Seven Quick Takes: In which I don’t make fun of anybody!

I’m still finishing up final edits of The Sinner’s Guide to Writing the Book Which I Will Never Ever Ever Be Done With Ever, and working on another writing project which I’m thrilled to be a part of, but which is giving me nightmares because I want to get it right.  And I decided we should go ahead and redo the living room walls, which are horsehair plaster, covered with wallpaper, covered with cheap wood panelling, covered with two more layers of wallpaper, covered with paint.

And all of this needs to be done soon, before school starts next week, because the beginning of the school year is like childbirth:  if you’ve been through it enough times, you do so remember how painful it is.

I was going to say “I may not be blogging much in the next week or so,” but I don’t actually blog that much anyway.  So, I don’t know, here are seven things:


Suzanne Temple reposts an oldie but goodie about a perennial question:  how the heck do I deal with the little kids when I’m trying to teach the big kids?  It’s aimed at homeschoolers, but much of the advice will work for parents who are trying to get anything at all done with little guys around.



Here is fog rolling in in Newfoundland.  It’s just fog and it’s gorgeous, but if I were standing on that road, this would freak. me. out.



Speaking of being freaked out, here is an underwater sinkhole eating some trees whole:

Hmm, I’m noticing a pattern here in the videos that capture my imagination.  Could it be that I’m feeling a tad overwhelmed?  Nah.


Here’s someone who did not get overwhelmed:  Antoinette Tuff.   I embarrassed my kids by bursting into tears when they played the 911 call recording on the radio.

She tells the shooter that she almost committed suicide last year, when her husband left her, but she got through it and here she is now.  She says to him, “It’s gonna be all right, sweetie.  I just want you to know that I love you, though, OK? And I’m proud of you. That’s a good thing. You’ve just given up. Don’t worry about it.”

God bless her.  Wondering about what the “feminine genius” looks like in action?  Here you go.  She never forgot for one instant that he was a human being.  Just beautiful, and terrifying.


From the sublime to the ridiculous:  MST3K is back on Netflix Instant View!  They started with only four episodes, but seem to be adding more gradually.  Looks like we will have a Patrick Swayze Christmas after all!



The other night, we saw the International Space Station go by overhead.  Well, duh, of course it was overhead.  It was very nice.  It just sailed along, so quiet and orderly, so full of astronauts.  We waved.  Here you can check out where and when to look for the ISS in your piece of the sky..



One of the reasons we bought my laptop from Walmart is because of their excellent service plan.  I’m not going to point any fingers, but somehow coffee was spilled in a very bad place, and my keyboard stopped working.  So we put in a claim and they sent us a postage paid padded box to mail it in.  Then somehow (again, not naming names), it got sent off without the order slip (with my name and address and description of the problem) inside.  But even so, a week later, I got it back, all fixed!  Good deal.  Furthermore, I guess I left a Steely Dan CD inside, and they returned that, too.  Thanks, Walmart!  This one’s for you:

Don’t forget to check out the other Seven Quick Takes at Conversion Diary, and happy weekend!

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  • Oh my goodness–I listened to that whole 911 call. I am in tears! God bless that woman. Wow. Just… floored.

    Also. I already lay in bed at night worried a sinkhole is going to devour me–this SO DIDN’T HELP! I got to get out of Florida.

    • Sara McD

      If it makes you feel better, it’s not necessarily a southern, hot, wet phenomenon. I think that sinkhole happened because of an old salt mine. Which we have here in NYS.

      • Yeah but I live in the sinkhole state. There are more here than anywhere! A dude just disappeared while in bed in Tampa and guess where I’ll be Wednesday… Tampa! Ack!
        Also I’m just paranoid. So that doesn’t help lol.

      • SOOOO A SINKHOLE OPENED UP IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD LAST WEEK! Not lying. A real honest to goodness scare the crap out of me hole that drained our holding pond 5 ft. AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!

        • Sara McD

          Yeah, maybe you do need to move.

  • MtMama

    Well, you thought you wouldn’t offend anyone today, but… I hate Walmart. Our family and a group of concerned citizens are loading their slingshots to keep this small-business swallowing Behemoth out of our town. To me there is nothing that epitomizes capitalism gone amok more than Walmart.

    • simchafisher

      Nah, I said I wasn’t making fun of anyone. I *always* offend someone.
      I know all about Walmart – driving out small business, selling goods from China, paying low wages. On the other hand, they allow families like mine to, you know, have things.
      I went to my local mom and pop hardware store first, but they didn’t have what I needed; Walmart did. I went to my local farmer’s market and the food was priced approximately twice what I could afford to pay; Walmart’s food is in my price range. I buy used clothes and shoes, but I will not buy used underwear or socks. So, Walmart. Boycotting Walmart is something of a luxury that not everyone can afford.

      • MtMama

        Well, with seven kids on a writer’s salary we don’t exactly have a lot of wiggle room for luxury. The rubber hits the road when principles run into reality, don’t they? We’ve managed to stick with our principle of not patronizing certain companies and we hope we’ll
        continue. It’s not easy and I would probably be a little more likely to give in and say to heck with principles, but my husband is adamant.

        • simchafisher

          I’ll make a deal with you. Give me five minutes in your home, and if I can’t find any products, or evidence of choices, that someone somewhere finds unprincipled, then you win a prize.

          Okay? We all draw the line somewhere. There are few things more odious than the “my sacrifices are more sacrifice-y than your sacrifices” game.

          • simchafisher

            Or, as the scholar Groucho Marx once said, “These are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.”

          • CathyLouise

            Ah, Groucho. He’s so great. .

  • laura

    When I saw you weren’t going to make fun of anyone, I almost skipped reading this.

  • Claire Dalton Pak

    I cried like a baby listening to that call on the news the other day, too. Amazing woman.

  • The link with the fog video is kinda freaky and cool, but the one with the sinkhole is terrifying! How could that guy just stand there calmly filming it?! I would be running away so fast, for fear that the sinkhole would expand and swallow me.

    Sighting the space station sounds like fun. I remember when I was in high school, I got up at like 2 am one morning to watch the space shuttle fly over our city on it’s way to landing out west. That was one of the neatest things I’ve ever seen!

    • Rebecca Fuentes

      I agree. Fog is very cool, but sinkholes feature in some of my nightmares.

  • richard

    Thanks for the link to NASA. However our problem here in my region is that it is cloudy at night much of the time. I miss out not only on the ISS but on other astronomical events.

  • Rakhi @ Pitter Patter Diaries

    I got uber emotional over that phone call too. What a courageous, anointed woman. If only we could all tap into that power inside us to begin healing in all those who are so very broken among us.

  • Dan F.

    the sinkhole is one of the coolest things I’ve every seen. and scary.

  • CS

    Simcha, I blubbered away too, listening to that recording on NPR the other night. I had been hearing about it and on the way to tutoring on Thursday I heard this piece where they played it…Those two points exactly, as you mentioned above, are what I told my husband about later.

  • Anna

    For some reason it didn’t occur to me when I read this on Friday, but the ISS thing reminded me of xkcd what-if from a couple weeks ago. It was about how the problem with going to space isn’t getting there, it’s staying there and how fast you have to go to manage that feat. Nifty stuff (even though I’m the sort of person who is always having to either stop by explainxkcd or ask my math/computer science husband to fill me in on Munroe’s jokes.)