7 Quick Takes Saturday!


I’m listening to the Pogues right now. I’ve been on a Pogues kick lately, and I finally made my own Pogues playlist on YouTube after several frustrating attempts to listen to other people’s disorganized ones. Mine is perfect. It’s very short, only ten songs, but they’re my favorite ten, and they flow seamlessly from high-spirited to slightly melancholy to downright depressing. As it should be. I seriously wonder about these people who can actually listen to “Whiskey You’re the Devil” immediately after “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”. It’s just irreverent.


Sue me and all, but I love these uniforms. They should have put the girl in a pencil skirt, though. Female Olympians should not look frumpy.

So the Olympics start today, and I’m pining for a television of our very own. It’s times like these, when the Olympics are on and when It’s a Wonderful Life plays incessantly for all of December, that I keenly feel the absence of a television.

That’s such a lie. I feel it all the time. I love TV, which is exactly why we don’t have one.


But I really do have fond memories of Olympic summers. My favorite was when Kerri Strug won the gold by breaking her ankle. (I think there was a good vault in there somewhere but mostly people remember her for bravely choosing a gold medal over the integrity of her own bones.) We were on vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks that summer, and we all forsook the bright sun and glittering lake in favor of huddling around the small hotel TV to see how the gymnastics competition turned out (since, let’s be honest, that’s the only event anyone really cares about).

We all cheered, shouted and high-fived each other when she stuck that last landing before collapsing, and I actually teared up when Bela Karolyi carried her up to receive the medal. Even at the tender age of twelve, I recognized an iconic Olympic moment when I saw one.


Speaking of iconic Olympians, did y’all know that Jason Statham was an Olympic diver for the UK? And that he later said that being an Olympic diver was “just a silly hobby?”

That really makes me question my own silly hobbies. I think watching The Big Bang Theory is a silly hobby; Jason Statham thinks being one of a handful of the world’s top athletes is a silly hobby. I think occasionally twisting some wire into a pair of earrings is a silly hobby; Jason Statham thinks jumping off a high-dive and performing a complex series of flips and twists before slicing neatly through the surface of the water is a silly hobby.

But then I remember that he starred in Crank, and I feel much better about myself. And then I remember that he also starred in Crank 2, and I wonder if Jason Statham actually knows what the phrase “silly hobby” mean.


Imagine houses half this size, but in stucco. Also, insert palm trees and alligators.

Most of our neighbors have been out of town for the summer, trying to escape the oppressive heat. It’s been like a ghost town around here. I’ve been starting to wonder if I somehow fell into the last two episodes of Season 2 of Supernatural, when Sam is stuck in the bleak, empty, “most haunted town in America.” Seriously. I half-expect to see little demon girls around every corner, just waiting to scratch my eyes out.

Luckily no creepy demons showed up, but our neighbors are finally returning. It’s such a relief. I don’t think I realized how depressing it was to be surrounded by empty houses.


Ours is not nearly that large

So some evil hornets have begun building a series of nests by our front door. This is a serious problem for me because I’m terrified of hornets and the Ogre isn’t here to spray them for me.

Terminix is coming to do a quarterly treatement on Wednesday, but I’m wondering if I should wait that long to deal with them. Additionally, I’m not sure that I can handle the adrenalin rush of pure terror that I have to face every time we walk out the front door and try to dart to the car without the hornets noticing and emerging to brutally sting us to death.

The worst part about it is that the kids don’t seem to understand the life-threatening situation they face each time we leave or return to the house. I scream, cajole, and threaten, and yet they mosey. They stop and look at the lizards in the bushes. They pick up leaves and bend down to tie their shoes. And all the while I have to battle my instinct for self-preservation, which compels me to dart inside, slam the door, and let them fend for themselves, and my protective instincts, which compel me to huddle half-in the door, anxiously watching for any sign of hornet activity while yelling at the kids to move it, right now, because don’t they understand that if the hornets come out we’ll all die horrible, painful, excruciating deaths?

Then Sienna calls me a chicken, and I internally curse the Ogre’s genetic code for giving me children who have loads of their father’s stoicism and almost none of my natural wimpiness. All I want is one child who runs, terrified, with me into the house when anything which both flies and buzzes comes within 20 feet of us. Instead, I have children who laugh and point and call me a wimp. Is that fair, I ask you?


I like to remind my family and everyone in the general vicinity and apparently you as well that I had a baby in my living room. If that’s not stoicism, I don’t know what is. Look at that picture! That was in transition, yo! So what if I scream at the sight of stinging insects? I can expel entire people from my hoo-hah without the aid of serious pharmaceuticals.

I wonder how long I can milk that. Is ten years too much to hope for?

Happy weekend, everyone! Go see Jen for more quick takes!

  • http://www.eafromtheheart.blogspot.com Maggie @ From the Heart

    I remember the Kerri Strug Olympics too. It was so awesome! I remember her little chipmunk voice too. I always wanted to be a gymnast since I was so short. Too bad I lived in a podunk town where the nearest gym was like 500 miles away!

    That picture of you birthing at home is so amazing. I know it sounds crazy, but I want to feel that pain and the help of my husband. So powerful!

  • http://www.learningmotherhood.com Bonnie

    Gorgeous birth picture! Having just given birth last month myself I’d say you can milk it for all of eternity!

  • http://roughplacesplain.tumblr.com/ nancyo

    I actually agree about the US Olympic team’s Opening Ceremony uniforms. They weren’t that bad except for the skirts, which should have been short and straight, like Brazil’s, or pleated (so American!) And the berets were kind of random also. If you didn’t see the Opening Ceremonies, I’d recommend tracking down a video clip of David Beckham driving the Olympic torch in a speedboat.

    • http://roughplacesplain.tumblr.com/ nancyo

      Oh, and I meant to ask: How can you listen to “And the Band Played Waltzing Mathilda”? That song absolutely destroys me.

  • http://smoochagator.wordpress.com Smoochagator

    OMG I LOVE that picture of you and the Ogre in the birthing tub. So sweet. And yes, you are definitely allowed to pull out the “natural childbirth, therefore NOT A WIMP” card as often as necessary. Goodness knows I do :-) Seriously, though, I think childbirth is easy to get thru without pharmaceutical relief. Why? Because there is a pre-determined endpoint. I have no idea when other aches and ailments will choose to leave me, so I feel compelled to beat them back with the aid of medication and/or wine. Also, a headache or back spasm does not lead to having a cute widdle baby in my arms. There is no payoff for suffering stoicly through most of life’s trials. Childbirth, however, does eventually end and there are physical and psychological benefits to going epidural-free. This is how I explain to people how a big old whiney baby like me decided ten years BEFORE I procreated that I wanted to give birth at home.

    Also, I blame you for my obsession with The Pogues. By which I mean, thanks.

  • http://www.morningquiettime.wordpress.com Roberto Bacalski

    I particularly related to #4 & #5. My wife and I also don’t have a TV and Olympics time is when we feel it the most. (Also Superbowl time, Oscar time… OK, all the time!)
    I was twelve when I saw Mary Lou Retton win the gold in ’84. My family was also on a family vacation. How cool is that!

  • Anna Bragdon

    The Wasp

    The wasp and all his numerous family
    I look upon as a major calamity.
    He throws open his nest with prodigality
    But I distrust his waspitality.

    - Ogden Nash

  • http://Allthemasons@wordpress.com Hafsa

    You’re funny. Jason Statham bugs though. I was never sure why until now…

    Sigh. All this Pogues talk is gonna force me to give them a listen.