden days."
"Well, why not?"
(At this point her dad, my brother-in-law starts snickering and immediately apologizes for listening in saying, "Wow, this conversation just took a really interesting turn Aunt CF.")

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


I learned from my mother that my paternal grandfather has died. He was a Southerner and we called him Paw Paw. I had not seen my Paw Paw in 30 years, due to the type of estrangement that often comes with a divorce between two immature people, one of whom is born from immature people. (Want proof? My father's mother was 14 when she gave birth to him, 34 when she became a grandmother, and was the woman who introduced me to the pleasures of Peanut Butter Capn' Crunch, a very un-grandma-like breakfast treat.) In the last five years, I have had a desire to visit Texas to see my daddy's family, to get in touch with the people whose blood courses through my veins and from whom I inherited my body type. My older sister discouraged me. H has seen my family in the last 20 years, having represented the Northern contingent upon the occasion of Miw Maw's (that's grandma in Southern speak) death. H reports that they are all miserable, racist human beings. She intuited that I would be disappointed upon meeting them and would likely regret the use of my time and money on them. In spite of the fact that I have a very good friend who lives (relatively) in the vicinity, I chose not to go.

And now my Paw Paw is dead. I remember the only time I met him, in 1977, when my family visited Texas for the entire summer. My mom took all five kids down on the Greyhound bus - a trip that took two (maybe three) days. I remember we all had waning chicken pox, and my mother gave us each a little pillow made by folding a hand towel in half and stuffing it with polyfill. Each child had a different cartoon character printed on their pillow - Holly Hobbie for the girls and Ziggy for the boy. The pillows had long ribbons attached to them, so we could wear them around our necks and not lose them. Each child also had to carry her/his own suitcase from one Greyhound station to the next. I remember eating hush puppies and drinking Dr. Pepper in a bus station cafeteria with my mom, and falling in love with both.

When we arrived in Texas Miw Maw Billie (that's right, my grandmother's name was Billie) picked us up and drove us to her gated condo, stopping to pick up donuts along the way. We bounced between her home and my Uncle Gary's home in a nearby suburb that was still in development for nearly two months, attending family picnics all summer long. I slept in a canopy bed, played bumper pool, and remember swimming alongside a lake filled with lazy inner tubes. I remember having dinner one night at the home of Paw Paw and Granny Gladys (his second wife). Paw Paw was a rabbit farmer (or would that be a rabbit rancher?) and he cooked rabbit for dinner. I don't remember eating anything that day, but can still remember what the rows of rabbit hutches looked like, with these enormous, soft creatures sitting in them. "Is this where rabbits feet come from?" I wondered, thinking of the garishly colored key chains one could buy at novelty stores.

And now Paw Paw is dead. A man I met once, thirty years ago. And he was my family, a connection to a part of me that has always felt the loss that came when my parents divorced. That part feels emptier right now.

Friday, February 1, 2008

A civil action

I'm thinking about the tax rebate I'm going to get when the government passes the economic stimulus package. It is funny to me to imagine every American getting $600. And then every American spending their $600 - in the interest of "resurrecting the economy." So, it got me thinking. What would happen if everyone SAVED their $600? And saved it in under their mattresses - NOT in the bank? What would happen then?

I'm voting for Obama

I know, dear blog readers, you have been dying to know...who is Clownface voting for on Super Tuesday? I have decided to vote for Barak Obama. What precipitated my decision? I find myself driven to turn the radio off whenever I hear Hillary Clinton speaking. I have the same visceral reaction to her that I have to...George W. Bush. Yes, it is true. My gut judges her as insincere, arrogant and manipulative.

I do want the record to show that, had he still be in the race, I would have voted for Bill Richardson. And then, had he still been in the race, I would have voted for John Edwards (they both have such lustrous hair). Now, as a registered Democrat, I'm left with two candidates from which to choose.

Here in Massachusetts there has been a bit of a legislative tussle, as one female leader (who backs Hillary) at the State House has accused the male leadership (which backs Obama) of chauvinism. (If they all backed Hillary, I suppose some African-American members of the House would accuse the lot of racism - it really is a no win situation for the politically correct among us.)

As I listened to this argument I wondered about my intense and automatic reaction to hearing Hillary's voice. My gut judges her, but should this matter? Maybe insincerity, arrogance and manipulation are good qualities in a president? I imagine she demands quality from her people, and I can imagine she keeps all of her fingers in all of the proverbial pots. Again, good or bad for a President? Hmmm.

I think what I seek in a President is not someone who is going to get the work done. But rather someone who can inspire others to get the work done, someone who is decisive and led by values, someone who can put a good face on the American people. This is why I'm voting for Barak Obama. I'm not concerned about whether or not he has the experience to "get the job done." He isn't going to be doing the work. I believe he can pick good people to work with him, he can make good decisions that are guided by values (and politics too, to be certain), and he will be a strong diplomat - within our national borders and around the world.

And it is fun to think about saying "President Obama."