Teacher to toddler: “Seth, please get your hands out of your pants. That’s icky.”*

*Name has been changed to protect the icky.

Lindsey Vonn Cont’d

December 3, 2010

This is off-topic, but last February I wrote a post about Lindsey Vonn. It generated a great deal of traffic; apparently others found her as annoying as I did.

The New York Times recently ran an update on what she’s up to these days. She seems a little less annoying now, though I still don’t think we’d ever be best gal-pals. Maybe it’s just an issue of exposure…a little Lindsey goes a long way.

Misty Watercolor Memories

November 10, 2010

This morning as I was driving to drop Lorelei off at daycare, I heard Starship’s “We Built This City” on the radio. (I chalk this up to listening to a station whose stated motto is, “We play everything.” This also explains why I found myself serenading Lorelei with “It’s Raining Men” during another recent commute.)

It made me smile, as I have distinct memories of being one of a group of giggling girls who called up our local radio station to request the song – then just out – during a friend’s sleepover birthday party back in 1985; we must have all been 11 or 12. And the birthday girl had recently been in my thoughts anyway, as she gave birth to twins yesterday.

Another friend of ours from high school is due to deliver her first child any day now. I’ve known her husband since we were tiny, back when he used to come trick-or-treating with me and my brother (who recently had a baby of his own, the indomitable Matthew). Yet another childhood friend had a baby boy back in September.

Where has the time gone? How did we all get so old? Is the Gilford school system spiking its water supply with some sort of time-delayed fertility booster?

So many unanswerable questions.

I have about an hour of work left before my 13-week maternity leave starts, and I feel almost exactly like I did as a kid on the last day of school (the fact that my last day of work is falling in June is undoubtedly contributing to the sense of déjà vu).

Granted, back in the days of Trapper Keepers and those little supplemental eraser caps that went on the pencils of the particularly mistake-prone, my summer vacations didn’t involve onesies, diapers, or actually bringing a brand-new person into the world. I don’t recall being quite this massive back then, either, though I should double-check with Eric on that – we did make an awful lot of trips to Dairy Queen in the summer months.

Eggless!

April 3, 2010

Unless the Easter Bunny has just done an extremely good job of hiding them, there are no Cadbury Mini Eggs to be found on the New Hampshire seacoast. These are not to be confused with Cadbury Creme Eggs, the big chocolate ones with the gooey centers, complete with yolk – I always thought the yolk was a particularly nice touch. Delicious, yes, but I wanted the mini eggs to top cupcakes; substituting the creme eggs for this particular purpose could be considered overkill. (I’d feel compelled to serve an ampoule of insulin alongside each cupcake at that point.)

At first I thought they might have discontinued the mini eggs, but it appears that other savvy Eastertide shoppers have just beaten me to them. It’s been interesting to see the different reactions of male and female store clerks when I inquire as to their whereabouts – I think it’s clear that women are the Easter Bunny’s primary helpers when it comes to filling the baskets each year:

Female clerk: Oh, sorry, we sold out of the Cadbury Mini Eggs last week.

Male clerk, Store #1: Try Aisle 4. (Aisle 4 is the pickle and mustard aisle. I believe his MO is to send everyone to Aisle 4 when he’s not sure where something is.)

Male clerk, Store #2: [Gazing blankly at the chockablock shelves of packaged pastel sweets in front of him and grabbing a bag of something foil-wrapped] Uhhhh, these are pretty small…whaddya think?

Yesterday, Eric and I joined my mom at church for Palm Sunday. For those of you unfamiliar with the Christian calendar, Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter, commemorating Jesus’s triumphant ride into Jerusalem to a palm-waving crowd of adoring fans. It’s an upbeat day – things don’t really go south for Jesus until the latter portion of the week (betrayal, crucifixion, burial behind a big rock from which he miraculously emerges on Easter Sunday).

At many churches, the palms are pre-folded into wallet-size crosses – while convenient, these origami versions lack the drama and festivity of the unadulterated originals, which are generally somewhere around two-plus feet long and which were passed out yesterday to everyone in church – including all the children.

Seeing approximately 30 small children turned loose with their palm fronds was a hoot. They waved them around as they processed in, inadvertently whacking several members of the choir in the face as they walked by. During children’s time with the minister, one young congregant slyly and repeatedly poked the minister in the shoulder with the pointy end of his. Another little boy secured his around his forehead, Rambo-style, and threaded another one in perpendicularly so that it ran down his nose. The little girls seemed partial to braiding their palms and/or using them as horsey reins.

It’s a good thing that there are no Christian holidays involving large, splintery sticks.

I like to keep things breezy here at My Two Cents, but every once in a while you see something that just makes your blood boil, something that demands comment.

Like today.

Last week, Erica Blizzard was found guilty of negligent homicide in a 2008 boating accident on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee. She plowed into an island at a high rate of speed in the middle of a dark, foggy June night, killing passenger (and best friend) Stephanie Beaudoin; Erica herself suffered serious, life-threatening injuries that required multiple surgeries and caused several delays to the start of the trial. (Full disclosure: Erica and I went to high school together – she was a year ahead of me – but I didn’t know her well.)

The trial lasted nearly two weeks, and I followed the progress of the case online. Prosecutors alleged that Erica’s blood alcohol content registered .15 – nearly twice the legal limit – two full hours after the crash, and that she was piloting the boat at or above 31 MPH when she hit the island. For those of you not familiar with boats, 31 MPH is damn fast, especially on a night with near-zero visibility.

The defense brought in its own experts to challenge these figures. The strategy must have worked, for while the jury agreed to a finding of negligent homicide, it hung on the issue of whether or not Erica was intoxicated. (Given the circumstances of the accident, it’s difficult for me to see how anyone could reasonably conclude that she wasn’t intoxicated, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Anyway, the jury returned its verdict on March 18, and Erica was released on bail to await her sentencing on April 21. On March 19 – one day after she was found guilty of negligently killing her best friend – she was cited for driving 84 MPH down a NH interstate while punching numbers into her cellphone. The officer who flagged her down noted that Erica was not paying attention and very nearly ran him over.

Really? I mean, really? To say nothing of the inherent stupidity of driving recklessly while you’re a) out on bail and b) awaiting sentencing for a separate crime, this really seems to hammer home the fact that Erica has learned absolutely nothing from her role in a tragic event that would have irrevocably changed most other people forever.

I used to wonder why Erica didn’t just plead guilty at the outset and take full responsibility for ending the life of someone she loved. I guess I don’t wonder about that anymore.