7 quick takes Friday
1.One of the saddest things in the world is making delicious high calorie food and then burning it. On the one hand, you have spent money and time on this creation. On the other, what is the point of consuming bad-for-you-food when it doesn’t taste good. A cruel conundrum. This is why I recommend vigilance. And am also considering getting new baking sheets.
2. As I remember every year, gift giving is an art—not a science. Which is why someone, in suggesting to a friend what to get for her spoiled child (this is a purely fictional scenario) might write “cool binky.” Which could translate into this gift (already sold out on some websites): http://www.perpetualkid.com/moustache-pacifier.aspx
Or this creepfest: http://www.perpetualkid.com/little-vampire-pacifier.aspx
3. It was so funny seeing Jen Fulwiler’s mention of how she gets into Christmas cards. See: http://www.conversiondiary.com/index.php?s=Christmas+cards Funny because I love Jen and she’s brilliant and we have so much in common but Christmas cards are the absolute bane of my existence because:
a) They come at a really busy time of year.
b) They come at the end of the semester (this is mostly a problem when I’m teaching…)
c) I never know who exactly to send them to (I mean, people who live far away ‘need’ them most since we don’t have much contact. But then do I NOT send them to close-by friends?
d) I’m never sure what to write (I always want to write more but don’t have the time and not sure what to say and not up for sending a full family report every year…).
e) My mother never sent any.
f) My father only sent a few, almost all of which he sent after Christmas, only to a few family members.
g) My husband sends them nice and early to all the people on HIS side.
Can you tell I could go on? But I’ll stop here. I’m open to being convinced—and to changing.
4. My husband and I went on a Downton Abbey watching fest a couple of weeks ago. It’s a really extraordinary series (we’ve finished the first two seasons). Most dramas seem to be about a person, a family, a company, a group—you name it—crashing and burning. It can be slow (better drama) or fast—but when there’s drama, it’s usually bad. (Think The Godfather, Mad Men, The Shield, etc.) One of the thing I love about Downton is that there’s plenty of drama—but there’s also plenty of good. And good people. And the drama comes mostly from good but imperfect people facing complicated circumstances and figuring out what to do.
5. I committed to doing this blog knowing that I’d have to be patient with a super slow, erratic speed. But I disappointed even my own personal low standard when I failed to blog at all last month (and I’m not working outside the home right now). There are boring reasons for that but the interesting reason is that I am reading these books by the Heath brothers and absolutely loving them so I don’t want to slow down to write them. Highly recommend. Made to Stick is great but Switch is even better. Read them now.
6. Inspired by many things—Switch among them—I decided to commit to daily mass during Advent this year. Amazing what a difference one thing can make (like making your bed, only better). There were a lot of reasons why I didn’t go before (two small, unruly children among them). But everything is more ordered—internally and externally—now that I’ve started going. Wow.
7. My daughter—a bright, energetic girl, really!—recently had a homework assigned where they were asked to identify “factual” sentences and distinguish them from persuasive ones. At the end they were asked to write a sentence “trying to convince others to agree with you about something that is important to you.” Here is what she wrote (sorry, didn't have time to scan it in her 9-year old writing):
Chickens are pests.
I laughed so hard I cried. And then she laughed with me. Good to instill a good sense of self-mockery in your children from an early age. Serves us all well throughout our lives.