Friday, April 20, 2007

Maria Loves to Dance

She missed many days of her dance class, and I thought being only two, she would have forgotten a lot of details about dance class.
I was wrong (a recurring theme in my life.) Of course she recognized her dancing clothes and she was happy to suit-up. What surprised me was how totally elated she was when we arrived in the strip mall parking lot, where the little dance studio is located. Personally, I find that all strip malls look the same, but somehow she knew where we were and with no clues or prompting from me she exclaimed, "Oh, wow! Dance, dance. Oh right!" She clapped and did a little rhythmic wriggle in car-seat. In class we are too busy for photo-ops. She keeps me on my toes, participating with her. We touch our toes, we tap our toes, we hop and jump and we wave swirly scarves while we float and flit with the other little girls, mommies and grandmas.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

"Best Animal Blogger" presents: Toby Otis!

Since his official adoption announcement went out yesterday, I can now share in celebrating Toby Otis finding his way into his new and wonderful home. You can find this little honey of a dog living with Anne, Adam, Jacob and Dave, oh, yes, and Patrick el Gato, of course. He is a devoted and sweet four year old beagle mix. What a lucky family.

I think it's because of Toby's earnest expression and Anne's generous, tireless campaigning, that my vote count, in the category of "Best Animal Blogger," has, literally, shot up to 6! I am grateful, truly. It's not easy to vote. There are hoops to leap through and forms to fill out. I still haven't figured out a way to stuff the ballot box with my own X. So, if you are like my Mom, and feel queasy or unsure in the face of blogosphere culture and technology, then take heart, drop me a line... it's the thought that counts, right? And thank you Tarie, for your kind support, and Holly, you too (I would gladly link to your genius, talent and skill any day.) Geoff, darling, thank you for your vote and always for your technical support (he's even virtually designed my next iMac. True love.) And last but not least, Aziz, in India. You are a voting fool (American idiom, meaning you have voted a lot, like a raging ballot stuffer. It's cool.) and a total stranger and I appreciate the gesture. Thank you.

Now back to parenting, house cleaning, cooking

and entertaining the locals with my wit and eloquence.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

As everyone is anxious to know how the contest is going, and where I stand in the race to fame and success, I announce that as of 6:55 a.m. I have 3 VOTES. Read 'em and weep! 3 votes, and a dear friend in the Philippines aching to know how she can cast her vote. (Tarie you are a sweetheart!)

So how do you vote?
No, seriously, how do you vote?
I know you have to sign-in and create an account.
I know you have to do a search and find Chickenblog.
I know you have to log in and enter a password.
My server won't let me sign-in and vote! It's not cheating. Hey, don't look so disappointed. We already discussed this... I have no pride and this is a shameless campaign of self promotion for my own amusement.

There is no instrument of torture I could use, no amount of pleading, bribing or begging I could do, to round up 200 or so, interested or annoyed friends, acquaintances or homeless people to vote for me. Even our wedding only drew about 108 guests, and 12 of them were complete strangers.

Yes, the campaign trail is tough and only the quick, clever and enterprising will come out on top. That's okay with me. It turns out I got kind of nervous thinking of attracting a lot of attention to Chickenblog. I think, honestly, that coming in under the radar is more my style. I used to send out a lot of individual emails to friends and family, and I really wanted to maintain a connection with people I cannot visit regularly. I still want to be connected and that was the main reason for starting Chickenblog in the first place, so that I can share updates and my ups, downs and sideways thinking with interested friends and family. My highest hope is that Chickenblog becomes an open hall for exchanges and dialogue, as though we were sitting around the kitchen table together, laughing, supporting one another, and delighting in each other's company. So, though I am nominated in like 5 different categories, I don't think I am qualified for top honors in any of those. I think I will accept: "Quietest Blog, Here for the Long Haul"

Now, time to make breakfast, pack lunches, clean cat barf, and get beautiful for the day ahead.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This me tooting my own horn, or am I crowing?
Clucking, that's it. I'm clucking.
I stuck my own foot in the door... tee-hee

Like I said, there are a lot of bloggers out there and in the race to be the *best,* they have a huge headstart on me, but sometimes it's fun just showing up. Mom, remember when we ran the Bonnie Bell 10K? It was humiliating, but we got *free* lip gloss! So, I'm at the party, cruising the free food, smiling like I belong. My acceptance speech is typed up.

I am giddy.
I am tickled.
I care.
I can't say I am shocked (I nominated myself, which come to think of it, is shocking.)
Maria would say cute-cute, if she could get her hands on one of these doll quilts being made at Turkey Feathers I would have to agree with her. Anne, would we have any business, or time, making cute-cute little quilts? Anne and I are committed to starting quilts. Soon, right? So, if you follow the link to "Turkey Feathers" you are going to discover some serious craftiness, which is what I keep discovering all over the blogosphere, like the very inspiring Alicia at "Posie Gets Cozy." For a meditative experience and artful inspiration, I love to visit Firefly at "I Live on a Farm." She writes, take beautiful photographs, knits and paints and creates cute-cute things. She also finds beauty in the smallest details, which is uplifting. If stitching and painting aren't your thing, then consider getting dirty! Seriously, get dirty, because it may boost your mood and improve your immunity. I have long known the joy of getting my hands in garden soil, and I've even believed that a year without a garden is a sad and risky proposition.

Maria is singing her song: "Happy day, happy day cake! Happy day, happy day cookie. Happy cake. Happy cookie! Happy frog!" It's beautiful.

Monday, April 16, 2007

It turns out, ships really did have rams. Look it up.

Here at Cramalot a lot of conversations are about life in medieval times, so it isn't surprising that just last week we were talking about medieval dinners, like mutton. We talked about eating without utensils, and drinking mead, and we made mutton jokes, which is what we were doing when William asked something like, "Hey, did they have rams on the prows of ships?" This was a non-sequitur, and as I was still thinking of mutton and other sheep, an image came to mind, that I immediately described to Alex and William. Naturally, I do not expect you to laugh as hard as we did (these sorts of hilarities rarely transcribe well.) So when we were nearly done busting up, I begged Alex to draw me a ship with a very large and hapless ram, not a beam of wood meant to forcefully ram another ship, but a wooly mammal in a tight bind.
Pure Randomness

There is yet another Blog Award contest thingy going on. This is not The Bloggies, which were what shameless bloggers were clamoring for last month. No, this is a new way for people who post about their cute kids, pet peeves, favorite foods, destinations, sports and lotions, politics, Geek subjects, photography, humor, deep thoughts and musings, to get attention, and congratulate themselves. I hinted, none to subtly, to Geoff that he could nominate a certain headless chicken woman we know; she's been scratching and clucking for nearly 5 years. The playing field is already so full of more boisterous, talented and popular bloggers, that there really is no point in showing up.

So instead I will whine a little. It goes like this: I will gag if I read one more nominated blogger who casually refers to their nomination saying something like:

'Oh, who cares? I never pay attention to these silly things, and by the way here is a link where you can go and vote for Me in 5 categories, but only if you really think I am amazing, which I'm sure you don't, and it really makes no difference to Me anyway. Oh, and purely by coincidence, while I am mentioning it, here are more links to Me and My earlier posts when I was particularly witty, cute or talented.'

These people are so full of $@!* and false modesty! They have many followers and readers and people who regularly comment and sing their praises, so who are they kidding when they act surprised or humble? There is not a blogger out there that doesn't desire attention or recognition or validation. DUH! Or why would they have their words, talents, interests, photographs, links, recipes and drivel posted on public forums, on the World Wide Web?

Not me. If I were nominated I would be shocked, because even after 5 years of faithfully sharing and unabashedly vying for attention and feedback I still only know of 5 people who read Chickenblog. I would be shocked, because even when I, none to subtly, ask to be considered for possible nomination, it falls on deaf ears, and I only half think it was a good idea anyway, because Chickenblog is one of the longest running and most under the radar blogs out there. This isn't false modesty or sour grapes. I have been practicing self-deprecating humor, earnestly and faithfully, most of my life... I have no need of pretending I am unworthy of a big honking blogger trophy. If I were nominated I would be giddy and tickled. I would hope for lots and lots of votes and I would post a big icon button to the voting booth for the reader's convenience. And I absolutely would not pretend that I don't care.

Now, just in case that other stuff means nothing to you, I have included some highly significant and interesting pictures for your viewing pleasure, because even though I am ready to throw in the towel, I always think of just one more thing to share.

Like a truly huge strawberry. Just look at the size of that berry! Must be one of those San Onofre Nuclear Power Chi-Chi berries. A glow in the dark mutant.

Mutant berries make strong thumbs.

Anne and Adam came to our picnic and we brought Mitchell too. You missed a good time. You. Whoever you are. We saw turtles and ducks and skinny, fast moving squirrels. Maria and I loved the wholly wholesome muffins Anne brought. There was some hiking, exploring digging, laughing, and even a little lazing about... just the right balance of activities.

The ducks were pairing off and squaring off. One man duck in particular was very territorial and protective of his duck woman. He chased off the competition several times.

Sigh. It's back to school time now.