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“They need to learn to cross the street *before* they leave for college”

August 29th, 2008

That was quoted to me by one of my girlfriends at bunco. This friend had been gently chided by another friend for being too overprotective. I tend to be a little too protective here, I will admit, but mainly it’s because I was raised by wolves.

Although I survived — didn’t necessarily thrive, but survived — it’s always been important to me that my kids not have to experience the chaos I did as a kid. Some of it was unpreventable — it was the late ’60s and into the ’70s when I was growing up, everyone was over-reacting to the chilly childhoods they experienced in the ’50s, we were all, you know.

Peace, love and understanding.

Even if that meant turning your kids over to your freaky, stoned friends so they could “help” you.

“It takes a village to raise a child!”
– H. Clinton and others

Yeah, don’t I know it? So when people give me grief because I won’t turn my kids over to them (to stay the night, to go riding in cars with people I don’t know, to go to parties where drugs are being consumed), forgive me and kiss my foot, would you? These are my babies, my joy, my responsibility.

I ran wild in the streets as a child. I truly did. My kids will never know the joy and pain of that.

But this summer I’ve been trying to give my kids a little more freedom. My daughter, who turns nine next week, has been working some as a mother’s helper for our neighbors. I still don’t want to leave her home alone, but she’s readying herself for it. (We’re homebodies. She will never get to throw parties because her Dad and I are hitting the bars and she knows good and well we won’t be home much before 2:30 or 3.)

(If we get home at all.)

Anyway. They’ve both started helping out with more chores at home, and they get to stay up later. They get allowances, and we’re spending some time talking about community service, why their Dad and I do the work we do, what first- and fourth-grade will be like.

We’re working on crossing the street alone, riding bikes, riding skateboards, safety, safety, and fun, fun, too.

What are you comfortable with (and not) with your kids, at the ages they are at? Why?

i like barack obama

August 28th, 2008

Congrats, Mr. Obama, and here’s to a successful race.


my horoscope for today

August 26th, 2008

“You’re getting better at handling your emotions, which helps you connect to others.”

Really? Cuz the emotions have been all over the map for three weeks, Internets. (My husband would probably butt in with, “Just three weeks?”) (They’re getting home from Iowa any minute. I can’t wait. This house is too quiet without my three rowdies here.)

i (heart) Duckworth. RIP, Tall Man

August 26th, 2008

Former Blazer Kevin Duckworth dies
12:33 PM PDT on Tuesday, August 26, 2008
By FRANK MUNGEAM, Kgw.com Staff

Former Portland Trail Blazers center Kevin Duckworth has died
Duckworth, 44, passed away Monday evening in Gleneden Beach, Oregon

Duckworth played for the Blazers between 1986 and 1993. He was part of the Blazers’ 1990 and 1992 Western Conference Championsihp teams, and was voted most improved player in 1988. He was named a Western Conference All-Star in 1989 and 1991.

“Today is an extremely sad day for the Trail Blazers family,” Trail Blazers President Larry Miller said. “Kevin will be remembered by fans as one of the most popular and recognizable players to ever wear the Blazers uniform, but to people who knew him, he’ll be remembered as one of the warmest and biggest-hearted.”

Duckworth remained in the Portland area after his playing career ended. He was an avid fisherman and outdoorsman, and a skilled carpenter, and served as an ambassador for the Trail Blazers. Duckworth was at the Oregon Coast representing the Trail Blazers as a Heritage Ambassador on the team’s 19-city Statewide Summer Tour.

The cause of his death was not immediately known.

– 30 –

(I liked Duckworth. I liked the way he played ball, I appreciated what a team player he was, I thought he was a cool man. I interviewed him once for the newspaper and he was just a big sweetheart. After he left — along with Terry Porter, Danny Ainge, Clyde Drexler and all of my other favorites — the team changed so much. I couldn’t give them my support. I switched my allegiance to hockey. Of late, I’ve become a big fan of high school basketball, though, so maybe the Blazers will get my devotion again, someday. But I wouldn’t count on it.

This is very sad news — he was so young. My thoughts and love go out to Mr. Duckworth’s family.


have you heard of this girl, Stacy Bolt?

August 24th, 2008

Well, she’s funny. I was listening to a re-run of Live Wire last night, our friend Ralph Huntley’s programme (I prefer it spelled that way, don’t you? Looks so official) and who should be a special guest but Stacy Bolt?

She read this post and I was crying I was laughing so hard. Great writer, and great radio voice, too. Perfect timing. And she’s a Portlander! Yee-haw.

Live Wire is a funny show — go listen to a podcast. “Variety for the ears, vaudeville for the mind.” (Go look at some pix of Ralph, while you’re at it. He’s the cute one with the mutton chops.)



“diamond in the back, sunroof top…”

August 22nd, 2008

And now, for the white people…

Q: “What does the phrase “diamond in the back” refer to?”

A: “It means the diamond pattern on the back window of a pimp’s cadillac, check out supafly or something.”

(But I already knew that. Did you? Happy weekend! wm)

Rainforest Information with Chas, Sam & Max

August 21st, 2008

You need to know more about the rainforest? Go check with Nan’s kids.

good thing my mom never reads my blog

August 21st, 2008

My family lives in the Pacific Northwest. This makes us Yankees. My mom’s family lives in Arkansas, Tennessee and Lousiana, which makes them Not-Yankees. You can really tell when my son has been spending a lot of time with my ma and with his best friend N’s ma (who hails from Texas). He comes home with a hint of a drawl and putting together sentences in a whole new way.

So when his dad told him just now to go find some pajamas? Wacky Boy told him: “Why Daddy!” (not “Why, Daddy?” but “Why Daddy!”) “Why Daddy! You know I sleep in mah underwear!”

Awww. Just like his great-grandpa!

Sandra Tsing Loh

August 21st, 2008

Mother on Fire. Funny interview — give it a read.

damn books that make me cry

August 21st, 2008

Just finished reading Sharon Creech’s “Love That Dog” aloud to the kids. Wacky Girl had to take over when I started crying.

Have added “Love That Dog” to list of books (“Charlotte’s Web,” “The Yearling,” uh, “Bambi”) that I will not be reading aloud to my students.

Also I think I will skip “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” and “Then Again Maybe I Won’t.” My sixth-grade teacher, Mr. Bell, bravely read both to us. I am not the man he was. Also, no “Wifey.” You’ve got to have some boundaries when reading aloud to students. “The English Patient”? Nope. Anything by Anais Nin? Nopey-nope.

No to “A Day No Pigs Would Die.” Ditto, “The Pigman.” Basically, no pigs. Nothing with “pig” in the title, nothing with a pig theme. Because even though Wilbur lives in “Charlotte’s Web,” it is not exactly a happy ending now, is it? Contrary to what my daughter would tell you.

Today’s books:


And even more…:

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