Archive for June, 2009

Really.  I mean, I have some sympathy in my heart for his family, and I feel badly for those in his employ, but that’s about it. 

I was a child of the 80’s.  I remember MJ back then.  I was not a fan, short of a brief admiration of the Thriller video.  And I am still not a fan, even today. 

My contemporaries on Facebook have been posting video after video after video, and it’s been all I can do to endure it.  There for a while over the weekend, even the venerable CNN website listed coverage of MJ over coverage of what’s happening in Iran. 


I mean, really.  Let’s not put this on the same playing field as Elvis.  Because I can see the future — people will say that MJ did not die, he just faked his death.  These same people do not want to believe it’s true, will not accept it. 

When an old person dies, he takes a large portion of the past with him.  When a child dies, he takes a large portion of the future.  What about a man somewhere in the middle?  What does he take with him? 

I am waiting for some semblance of normalcy to return to the world. 


— Mox

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If you’ve been reading here any length of time, you know that the Mox family enjoys the beach.  We like the beach for many reasons.  If you’re us and you’re at the beach, it’s warm.  We like warm.  We also like sunny and breezy.  We like the opportunities we get to see some nature.  We like to build sand sculptures, too. 

It was with this in mind that my husband and I set about building a sandbox for Spawn in our back yard.  Previous sandboxes were more like sand piles, just a bit of river sand dumped strategically at the foot of the playset climbing tower.  Spawn pretty well dug to China in that stuff, mixing it with the dirt underneath to the point that it was no longer a sandpile but a mudhole. 

As a mom and the person who does the laundry around here, I am not in favor of mudholes. 

When spring rolled around, we looked at the sad, sorry state of the sandpile and decided to really do it up right this year.  My husband trenched out about six inches of dirt, lined it with landscape fabric, and rimmed it with edging.  All it needed was sand. 

We searched for a while for play sand, but the play sand we found was pretty much river sand, just bagged up and pricey.  And then we found it:  white sand. 

White sand like you find on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. 

Though it was considerably pricier than the regular play sand, we bought enough of it to fill the sandbox, and voila — Spawn had a personal beach. 

It’s been a great hit.  Except I forgot one thing about white sand.  White sand is so finely grained that it sticks to any and everything, and you can’t just dust it off like regular river sand.  Which means you track it in on your feet and it clings to your clothes, and it’s hard to get swept up. 

The floors in my house are now slightly gritty, as are the sheets on Spawn’s bed.  I find white footprints on my green carpet, and could probably exfoliate with the sand that finds its’ way onto my legs each night. 

A little bit of the beach brought home. 


— Mox

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Sound advice.



— Mox

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Gang aft agley.

I am undecided at this point if I am failing my diet or my diet is failing me. 

I start out at the cusp of each morning with good intentions, that one thing is for sure.  By about 10:30 all is for naught. 

You see, I am low-carbing.  Or rather, my brain is low-carbing.  My mouth is in abject defiance. 

Mainly I’m on the LC wagon right now because my husband is doing it, and it’s just simpler if we’re supporting each other. 

I try to do the low-carb thing whenever my husband is doing it, because it saves me a lot of grief in the kitchen in the evenings.  When he’s low-carbing, I fix meals that fit the LC bill.  Trust me, there’s nothing sadder than a plate full of spaghetti sauce and no spaghetti. 

And I really like spaghetti.  With garlic bread.  And a big glass of Lambrusco. 

But the long and short of it is, I cannot adhere to a low-carb diet, at least for as long as it takes to get any sort of results.  But I do pay more attention to what I eat nowadays, which just results in me silently loathing myself for that order of onion rings and Dr. Pepper I had for dinner when I took my dad out to eat. 

It’s skewed thinking like that that really concerns me.  The whole point is I spend the time with my dad, right?  And if he wants to eat at Sonic, I’m going to go to Sonic. 

And yet I know that if I don’t get a grip on myself, the numbers on the scale are going to continue to go up.  At some point they will be beyond a simple correction in eating habits for a few days/weeks. 

In the meantime, I have taken to justifying peanut M&Ms because they have peanuts and peanuts are protein.  Right?  Right? 


— Mox

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Spawn survived Acting Camp, aka Basic Actor’s Training (BAT), and even participated in a performance at the end of the week.  The campers performed a variety of Shel Silverstein poems, and Spawn got up and read one in front of the assembled moms and dads.  Of course the kid held the paper at face level while reading, which made it hard to hear, but #1, the kid got up in front of a crowd and #2, read out loud. 

And this week, the kid has been asking me, “Mom, remember when we did ________ at BAT Camp?”  “Which poem did you like best?”  “I liked the one about the lunchbox and the snake, didn’t you?” 

Oh, Spawn.  You don’t fool me.  You enjoyed it. 

The kid was a little off-kilter on Friday morning, knowing that the performance was coming up.  I’ve learned through trial and error that the best way to soothe the kid’s nerves is to be no-nonsense about things.  Giving in to nerves quickly morphs into a full-blown freakout, and I am not good in a freakout situation. 

What also helped was getting the kid’s mind off the situation.  Our office building has been home to a nesting duck for the past month, and each day last week Spawn and I stopped to say hello to “Quackers.”  Why the duck chose our office building landscaping to nest, five blocks from the river, I don’t know.  But the whole building had been on Duck Watch, feeding the mama and waiting for the eggs to hatch.  On Friday morning, my crabby, nervous kid and I stopped for our morning hello and…


Hello, indeed. 

Spawn was over the moon at the sight of a little baby duck.  All the nerves were forgotten in the excitement. 


Seven babies altogether.  It was quite the event. 

When we came back on Monday Quackers and her brood were gone.  Spawn is back at the zoo for their animal camp, and having a ball.  Order has been restored in the world. 


— Mox

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Spawn has been in daycamp this week at the local children’s museum, and this week has not been quite what the kid was expecting. 

When we signed up for the various daycamps a couple of months ago, I went through the various brochures and camp descriptions, line by line, and Spawn decided which ones were interesting enough to agree to.  This sort of thing is always a delicate process, because Spawn can be quite agreeable and even adventuresome but can also be kind of a pill about trying anything.  I have to be sure to hit the right moment in time, when the stars and planets are aligned and the kid is in a agreeable mood, before attempting to sign up for anything.  If you are not a natural-born diplomat this process can be quite maddening.  But I hit upon a happy mood one day and we were able to line out all the daycamps at one sitting. 

This week’s daycamp is an acting camp.  I was a bit dubious about Spawn wanting to do this, but this kid said yes to it.  It’s not a question of tapping into the drama — the kid is quite dramatic.  It’s the learning to let go of the self-consciousness and dive in.  To be honest I struggle with that even at 41 years of age, and when the kid said “I’ll do that” I didn’t question it, because if you can learn it at 8 that’s a lot better than still trying to overcome it at 41. 

It has not been a lot of fun for the kid this week, I’ll tell you that.  But thank goodness (and the medication), the kid has not had any major meltdowns or clingyness.  Spawn has squared shoulders and marched in with a confidence that has mostly belied the interior quaking, and I am amazed at the transformation.  I think the knowledge that it’s only one week out of the whole summer has eased the issue a bit. 

Years ago a company I worked for sent me to a Dale Carnegie course, and this is something I have never regretted saying yes to.  Not that I put a lot of it into practice, but just having the knowledge has been a powerful help.  This camp has been somewhat the same for Spawn, and I hope the lessons learned this week will carry over into other situations.  It’s been so hard for the kid to struggle in comparison to peers at school, and it’s made Spawn sensitive and self-conscious about being different.  The trick has been to encourage the kid to excel at the things that come naturally, and learn to adapt to the things that are difficult. 

It’s been hard to see the kid in these struggles, but I know that by not allowing the kid to work through them, I’m not being a good mom.  Hard work is sometimes its’ own reward.  And to borrow a bit of wisdom from my own mother, someday the kid will understand why I did the things I did. 


— Mox

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I chuckle at this because in a lot of ways, this is the kind of student I was.  My high school teachers didn’t know what to do with me so they gave me A’s and my college professors sort of saw through my charade and challenged me . 


I like to think I came out ahead, because it made me a better writer and a better thinker, though working in advertising has at times served to turn my grey matter into pudding.  I’ve been at it so long I’m not too sure there’s an original idea left in the world. 

~sigh~  I miss Calvin and Hobbes. 



— Mox

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