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"Do you think clams know that this thing inside them is made out of meat?"
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Calvin is lost in thought. After some time, he looks at me and says, "Papa, is there such a thing as a man-grabber?"
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from Calvin, while speaking to his cousin Kerri.

Calvin: You know why I was never here before?
Kerri: No Calvin, why?
Calvin: Because I never even EXISTED! I had to be CREATED, then I could come here!


Jul. 26th, 2008 03:30 pm
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Calvin and I are clambering around the long stone jetty at Hampton Beach state park. I think it looks like your typical New England style stacked-rock wall built large; he is convinced that they are the broken pieces of asteroids, destroyed by a rocket ship and fallen to Earth. He is relating his theory to everyone who passes us on our journey, whether they inquire or no. We are passed frequently, as the gaps between asteroids are rather larger than a small boy-- even if he IS five-- can navigate without all four limbs and much careful maneuvering.

About halfway out (on this excursion...we made several trips to the asteroid belt today) he decides he's had enough space travel and wants to climb down the side instead, before the tide comes in and renders that path inaccessible. During our descent, this conversation:

Calvin: Everything real is in my mind.
Me: Calvin, there are more than a few things that are NOT real in your mind!
Calvin: Sure! But, every real thing is in my mind. Like this rock here. See? [taps the barnacles with his foot] It's real! and it's in my mind!

All this climbing makes my feet sore, but my heart light.
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Calvin, at the dinner table, to Rose, context forgotten: "It's ok Rosie, I trust you!"
Rose: "DON'T trust me! [nom nom nom the cauliflower nom nom]. I'm baaaad."

Also, it is to be noted that our dinners are recently plagued by the continuous interruptions of the feetgrabber ghost. Who does not, contrary to rumor, grab feet (at least not anymore). Instead, it absconds with your sippy cup full of milk, or your last two green beans (without the consumption of which, no ice cream shall be served), only to return the same, mysteriously, at some later time. Guests be forewarned.
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Rosie to me, on the way out the door to ride along for the 30 minute "drop everyone else at school" ride: "Bye Bye Papa, See You Tuesday! [blows kiss]"


Feb. 11th, 2008 11:42 am
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Calvin calls the thing in the back of his throat his HOOvula. This comes up rather more often than you would at first assume.
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Calvin: "Papa, what are people made of?"

Me (momentarily forgetting that the correct answer is "star stuff"): "Oh, you know, flesh and bone..."

Calvin: "Flesh and bone and blood and Dreamland. Right?"

Me: "...that's absolutely right."

Calvin: "Sometimes the blood comes out, but Dreamland never comes out, right?"

Me: "Very, very rarely."
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Instead of saying/screaming "No!" like other 2-ish toddlers, Rose has an expansive vocabulary of negation.  Lately we get a lot of "No any that, no any that!"  Or "No any this!", or "No any go sleep!". 

She will occasionally go all lolcat, i.e. "I can't have to go pee!"  Also in the cat vain, she says "Look!  I see Jake!  Oh Jake, he's so kyoot!"  Seriously, she says kyoot.  Or kuh-yoot.  While yanking on his tail with both hands or trying to pick him up by his ears.  Jake allows this.  Jake is a very enlightened cat person.

and best of all, she will say "x is too big" to describe an object in any one of a dozen failure modes.  Food too hot?  "Dese nuggets are too big."  Can't buckle velcro shoes? "Shoes are too big."  Can't find blanket?  "Dis blank is too big!" (For Rose, Calvin has a "blankely" but she has a "blank.")  All the water running out of her bathtub down the drain? "Blath is too big!"  and sometimes all of the above in combination, "I can't havta go pee, it's too big!  No any potty!"

I must point out that Rose is by FAR the most potty trained at the youngest age of any of our kids.   But still, she's two.  you gotta stay on top of the situation, and it's a frequent topic of discussion.

Every direction is "upstairs."  but she has to "hold onna wailing"!

and most every book is either "Read go dog go!" or "read Goonite moon!" even when she's holding neither of those two books. 

I'll post more of these later when I can remember.  Must capture the cute!
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Why do I never get gifts like this? No wait, on second thought...

Historic curiosity, courtesy of Wikipedia: one of the primary synthetic replacements for ambergris in perfumery is thujone. Meaning that, while Victorian era ladies of high caliber painted themselves in extract of sperm whale vomit, the thoroughly modern woman now paints herself with extract of absinthe. Ah, the sweet smell of progress.
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Feynman's Lost Lecture: the Motion of Planets Around the Sun, by David and Judith Goodstein, is a truly remarkable little book. I am squarely in the target audience for a book like this, but if anything, I enjoyed it EVEN MORE than I expected to. clicky clicky for a review and some minor spoilers )
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...and worth repeating:
"The White House is now saying the troops would only be temporary. But temporary until when? I guess just until there aren't any more illegals trying to come across the border from Latin America." In other words, you're suggesting the White House doesn't have an exit strategy from getting the troops out of ... our own country?
Also, stealing paraphrasing from elsewhere: how much you want to bet that the guardsmen conveniently come home right before (or perhaps right after) the November election? Just like those orange alerts that magically went away in late November 2004? And just so we're clear:
  • Nat'l guardsmen deployed to Afghanistan in sufficient numbers for success? No.

  • Nat'l guardsmen deployed to Iraq in sufficient numbers for success? No.

  • Enough Nat'l guardsmen left in the U.S. to assist in LA. and MS. during the worst national disaster in a decade, a task that actually falls under the specific terms of their charter? OH HELL NO.

  • Enough Nat'l guardsmen left in the U.S. to help patrol the border and defeat terrorism energize the G.O.P. base make sure no one ever has a clean hotel sheet again? ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY!

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The Google video folks struck a deal with C-Span (or so I learned from Kos) to make the full Colbert speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner available. You can now watch the whole thing in glorious, broadband, wide-screen format. I've been circulating this link and talking about it often. Last night in discussion with pal C., he wagered that people will be talking about this 100 years from now. I tend to agree with him. I'm not saying that Colbert is the Mencken, or Swift, or Twain of our time, but this particular performance is so amazing that I think it will become part and parcel of this administration's legacy.

Every time I watch it, I am amazed at multiple points. The overall pacing and delivery is not so smooth, but the isolation of each segment adds to the overall effect; you get to hear the stone silence in the room from the midpoint of the speech onwards. Consider the Jesse Jackson tangent, and the double-whammy punchline that follows it. That right there is the very essence of comedy. The "spokesman audition video" at the end, I can take or leave, but everything leading up to it is awe-inspiring.

Can you think of a more biting, relevant bit of satire in recent times? Never mind the fact that this was done under the most impressive circumstances possible, with the President and First Lady not 10 feet away; who in the last 25 years has done anything of this caliber, even in print? I'm coming up empty.


Jan. 25th, 2006 01:01 pm
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What is the first use/publication of the scientific unit of measurement "furlongs per fortnight"?? As in (from a /. book review today), "the speed of light in a vacuum is 1,802,617,499,785.253 furlongs per fortnight" ? I recall first hearing the term in the dim and distant past, but can't for the life of me extract the original reference.

> 50% odds it's Feynman. But anyone know for sure?
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I just found this misfiled in an otherwise unremarkable email folder.

"I'm trying to find out if CPT symmetry is conserved within the confines an experimental, spherical rubber container before trying to apply my theories to the more difficult problems of the latex catsuit."

Context is everything, but in this case, why bother?
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"If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace."

-- John Lennon, 1940 - 1980

May his memory live long.


Nov. 4th, 2005 08:41 am
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"The thing about India is...you know, in the west, we have this whole thing where Jesus was born and that's when everything important starts, and before that is ancient history, prehistory. But Indian culture goes back thousands of years before that, and for long stretches in that period, they didn't have any wars. So they had a lot of time to themselves, you know, to figure stuff out. And what did they do with it? The figured out music reeeeeally well. They figured out spirituality almost completely. And they did a pretty good job with sex and food, too."

Intriguing theory, although personally I'd respect Indian culture more if they had also figured out social structure and class politics somewhere in there.

Speaking of Indian music, though: Debashish Battacharya plays some insanely mesmerizing ragas on slide guitar on this album, while Ry Cooder and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt's deliver similarly wondrous slide playing on A Meeting by the River. One fun thing about the Cooder/Bhatt recording: their sons play all the percussion, Cooder's son on Djembe, and Bhatt's son tearing it up on tabla. This was apparently a spontaneous jam session, which just happened to be recorded because Cooder is no dummy, and travels with superb recording gear wherever he goes. They were going to produce/mix/master it, but upon hearing the tapes decided to just release it as is. It's impossibly lovely, if a bit short.
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This is a repost of someone on my FL that at least half of my readership does not know, and therefore would have missed, but I knew you'd like it. Yanked from [livejournal.com profile] megasus4 reposting some guy going by [livejournal.com profile] geoff_chaucer (and discovered by [livejournal.com profile] brannen):

Wha be tha blake prevy lawe
That bene wantoun too alle tha feres?
Ya damne righte!

Wha be tha carl tha riske is hals wolt
Fro is allye leve?
Konne ye?

Wha be tha carl wha wolden flee
Whan peril bene all aboughte?

Alle clepe tha carl ane badde mooder-swyver
Speken of Shaft bene I.

He be a man konne unnethes
Namo save is mayde konnes im.

new games

Aug. 15th, 2005 08:44 pm
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Calvin goes to the door of the bedroom, says "I close the door! Bye bye papa!" and exits.

There is a knock at the door. I inquire "Who is it?"

Calvin re-enters, and says "So nice to see you!"



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