23 March 2008

For when she is famous for musical something or other

"I Peter Criss, Mama!"

"I play pyano!"

No words here: just a sweet face with poor lighting.

Right now, she's wearing some red flowered tights, her sneakers, and nothing else, performing a play/tapdance routine for her imaginary audience. I would film and post this, but I'm pretty sure the talent agents would never stop hounding us, and we really have a lot of important stuff we need to do instead.

05 March 2008

Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow.

I love the alphabet. I love when my kid sings abcdblahblahblah… you get the idea. I love typewriters, too, and though the words were never that compelling to me, I used to like typing “The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog,” because it used every letter in the alphabet. I think the first time I learned of this miraculous thing (called a pangram, for those of you who care) was in an Encyclopedia Brown book. To solve the crime, he used that sentence to check everyone’s typewriters to prove who had written the ransom note. Oh, Encyclopedia, what don’t you know?

One day while enjoying some free time on the internets, I came across a list of other pangrams (also sometimes called holalphabetic sentences, though my spellchecker prefers pangram). The goal, apparently, is to come up with some grammatically correct sentence that uses as close to just the 26 letters as possible, with duplicates being frowned upon. Still, some longer pangrams make me happy. At 61 letters, it’s not all that efficient, but I really like “The July sun caused a fragment of black pine wax to ooze on the velvet quilt.” Any sentence that uses “ooze,” “velvet,” and “quilt” is a good sentence, if you ask me.

It turns out “the quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog” is a pretty mediocre example, actually, with 33 letters and no images I find especially striking. My favorite, which is the subject line, sounds ominous, doesn’t it? I imagine James Earl Jones booming “Sphinx of black quartz, JUDGE MY VOW!!!” Tee hee. At only 29 letters, it’s the shortest pangram without proper nouns, acronyms, initials, or odd punctuation. Besides, I never realized just how much I like the word sphinx. It’s fun to type, it’s fun to say. Try it for yourself! The quick brown fox can just keep jumping over lazy dogs, for all I care.

A River Runs Through It

V and I were driving along the river today (we had to take an underpass because I hate trains and V loves tunnels) in town and I pointed out the river to V.

"There's the Mighty Red River," I said.
"Right there." I pointed.
"It's white," she said. Which it is. 'Cause it's March.
"Yes," I said,"because it's winter. But the river's name is the Red River."
"Yes, it is."
"Yes. You don't get to name this river. Go discover a river, and you can name it whatever you want."
"It's the Black River."
"No. It's the Red River. Sometimes it looks brownish, and right now it's white, but it is not black."
"Seriously, Black River was better than Orange River."
"ORANGE RIVER!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"Okay. It's the Orange River."
"I knew it."

She's almost 30 months old, and she wants to rename geographic entities and act like she is right and I'm an idiot. I see a long, long adolescence in her future.

04 March 2008


Oh, the joy of a newborn baby: that soft, soft skin, the fuzzy hair, the cute little outfits. When V was first born, I didn’t mind much at all when she’d wet through or spit up, because there were 2,000 sweet baby outfits she was never gonna wear out anyway. Each clothing change was an opportunity! Look how cute she is! Isn’t that daaaarling? Dresses with ruffles and flowers, tartan skirts with black turtlenecks and knee-high biker boots, tank tops with shiny lettering: the kid had the most stylish (and diverse) wardrobe on the block.

Now, when it’s time to get dressed in the mornings (10 am or so, ‘round here), I usually ask V what she wants to wear. In the last few weeks, her answer has consistently been “Pajamas.” Sadly, that’s usually what she stays in: with no daycare, V is free to wander the house for days at a time, wearing the same jammies as the day before. Essentially, we’re too lazy to dress the child, and she doesn’t seem to mind.

Sometimes, though, a good song comes on the radio, and she’ll gaze up lovingly at Johnny Cash, pull on her pink cowgirl boots, and dance until her hair gets frizzy. Despite our best efforts, our daughter is discovering her own style. And though it scares me a little, I kinda like it.