Monthly Archives: March 2008

All about Mr. French (in answer to the third question)

(See the post below first)

I sort of regretted asking this question, because I got a very long list in return by e-mail.

However, if you don’t know that music is important to Mr. French, then you won’t know him very well.

With his permission, I reprinted the whole e-mail:

“O.k., here is a list of 13 albums instead of 5. Five was too difficult.
Plus, I thought maybe I can get away with 13 choices since the 13th is my
birthday. 🙂

Instead of thinking who my favorite artists or composers are, my
determining thought for this list was: Over the many years, which are
the albums I have come back to the most for listening? The music of each
one of these records echoes in my head from so many hearings. This selection
is quite eclectic (and esoteric), but then, that has always been my kind of
taste. (I added the album covers in case you think the visuals would be
more interesting on the blog.)”

Bach, Cello Suites


Bartók, String Quartets


Bartók, Bluebeard’s Castle


Beethoven, Late String Quartets


Charles Ives, Symphony no. 3


Penny Merriment, English Songs from the Time of the Pilgrims


John McLaughlin with Shakti, A Handful of Beauty


Terje Rypdal, Whenever I Seem To Be Far Away


Wes Montgomery, Smokin’ at the Half Note


Beatles, Magical Mystery Tour


Genesis, Nursery Cryme


Klaatu, Sir Army Suit


Traffic, Low Spark of High Heeled Boys




Filed under Mr. French

All about Mr. French (sort of)

Mr. French thinks he doesn’t get enough attention around here in blogland.

I’d like to take this moment to point out that he is the only one in this family that has his very own, custom-designed, category. (See Mr. French on the right.)

But in honor of his birthday this week, I decided to do an exclusive interview with him. (His comments will be in bleu.)

How old are you?

What size underwear do you wear?


What do you want to be when you grow up?

A grown-up

What are your top five favorite musicians or bands?

Whoa. That’s too hard. Can it just be my favorite albums?


Oh, boy. This is going to take a long time.

Heavy sigh. Glancing at watch. *thinking* This is going to be much harder than I thought.

How about we skip that for now. Maybe you can e-mail it to me.


On a scale of 1-10, 1 being hate from the bottom of your heart, and 10 being you wouldn’t want to live without it, how do you feel about e-mail?

negative 1

How fast would you go out and replace your iPod, if you lost it today?

*thinking* 45 minutes?

If you could live anywhere in the world, what would your top five choices be?

London, England

Geneva, Switzerland

Nantes, France

Amsterdam, Holland

Brussels, Belgium

But if you had to live in the States, what would your top five choices be?

Our home in Ohio

Providence, R.I.

Philadelphia, PA

Bangor, Maine

Anchorage, AL

On a scale of 1-10, (1=ugly and 10=no one is more beautiful), where would you rank your current wife?


How about your first wife?

Since she’s been decaying for over a decade, I’d say about a 1.

*Sigh.* That was a really hard time.

So, how does a guy who dislikes making smalltalk with people become a computer programmer in the language of Smalltalk?

I’d love to chat with you about that, but I don’t want to.

Which of your three sons takes after you the most?

Well, you’re always saying the oldest one does.

Does that make you secretly glad?

If I told you, then it wouldn’t be a secret.

What do you find most exasperating about your wife?

Asking me all these questions.

Will you ever get a facebook account?

The day I think snow is ugly, is the day I’ll get a facebook account.

Will you ever get your own blog?

Not unless my wife writes it for me.

I’d say it’s not going to happen.

On a scale of 1-10, (1=horrible, 10=superb) how would you rank your wife’s musical tastes?

NI for needs improvement

Hypothetically speaking, how much money in cold hard cash would you give you wife right now for the privilege of naming your next child, with no input from her whatsoever?

A cool million (if I had it)

Would you rather have a job you disliked but could live anywhere you wanted, or have your dream job but you had to live in the South?

I’d only live in the south if my job was working for the Abraham Lincoln Appreciation Society.

At what age did you finally feel like you were a grown-up?

When S was born and I got my pants soaked from all the birthing fluid. That’s when I felt like I was a grown-up.

That story deserves it’s own blog post.

Do you think your wife needs a new pair of shoes, or two?

Yes, and I’m still working on my next book order.

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rank yourself as a cook?

What I said about e-mail.

After hoping your last two sons would be girls, are you just saying that you want a boy this time to try to psych the baby out?

*Laughing* Do you think it will work?

Do you wish I had a sense of humor?

So do all your readers

Hypothetically speaking, would you say anything negative if your wife came home with a new pair of shoes?

No, but I’d be quick to show her my new book list

What three jobs have you held that you think people would be surprised to know that you’ve had?

Teacher’s aide at Perkin’s School for the Blind

Videographer for a legal reporting company

Selling balloons in Boston Common

If I was walking down the street, do you think the average person would guess that I’m almost halfway through this pregnancy?

Only if you had a sweatshirt stuffed under your shirt.

Do I look pregnant at all?

Only when you’re not wearing clothes

Does your life feel complete now that you have a dog?

Almost. I still need a piano.

What are your three favorite dishes that your wife makes?

Your chocolate chip, peanut butter chip, macadamia nut, oatmeal cookies,

your various cheesecakes,

and your chocolate pudding cake.

What do you wish she had made you for your birthday?

Chocolate soufflé with brandied cherries inside and raspberry sauce and whipped cream

Before we end, I’m going to give you some possible blog titles that I came up with for you, in case you ever decide to blog. I want you to give me the first thing that comes to mind when you hear them.

Could’ve been a Rock Star but instead I’m a Computer Programmer

I like that.

The Armchair Theologian

Oooh. Quaint and sophisticated.

The I-could-do-that-I-just-chose-not-to-Cook

Change it to Chef and you’ve got it.

Wish I was a European

Très bien

And that’s why you’re Mr. French.


Filed under Mr. French, That was fun, Why does no one get my jokes?

Pink socks and other things I wasn’t expecting…

J came in after playing outside in the snow and water. He pulled his boots off to discover that his previously white socks were…pink.

He decided that was possibly the funniest thing he had ever seen and proceeded to make sure every one had heard the story.



Last week the temperatures outside hit 66 degrees. Mr. French came home from work and put shorts on to go walking in the woods with the dog.

It was so warm inside that the thermostat said a number I haven’t seen on it since November.

It was so warm, in fact, that I opened a window just to cool off.

The thermostat said 70 degrees.

(Oh, how I love to tease all you southerners!)

(Though I’m not making it up.) (She says defensively.)

Then two days later we had a snow day because of ice. Then two days after that we got snowed in.

But don’t cry for me Argentina.

This is our first real winter in three years and we’re thoroughly enjoying it.


I don’t know about the birds though.


J, like many three-year-olds, doesn’t always pronounce words correctly. Sometimes he drops a sound from the beginning of the word, more often though, he substitutes an easier sound for a harder-to-pronounce sound. For instance, “waffles” become “faffles”. It’s hard sometimes to know when to correct him and make him repeat the sound he missed (“Can you say ‘Wa’ w-w-w-affles”) and when to merely repeat what he’s saying correctly so he can hear the difference. And sometimes it takes so much effort just to understand what he’s saying that I let it go.

A few days ago we were in the kitchen and he said something that didn’t make much sense to me. So, I repeated what I thought he might have been trying to say. I don’t even remember what it was now. It started with a ‘P’. I said the word but substituted a different sound at the beginning, instead of the ‘P’, to see if it made more sense.

“No, Mom.” he sighed. “Like this. P-p-p-p. See?”

Wait. Did my three-year-old just correct my pronunciation? My pronunciation?

Man, I love having kids that make me laugh.


The other day I was putting the mayonnaise away.

Apparently the top was not screwed on all the way.

Either that or this mayonnaise has a mind of it’s own.


You think that’s far-fetched?


Notice, if you will, how the mayo ended up all the way to the pantry doorway. Clinging to it like only whipped eggs and oil with a little bit of lemon juice can.

It was only after I put the camera away and was on all fours cleaning it up that I noticed it made it into the pantry. The door wasn’t even opened very far!

Maybe it was trying to get to the tuna fish. It was almost there.


C was telling Mr. French about a friend of his at school.

He finished by saying, “He’s a little bit brown.”

“He is?” commented Mr. F.


“You know, C, people’s skin comes in all different colors. White, brown, red, blue. It’s all the same. It doesn’t really matter.”

“Yeah.” he agreed.

“Dad?” he asked seriously.


“Is my skin red or blue?”

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Filed under Aren't my kids funny?, Mr. French

You know that saying…

Cleaning the house


while the children are growing…

is like shoveling snow


while it’s still snowing.


That seems like an apt description for today.

(Side note: All pictures were taken today. We pulled out to go into town and got stuck. The above picture was taken after Mr. French dug the car out.)


Filed under Mr. French, That was fun

Excuse me while I shamelessly brag about my sons

My oldest son painted this picture.


The first time I saw it I wanted to have it printed on canvas and put on the wall. I love the colors and details.

My second-born son did this one.


I like it, though I wish he’d been able to finish with the blue sky. I love the combination of crayon outline and watercolor. It reminds me of small town grain elevators in Kansas. (That’s also why it needs the big blue sky.)

C also did this sketching:


It’s not an original. He used this picture (from a legos catalog) for inspiration:


See the little sword-fighting dude in the circle? That’s what he was looking at. It’s hard to tell, but the sketching is about 10 times bigger than the original picture.

Thanks for indulging me. 🙂


Filed under That was fun