Thursday, February 28, 2008

Music Tech

I was hip and cool for all of about one day. I downloaded "SexyBack" by Justin Timberlake from iTunes. I played it loudly in my car. I consulted the internet and found out I'm a year and a half too late.

But them's the breaks when the antenna to your car is laying in a Panera's parking lot somewhere in Southern Maryland. If I were to rely solely on what the metal in my car is now able to pick up on the radio, I'd be limited to a Christian rock station. If I depended on my kids, I'd be singing "Who lives in a pineapple under the sea...." Babycakes does books-on-tape these days so I'd venture to guess that his knowledge of current pop music is worse than mine.


And so I bombard the fam with what I've accumulated on my most beloved item - my iPod. It really runs the gamut from truly embarrassing (Who Let The Dogs Out, Rocky Mountain High and Wannabe) to the gorgeous voices of Michael Buble, June Tabor and Jack Johnson. And can you say you know anyone else with Mediaeval Baebes on their iPod? I've got movie music, TV music and soundbites. Shouldn't all kids learn to comment "Mmmmm....forbidden doughnut...." as they bite into that Krispy Kreme?

Peace Corps would've been bliss with an iPod. I somehow existed two years with:

1) A walkman that only made it one year - until I had to pay off a teacher with it to take my week of MOD (Master on Duty) at school. I wasn't cut out for Kenyan discipline.

2) A tape player that made it almost a year and a half with the help of a screwdriver permanently jammed into the tape-lifting mechanism. It had a final date with my pit latrine.

3) A shortwave radio that picked up Voice of America, BBC and Deutsche Welle on the good days and Kenyan Sundowner on the bad. Sundowner was overly fond of Kenny Rogers and a song called "Roses for Mama."

Ahhhh..memory lane...I'll leave you with possibly the best line of lyrics EVER:

Absorbent and yellow and porous is he SPONGE BOB SQUARE PANTS!

Stay Tuned

Coming soon (in the next week or so).... Alice documents the use of her newest toy on BoyChild! Will BoyChild look respectable? Will BoyChild end up with a bald spot somewhere? Will BoyChild need to wear a hat to school? Stay tuned......

Guilty Pleasures

According to my Neopets account, I've now been putzing around on their website for a full 28 months. For those with poor ciphering skills, that's a little over 2 years.

It started out even more innocently than the silly Pokemon cards. While reading "Supersize Me" and "Fast Food Nation" and getting completely grossed out with McDonald's and the meat processing industry in general - one of the books mentioned that McDonald's was so pervasive that they even advertised on a kid's site called Neopets. I immediately investigated.

One account created. One account going strong after 28 months.

Don't know what Neopets are all about? You create a fake pet, take care of it and traipse around the world of Neopia. Some people focus on battling with their pets, some focus on the houses that you can create and fill with furniture, and most of us scramble for Neopoints which is the local currency on the site. You accrue items, you can sell them, display them, horde them.

Every now and then I wax philosophical about my time wasted and determine that I should just abandon the whole she-bang. Conversation in head:

Con: What is the point? What is the freakin' point?

Pro: But you are SOOOOOO close to getting that set of Full Eyrie Armour.

Con: it counts for anything in the real world.....

Pro: But in Neopia, all Eyrie collectors will look upon your gallery and weep.

Con: Yeaaaahhhhhh.....

Con: But the pile of clothes to be folded is taller than GirlChild.

Pro: Ahh...they can always pull their underwear from the pile.

Con: Good point.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

How do YOU get your music fix on the pot?


Pokemon has pretty much become a household phenomenon ever since BoyChild dragged it home from school in the fall. Come on....just try it can't get addicted the first time. *snort* It starts innocently enough with a few packs of cards and escalates quickly into a living, breathing thing of its own.

BoyChild saved his money to buy a Nintendo DS so he could play Pokemon electronically. Babycakes (my hubby) played after BoyChild went to bed. Babycakes comes up to me and says, "I think I'm gonna need a DS for Christmas." GirlChild saves her money and buys her own too. Does any four person family need this many handheld gaming devices?

The cards continue to accrue.

Babycakes actually reads the instructions and figures how to play a legitimate game with the cards. I'm getting scared. Especially since I'm a competitive EBay addict and cards aplenty can be found there.

Do you understand the problem with having a competitive personality and bidding on EBay? In reality it means you'll pay more for your crap because the thought of 'illuminati153' winning a HOLO CHARIZARD NEAR MINT 120HP disturbs you. Within the last 15 seconds of an auction, I'm pretty sure my blood pressure spikes through the roof and the refresh button on my keyboard has a permanent impression of my fingerprint.

And so I've become this Pokemon Card Lurking EBayer which is having serious implications on my bank account. I'd like to shake the hand of the marketing genius for Pokemon who came up with the catchphrase : GOTTA CATCH'EM ALL!

As a side note: please note our new playroom wall. You are viewing Mantine, Piplup and Darkrai. If these names mean something to you, I figure you are in the same boat as me. If these names mean nothing, count your blessings.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Aggravating Aggravation...Grrr....

Wanna play a game with your 4 and 6 year old? Well don't FREAKIN' choose Aggravation!

It's name pretty much sums up what the next 30 minutes will be like for you - and I'm not really addressing the whole he-landed-on-my-marble-and-I have-to-go-back-to-start thing.

For those not in-the-know, you start with 4 marbles at your base. You must roll a 1 or a 6 to escape your little base hell and then try to get your marbles around the board and back home first. At the same time, other folks are trying to get around the board and if they land on your marble...well...sayonora dude, you're heading back to base.

BoyChild has problems grasping that you shouldn't waste an opportunity to get a marble out of base and into play. When I force him to do this he complains that the problem now is that he can't decide which marble to move. Apparently life was easier with one marble and limited decisions.

GirlChild has trouble counting the tiny marble holes. She recounts multiple times, with a new starting point pretty much every time. This is when I decide we only need to get two, rather than four marbles around the board and throw the extras into the box.

BoyChild cannot throw the die without it landing half-way across the room. BoyChild goes to get the die and hits the board with his foot causing all marbles to start rolling around on the board. That's when I replaced all marbles a little closer to the finish line.

And the best part - how I got out of finishing the game! BoyChild is pretty obsessive-compulsive and is currently filling in a check sheet for school about things you do every day to be healthy. The final check is: I took a bath. I ask if he's ready for a shower and you could just see the light pop from his head.....Oh boy! I'll be able to complete my whole checklist for Tuesday! Zoom Zoom Zoom.

Sayonora Aggravation.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Malarial Flu Strain

Some malarial flu strain has hit! OK, I'm making the malaria part up, but based on what my students in Kenya used to tell me about it, I'm guessing this is close. I go through bouts of fever and chills and spent the night adding fleece shirts, pants and socks - only to strip down 2 hours later. I also tend to suffer the same dream over and over when I'm sick so I at least had the foresight to switch from the book about misogyny (not really light reading and creepy to boot) to "Moon Called" (about werewolves) right before I passed out. It was a long bizarre night. I'd like to take you on the trip through werewolf-hallucination time but it's making less sense now. That's not to say that it was making sense before either.

I think Dave Barry summed up this particular strain the best in "Molecular Homicide."

"I spend a lot of time lying very still and thinking flu-related thoughts."

"Another symptom is that you cease brushing your teeth because (a) your teeth hurt and (b) you lack the strength."

"Air really is made up of tiny objects called "molecules." I know this because I can feel them banging against my body."

Off for more drugs.