Friday, February 15, 2013

The Friday Four, Part 1

Welcome to the inaugural edition of my new series: "The Friday Four."  Nothing fancy, just four, most likely unrelated, books or blogs or websites or vignettes or thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head recently.  I've seen other blogs that do seven or five, but that seems like a lot, so I'm going to manage my expectations and settle on four...  Nice round number and all.


So, as you know, Valentine's Day was yesterday.  I've never been really big on most holidays, and the overwhelming commercialization irritates me.  (In a lot of ways, I think Valentine's Day is worse than Christmas in that regard.)  Consequently, I tend to ignore holidays, or at least not think about them until they are unavoidable, so they frequently sneak up on me.  We didn't do heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast or, like a friend of mine, heart-shaped pizza for dinner.  But yesterday morning, my son requested spaghetti and meatballs.  And that got me thinking about that scene from Lady and the Tramp in the alley behind the Italian restaurant with the checkered tablecloth and the huge shared plate of pasta with the chef singing in the background.  And then that song was stuck in my head the rest of the day.  And I got thinking, it's pretty remarkable for an animated movie about dogs to be able to claim one of the most romantic songs (and scenes) ever in a film.  Do you have any favorites?


My youngest has a dairy and soy allergy, so his default beverage is almond milk.  The stuff is definitely more expensive than regular cow's milk, but you do what you have to do, right?  So this morning he used the last of his almond milk on his Cheerios, and I went to buy more while he was in preschool.

And the chocolate almond milk was on sale.

Nectar of the gods, dear readers, nectar of the gods.  My child has been known to go through an entire half gallon in a single day with very little assistance from me or his dad.  So I only bought one half gallon and hid it in the very back of the refrigerator when I got home.  Maybe I'll get more than a sip this time.


This is actually a picture of one of the first batch of ill-fated chickens, but Josh picked out his second one specifically because she looked a lot like this one.  And he named them both "Buffy."  Poor kid is going to need therapy, isn't he?
A couple of months ago, coyotes got all five of our chickens while they were out of the coop scratching.  Nothing much was left except for five very localized piles of feathers scattered across our property.  Our three boys were devastated, particularly Josh, the middle child who has a soft spot for critters of every kind.  We managed to find some more chickens in January; each boy got to pick out one.  One morning a couple of weeks ago, when the boys went out to feed and water the chickens before school, one of the birds - of course, the one that Josh had picked out - "was still sleeping," Josh reported.  His older brother Will, in his characteristically blunt manner, said, "Um, she's not sleeping.  She's dead."

Note to self: Put "tact" on the list of skills we need to work on.

Anyway, there was, once again, sadness for the poor chicken who was no longer with us.  Gene buried her while the boys were at school, and after school, a heart-broken Josh asked to be shown where she was buried.  So Gene, Josh, and Evan, our youngest, all went out to see.  Josh sniffled a bit over her grave and then said, "I'm happy that she's in heaven with Jesus and our other chickens now."

And four-year-old Evan pipes up, "All except the feathers, 'cuz they're still kind of all over the hill."

Note to self: Bump "tact" to the top of that list.


Anyone who has ever enjoyed a Jane Austen novel, or any of the multitudinous adaptations made over the past century, really needs to go watch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.  It's a fascinating exercise in not only successful adaptations of Pride & Prejudice, but also in multimedia story-telling.  The characters have youtube channels and twitter accounts and facebook pages and more!  This project seriously has tentacles reaching into almost every social media platform.  And the story itself is updated in a compelling way, too.  The videos are short, mostly between three and five minutes long, and they're on episode 88 of the main storyline now.  Of course, that doesn't include Lydia's vlog, Gigi's demos, and several other tangential videos.  And new spots are posted three or four times a week.  At this point, it will take you several hours to catch up, but it'll be worth it!  (I'm really hoping they release everything on a single DVD or Blu-ray set at some point so we can see how all the different aspects intersect...)

So, when you have nothing else to do (or at least the self-control to Stop. Watching. The. Videos.) click here and enjoy...


  1. So because you don't yet have enough to do, between your other book article, your family, your consulting work, the chickens, the garden, etc., you're going to start a weekly blog series?

  2. Keeps me busy and out of trouble...mostly... ;)