Friday, September 01, 2017

Chicken Give-Away! We Have a Winner

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner Squawk!

Sometimes, being a Chicken Blogger has hilarious perks... like when Mattel Games sends you an egg-splosive new chicken game to play with! My friends know I love chickens, and I've received a good number of chicken themed gifts over the years, but it's pretty funny to have your chicken obsession recognized by a toy company!

Squawk arrived in the mail, nestled in a charming bed of straw-like pine shavings, and all ready to give us our first laugh (incidentally this is my first mail-order chicken delivery, and I've always wanted to receive chicks by post.)

"Press Me!" Of course I did, and I was not disappointed. Ok... I am not sure it sounds like any chicken I've ever heard, but it is farcically funny. It's not part of the game, but I have to add: Mister Foo came running into the room, and he meowed every time the chicken exclaimed it's ridiculous Squawk!

Are you curious? Do you have little kids in the house, grandchildren visiting, are you like me... eternally child-like(ish??) Mattel Games would like ChickenBlog to share two of these games with our readers! Fun, right? I am going to make this as light-hearted and simple as this silly and fun game... just leave a comment. Comment here, on this post, and I will put your name in the top hat. If you comment at our Instagram page, then I will add your name a second time. We will draw two names on September 8th! You could be the lucky winner! Winner winner, Chicken Squawk! Winner! Congratulations, Leslie!

Last night we had some friends over, and Sebastian spied my Squawk... and I thought, "Aha! Good time for a test run."

Squawk is on her nest, in the coop, and when Sebastian rolled a "2" he got to press her for an egg, two times. It's a game of chance, and suspense, as you wait for an egg-splosive egg lay from your nesting hen.

This is a toy. And it reminds me of other toys that were eagerly anticipated and hoped for when I was a kid, when my own children wrote a Christmas list, asked Santa. It's an obvious thing to say 'it's a toy,' but I think we sometimes forget to just play, to let children play. We get a little obsessed about "educational" and lose sight of giggles, peals of laughter, silliness, making up new rules, having fun. So, in light of play and silly toys, I think this toy has appeal. And I know Sebastian, Maria, Shayla, and Mister Foo think it's fun, too.

There was some assembly involved... easy. There are instructions for play and game pieces. I think our friends had the most fun when I stepped back and just let them play, of course. It's simple. It's silly. It's loud. It's a toy! I hope you want one... you might enjoy the laughs, like I have.

And kudos to Mattel for losing the plastic-coated wire twist ties that plague toy packaging. I happened to notice and very much appreciate their compostable paper twist tie... and I think it's a nice step for our environment.

(As makers we had an extra measure of pleasure playing with Squawk, because we couldn't help but believe that it's inspired by one of our favorite makers, Adam Savage, and his Ultimate Duck Army! Adam... if you are seeing this, please comment. I think you need this toy!)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I Cannot Say

Sometimes it really frustrates me that I blog, that writing is my most compulsive, instinctive, means of being, of expressing, of connecting with my own feelings, and relating those to the world. All of this frustrates me, because I feel my skills are too limited, my efforts feeble, my success mediocre. When I feel most sincere, most impassioned, I dread being too much... too sensitive, too effusive, and not nearly sophisticated, nor articulate, enough. I resign myself to recording moments and occasions for my own pleasure, to keep track of happiness, to make a narrative of what we do, what we love, and I often censor myself, saying less, being less. But, there are times when I want to reach... to capture and convey, in exactitude, something that transcends nouns and verbs, and genuinely, coherently carries my experience, observations, emotions, to connect with you, the friend, the stranger, the person I imagine might like to perceive what I am trying to reveal... even just so I can make sense of what is in me. I wish that I could exude words from my hands, deposit the amalgam of emotions, sensations, ideas, and impressions that are in me, onto paper, a screen. I can imagine a keyboard with a kind of symbiotic empathy, to give form to my intangible impulses, beliefs, sensations... I find this appealing, and appalling.

I pause. Uncertainty creeps in, and I think about the laundry that needs tackling, the list of things that need doing, that are actually important. And I wonder, really puzzle... How do people do it? How do people work, and create, exercise, clean, inspire, and succeed? You amaze me. It's wrong, I suppose, to assume that everyone else is 'doing it right' and has a handle on things, but I've seen it. There are amazing people out there, and I am in awe of what they do. I have these ideas and feelings, a narrative formulating and I can't help but try to say it, to put it into words... but I stand in my own way, with lists of chores, with self-doubt, second-guessing, with a kind of gnawing anxiety of doing it poorly, of being too much, or not reaching quite far enough. Sometimes, likely too often, the results are a half-baked post, bills paid late, and no clean socks in the morning.

What I had intended, hoped to do, was write about a concert, about incredibly talented, hard working people who gave so generously of themselves that 18,000 people stood and cheered, danced, and sang along. I meant to find the words to say that there is a power in music, in the hearts of people who make music, to convey energy, to project their joy, their message, their intentions, and it's so effective, so tangible that one can feel... zealous? The insinuation is not good. I mean it less fanatically, more inspired, connected emotionally. I wonder, in another language, is there a word or expression for energy that crosses from one person to another, an unseen force that connects us?

But, I have errands to run, and we are almost out of clean socks...