Sunday, October 30, 2011

FAMILY - Skull Mask

FAMILY - Skull Mask

It's really the eyes that get you. The whole idea of child psychology gets thrown out the window when they have eyes just like an adult's. They look around, look at you, look everywhere as if they know everything or are absorbing it all instantly.

There are some things I wouldn't expect Espen to do at age two, especially right upon turning two. But those eyes get you.

Then there's when you cover up the eyes.

With an adult-size skull mask.

glow-in-the-dark skull mask I've had since high school

We spent half an hour switching roles. One person wears the mask and makes scary noises while the other two run away and scream in terror.

After a while, Espen would take off the mask (from himself or right off someone else's face) and give it to the next person. “Mama mask,” “Dada mask,” - to say who he wanted to wear it.

Definitely one of the funnest half hours I've had in a long time. Plus – how the heck does someone who is 25 months old even want to do that?

at Bass Pro

He actually is truly scary when he wears that mask.
The disproportionate yet apt head helped add authenticity to our screams.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011



There is a man after my own heart. A hero. Maybe a superhero. There is someone doing great things. I must note, however, that I have no direct personal knowledge of this miraculous being. How do I know that he's a man, then, after all? Because he's that bad-ass awesome.

A few weeks ago, we were on our way to church and had to turn left onto our main road. If anyone knows our blinking light intersection, it can be dangerous turning left. Normally it's not a problem for us because during peak hours we're turning right. Anyway, it would have gone on like a normal Sunday had it not been for some obnoxious signs planted a little further down the road that completely blocked our view of oncoming traffic. How dangerous! They were ads for newly built houses and apartments. How inconsiderate! How traffic-confusing! How annoying!

How very, very dangerous! Help! Innocent drivers! Help!

“Never fear!”

Well, I didn't hear him, but he was there! We ended up making the turn fine and then an hour later after church we were going back past our intersection and saw those same signs strewn on the ground! Not only had someone ripped up the signs from the ground, but the posts for two of them were broken in half! Wow! What a man!

Those pieces of wood are really thick, too. You would think that they put up signs with some wimpy plywood, but then it turns out it's actually strong, thick wood. Let me remind the reader that I have no idea who pulled the three signs out of the ground, broke the wooden posts, and then left them there. I just saw that someone did it and am very proud. That wood was so thick, probably that guy's wife also pulled out a post and tried to break it herself but couldn't and then they just decided to leave. But she still had fun. That's my best guess.

Whoever this mysterious man is, I would like to personally commend him for his bravery in the face of extremely rude advertisers. He has made his neighborhood a little safer.

And he must have had so much fun breaking those signs!

– again, sorry that I don't have a pic here – hopefully my next post will! –  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

WRITING - Being Stupid


What happens to us as we get older? To me it always seemed that people are fun and carefree as children, experiencing some hiccups in high school and college, and then they become fat, ugly, and boring. Naturally I didn't want to experience that change myself, but now at age 30, here I am.

Is it just having more challenging responsibilities? Now I have a job (actually two), a family, and a house. But is it just the weight of those obligations that makes us uninteresting? I don't think so. I know plenty of fun, interesting teachers. I try to hang out with them, but they repeatedly explain to me that I'm simply not cool enough. I understand that there is a coolness gap, but how is it that some adults keep having fun and others like myself lose it? - yes, I was interesting at some time -

A convincing answer: being stupid. You have to do stupid things from time to time, maybe often. As humans, we somehow have a biological/psychological/illogical need to do stupid crap on a regular basis.

When you're a child, you can decide to stand on your head for an afternoon, and no one will disrespect your use of your time. In fact, if you're among other kids, the stunt might make you popular.

This eternal truth came to me after September's writers group in Ellicott City. We had finished the critiques and were heading to Outback for our regular post-meeting snack. I was pulling out of my parking space at the Barnes and Noble when I stopped to see Mabel and Karen looking down at the parking lot paving. The were laughing – giggling! - and bobbing their heads around, linking arms, and half stumbling as if they had instantly become drunk. These gals are 40+ years old and giggling in a parking lot!

There was a praying mantis in the middle of the parking lot, and they wanted to save it. It was smack in the middle of a big parking lot. A big parking lot, from which its car-dodging escape was inconceivable. He needed help, and they wanted to be the ones to extend that helping hand. Yet they didn't want to touch it. Or let its disease-bearing appendages anywhere on them. With their poking towards the ground, spontaneous screaming, and wild laughter, their mix of hesitation and daring was like someone trying to turn on a light by connecting live wires.

                                           sorry - no pic of the epic praying mantis rescue

It was hilarious. Eventually I gave them a piece of paper that they used it to scoop him up so that they could escort him to the shrubs beyond the curb. They must have giggled all the way to the restaurant.

That's when I understood. You just have to do stupid things. Silly things. Things that SHOULD make any normal person look at you askew. The dumber, the better. If you aren't awkwardly rescuing insects from the parking lot, then you're fighting with your spouse or talking behind the back of your co-worker. The stupidity must come out! Therefore, better to have fun with it.

Then while we were waiting for our food at Outback, they kept talking about how they had seen another praying mantis at the main door and wanted to rescue that one, too. I was eventually wondering if they had jointly hallucinated the whole thing from start to finish. Maybe there had never been a praying mantis in the first place! But they were sure having fun.

So to honor the wisdom I saw in those two ladies, I stayed there past my bedtime and then at home stayed up until midnight even though I wake up at 5 every day. Now that was stupid. And as I staggered through the next day, it all made me very happy.