Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Check this out

Now I might be an infatuated dad, but I've been looking at this boat of Isabelle's for some time, now, and I'll be damned but that boat is coming toward me. It's in 3/4 profile with perspective.

I was somewhat relieved when I found out that she was drawing from another picture, not her imagination, which means we don't have a Mozart-level prodigy on our hands (six year-olds do NOT draw with perspective), but even so, she was able to capture the picture. I'm impressed.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

An extended Christmas story

Overheard one morning while Isabelle played with the little wooden creche set:
And then after the angel of the lord appeared to the shepherds, she appeared to the reindeer, and she said, "Guess what? There's going to be a new holiday. And you get to pull the sleigh.
Mix and match, why not? It's an old tradition.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Martinis & Pete Seeger

Am I the only one who gets irritated that the word "martini" is used for every cocktail in those restaurants that don't use the word "margarita" for every cocktail?

This is a martini: gin, a drop of vermouth, and an olive. If you use an onion instead of an olive it's a gibson. If you use scotch instead of gin it's a rob roy.

I suppose, to be open-minded and flexible, I can allow a vodka martini or a sake martini. But the other day I have a drink that was sweet and chocolate-coconut flavored, called a, I don't know what, an "arctic frost martini."

Cocktails are a cultural thing. They are evocative. A party where martinis are served conjures up an image, quite different from a party with margaritas, different from a party with mint juleps or old fashioneds. Even as recently as The Simpsons Bart was commended for his perfect Manhattan. Connecting with history, and doing something very well, have been tossed away for shallow "creativity."

Which brings me to Pete Seeger. He was a folk singer, like thousands of others today. But unlike his descendants crooning in coffeehouses across the country, Seeger didn't write many songs. Mostly he sang old songs. Nowadays, you'd be hard pressed to find one in a thousand folksingers who would admit to singing "Froggy Went A-Courting" at their last concert. Instead, they write their own songs. Twenty years later, a lot of those songs sound pretty dated. But the old ones are still great.

You know what else? Pete Seeger could sing. Bruce Springsteen--while his album was really cool, and a true folk album--sounds like a croaking frog next to the man he honored.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Story by Isabelle

Isabelle has been writing stories at school. I find her acquisition of writing to be fascinating, so I thought I would share the picture...
and the story, interpreted for those without extensive experience in Kindergarten phonetics:
Many alphabets don't bother with vowels, Isabelle doesn't either sometimes: "wr" for "were" and "trnin" for "turning." I'm also quite intrigued with her use (and inversion) of the "ck" trope: "Kculrs" for "colors" and "wokc" for "walk." She (or should I say "hse") often inverts "sh", although not, apparently "th". Isn't the human mind fascinating?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ripping Apart the house.

Here is our house. Note the broken retaining wall, and the tilted stairs:

Another View. This piece of the wall has been broken for 20-30 years, but it has been moving, each spring, a little further over the sidewalk. Contractors assured us it was held in by steel rebar.

Contractor touched the chunk with a backhoe, and over it went. Guess it didn't have any rebar, after all. Here is what our yard looks like, after the stairs have been removed:

View from the porch, showing holes on either side of the wall, because the water main and sewer ran under the stairs and under the wall, and were in danger of breakage, so this was the time to fix them.

What fun!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

More Isabelle Art

I'm on an Isabelle art kick, but I think she's drawing the greatest pictures. Like this one:

Playing Catch in the Rain
Text reads: "Splash Splish"

Or this portrait of her family:
Am I wearing a tie?

More LolCats, & Isabelle's writing explained.

One more, can't resist...

"You Know We, Don't You"

To read Isabelle's writing, this vertical writing is effectively right-to-left, and mostly phonetic. Its letter-for-letter transcription is "yoo no we dot yoo." Needless to say, she wrote all these captions herself.

Friday, February 27, 2009

More from

I Has Thumbs
& Zella
No Get Out of the Basement
No get aot av oa basmit
I Has Fums
& Michelle
Oo, Shiny
oo shine

I Has Thumbs
& Casey
Now I Perform the Letter C
nau I pfoam the se

Isabelle Online

Two of Isabelle's favorite sites online are "" and "" (For the uninitiated, these are websites that post pictures with funny captions, lolcats specializing in funny pictures of cats.) She's decided to make her own website known as "" (That's "I Have Thumbs" for people who can't read Isabelle's spelling). Here are the first entries, with captions translated below:

I Has Thumbs
& Brian
Yum Yum

I Has Thumbs
& Carrie
I am Hungry