Tag Archives: kids

Journal – No sound of crickets here

 

Yesterday was my birthday. Since my birthday is a national holiday, quite a few people were allowed to stay home. Instead of working I chased my nephew and nieces around outside, sat in front of a fire, and had a nice dinner.

The kids had erected a steep five foot slide out of the snow, with no stairs. It was packed slick from many kid butts, so the only way to really use it was to throw yourself facefirst over the side wall and then slide down on your belly like a penguin. The kids managed to sled down it, go down on their knees, all kinds of tricks. I was just happy to be able to manage the penguin thing.

For my birthday present, I made my sister buy me cricket powder. Then we made cricket crackers (the cricket-eating community like to call these “chirps” instead of chips) and her whole family was forced to eat them with dinner. It was all that I could have asked for and more!

We learned that crickets taste odd. Very earthy. They’re little earth golems, so they taste like dirt, cocoa, mushrooms, strange buggy overtones, and the occasional tiny gravel crunch that makes you stop chewing and go… what part was that? All in all a very brown flavor.

I could get to like them. They’re healthy, sustainable, and a source of protein in many other cultures. But it’d take some training, some mental gymnastics, and a lot more cricket powder. It’s too expensive! And why should I work so hard to train myself to enjoy a food which would just further cull me from the herd?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Feeling Large and Heavy

 

I got to play on an obstacle course

I didn’t have courage for half of the things

And wasn’t physically capable of the other half

I felt very large and heavy

I think if there’d been more adults on it

I wouldn’t have felt so silly

And maybe would have tried harder

 

I urged my sister

“Climb the 10 foot warped wall, for women everywhere!”

She looked at me funny.

Wondering if I’d said something sexist,

I revised my statement

“I mean… just for me, right here.”

I wanted her to do it

(I’m certain she could)

Because I was incapable

And I’ve spent my life feeling athletic

Vicariously through her.

 

Feeling large

And barge-y

Stomping around on my giant feet

I have grace

For one my weight

But no one else here is like me

The kids are swift, slender elves

My sister is strong and light

She is bamboo

She is tendons veins gristle

She is elegant cheekbones and arched brows

And blessed melanin, actual eyelashes, tanning skin

She slips through anything

She climbs like a rat

She swings like a monkey

 

Here I sit, here I sit

Pores full of shit

Not fit

 

Just the same I tried to flip

And hit the trampoline

Like a thrown elephant.

WHAM!

A man quickly approaches me

“You did sign the waiver, right?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Dos and Don’ts with Turkey

 

This was written by my friend Liz and me when we were in 7th grade, so about 12 years old? We spent all day at school just passing stories back and forth and giggling insanely. I’m surprised we didn’t get into more trouble, really.

This was an early one so it’s extra random. We hadn’t honed our process yet… haha

 

 


 

 

The boy was killed.  Then Suzy came and buried him. Bob killed Suzy and a horse ate Bob.  The horse was the one who originally killed the Boy because he was eaten by a thawed-out turkey.

Does this make sense to you?

The horse killed the boy first, then was eaten by the thawed-out turkey.

Then Albert caned the turkey. Albert told the turkey as he caned him, “Don’t make friends!”

The turkey screamed.

Albert jumped back.  Did it just scream?  He was terrified!  Then… did its wing twitch?  What was going on?

Albert felt his heart pumping harder and faster.  He started breathing faster.

The turkey’s leg moved.  There was no mistaking.  This thawed-out turkey was still alive.  Albert’s cane slipped out of his sweaty palms.  It clattered on the ground.  He stared at the turkey.  He couldn’t move his eyes off of it to find his cane.  He started shaking.  Was he crazy?  Was this all a dream?  He turned to run away, but he felt a cold, clammy wing on his ankle.

 

Suzy came in the kitchen.  Where was Albert?  Oh, well.  She cooked the turkey for dinner.

She put the oven on 3,500°F and °C and after 3 hours the oven was on fire.

But the turkey was still alive.  It burst out of the oven.  It was flaming.  It ran toward Suzy. She screamed.

Grandma came in.  Where was Suzy?  Oh, well.  She cooked the turkey again.  Then her granddaughter ran in and said, “I love turkey!  Where did I come from?”  Grandma said, “You came from a Sears box with instructions on how to put you together.”  Then the turkey was gone.  It had run across the street and gotten hit by a car.

Sarah looks like a turkey.

The driver drove a new Mercury Villager.  He cleaned the guts off his car and drove away.

Sarah still looks like a turkey.

Liz looks like a buffalo.

Then the turkey was still alive.  It gobbled its way to its death at the dining room table.

Liz still looks like a buffalo.

Sarah stopped looking like a turkey.

The End

PS  Liz stopped looking like a buffalo.

James is now an unmentionable fat creature with tentacles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

At My Sister’s House

For some reason my subconscious is full of dragons, and that’s all that seems to end up on my blog. But make no mistake, I love my life. I guess the following is closest to a journal entry.

 

8/14

At My Sister’s House

“Sarah’s here!” Three little voices sound off. “Sarah’s here, Sarah’s here!”

The dog comes bounding over with a smile. The kids run up to hug me, their enthusiasm just as pure.

The house is warm and comfortable. Sean keeps it clean; Jessica keeps it colorful. There is always something fragrant sauteing on the stove. On the counter are homemade pumpkin muffins, chocolate covered espresso beans, a bottle of wine.

As we cook, we make fun of her old and busted food processor. We laugh, giving it a hazing that a sentient being could not endure. She has little interest in technology; her kitchenaid mixer is the only food gadget that gets any respect. I ask her to taste my pie filling. She swipes a finger through and licks it. “More sugar,” she says. Of course she’s right.

The children pop by occasionally for hugs and samples. They’re young but these kids already know their way around a spice rack.

Friends file in. Every person brings a dish, and a story about their day. Each familiar face gives fresh warmth to my heart.

Two rules in this house: everyone gets a hug regardless of their comfort level, and they must taste everything at least once, regardless of their comfort level.

The people distract Jessica. She starts talking, gesturing, telling stories. She focuses her whole self on this, usually waving a spatula or fork instead of using it to stir. This is my time to shine: I prompt her for directions and finish up what she has started.

The craft beer and wine make everyone’s faces bright. Neighborhood kids wander through: “Did you get permission to be here? Use my phone, call your parents.” We shoo the dog out of the kitchen repeatedly, the children’s fingers must be extracted from the chocolate batter, the cat lays on the floor in the center of the chaos, unconcerned. And what a beautiful chaos it is.  We laugh until we cry. “Anybody want tea?” “Is something burning?” “Come see what we drew today!”

Usually the food gets prepared and consumed at different times, but this time, every dish is ready at once. Dishes pack the table: chocolate pie, angel food cake, roast vegetables, tacos, olive cheese toast, dip, salad, bread, cajun shrimp, cheese biscuits. We stare at the spread, impressed, unsure how to begin. “Anybody religious?” Jessica quips, hoping to give this gorgeous meal a proper sendoff. I propose a toast after our family tradition: “Good health and happiness, for the rest of our lives!” People circle the kitchen island, grab random beverages so they can join in, until everyone’s glass (bottle, cup) has tapped everyone else’s.

We eat until we can’t eat anymore. We laugh until we can eat again.

We finish our food on the porch in the evening summer air. There is a cage with two hairless rats out here; they are the subject of some snuggling and much ridicule. Careful not to pet the ball python after you pet the rats.

Things are quieting down. Guests leave. Everyone gets some leftovers to take home.

Sean and the kids put on YouTube. Jessica and I linger in the kitchen, clean up a bit, talk some more, mull over the events of the day. What were the best dishes, did that thing you cooked turn out like you expected, how is homeschooling coming along? We eventually join the TV crowd and work our way underneath the warm heap of animals and children, where we comfortably enjoy the company and let the kids show us what they’re most excited about.

At some point I must reluctantly extract myself from the couch, say my goodbyes, and drive home. But the warmth lingers in my bones. Deeper, even, than that.

Just drivel

Last night I drove to my sister’s to give her ham. (The ham was amazing by the way. Rich, savory, smoky, salty meat magic. So much better than your average pale water-logged drowned-corpse store-bought ham.)

Unfortunately no one was there. We’d missed each other! She was in town, where I’d just come from. Curses.  They were in the middle of getting their house fumigated for brown recluses. So I did the normal thing: got in through their garage, held my breath, and made a ham deposit in their fridge. The fumigator guys were long gone, but nobody was supposed to be in the house for another three hours. I’m fine, I’m sure I’ll be fine. I’m no brown recluse.

Then I drove back to town and met the same sister for ice cream. The drive was so ridiculously pointless, but we hadn’t been able to get ahold of each other until it was too late.

Still, the ice cream was nice, and her kids are lovely little people, if you don’t mind people who hang their whole weight from your neck and giggle insanely at their own poop jokes. We all made faces at each other while we ate our ice cream. Now we all know exactly who can do the Elvis lip and with how many sides of their face, who can raise which eyebrows, etc. I let them benefit from my greater age and wisdom and taught them a few things. As a child, I practiced these things in the bathroom mirror with the vague premonition that they would come in useful one day, and lo, they have.

Then I went for a run. My app refused to work so I just ran without it, and it was one of the nicest runs I’ve had all year. Why was I timing myself again? What horrible things we do to ourselves without even being aware. It’s easier to enjoy a run when you don’t have to meet some kind of arbitrary deadline. And it’s easier to get yourself out the door when you know you will enjoy the run. You will be a happier runner if you don’t worry about all the little scientific aspects of running, and being a happier runner who follows the dictates of the body will make you a healthier runner. This is Tao. By not working hard at running, I’ll be a better runner. No more running app for me.

Then I went to the grocery, picked up some bread and blackberries, went home, made the most delicious grilled ham and cheese sandwiches with the ham I’d smoked. I also threw together a blackberry cobbler and accidentally gave it way too much biscuit crust which took forever to cook. Everything was delicious. The beauty of life is directly proportional to the beauty of the food, and today my friends, life was beautiful.

Then I went to bed early in an attempt to get up early. Got a wild hair up my ass and composed a villanelle which took hours and then it was late. My lifelong struggle has been to get up early. I’m wondering if I can use what I learned from my run today to help me get up early in the mornings. I want to get up early in the mornings. So… I’m just going to stop trying. See where that gets me. There’s no easier experiment.

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