7 Quick Takes

1. Oh yes….here we go again. I used to blog a lot. A LOT. As in, the most embarrassingly honest response to the question, “How did you and Luke start dating?” would be, “We were bookish college kids more inclined to share our inner deepies with the world wide web than, you know, talk to other people about them, but luckily for us and our future children, we read each other’s blogs, and the rest is history” —

A future blogger.

2. But then, blogging went the way of even my physical journal, which is to say…it stopped, or at least severely decreased in frequency — sadly, yes, but I can testify that taking their place were such fun things as: dating, getting married, working, and wiping baby butts. I’ve missed it, though — for one, I miss having a place to put down in writing the observations I have running through my head all day. And, when I have something to say that’s maybe one level more profound than “Mr. Brown from Mr. Brown Can Moo really creeps me out,” I’ve missed having an outlet to say it (to all three of my readers, including Luke, who gets to hear it all anyway as soon as he comes home). Finally, I’ve missed — really missed — the actual act of writing. Even in my post-graduation, pre-baby two-year stint working in communications, rare was the day when I felt I’d written well. Effectively, maybe, but I missed the one or two outlets in college that really challenged me to hone my writing. Hopefully, resurrecting the ol’ blog will give me an incentive to get back to that. (And, you know, in the meanwhile, bleaching the crap out of the bathroom can wait, right? Harhar. Pun totally intended.)

3. Speaking of writing and college, I came across this great quote recently in Flannery O’Connor’s Mystery and Manners — which, by the way, I now consider a must-read not only for lovers/students/teachers of literature, but anyone trying to figure out what the heck Flannery O’Connor was writing about in the first place. Anyways, the quote:

Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.

And yes, much of the rest of the book is that enjoyable. As an English major in college, I had exactly two professors bold enough to tear up students’ papers with red ink and tell them to their face why their (read: my) writing sucked. In highschool, I had one. They were great. 

4. Another gem from Flannery, also on the topic of education:

The high-school English teacher will be fulfilling his responsibility if he furnishes the student a guided opportunity, through the best writing of the past, to come, in time, to an understanding of the best writing of the present. He will teach literature, not social studies or little lessons in democracy or the customs of many lands.

And if the student finds that this is not to his taste? Well, that is regrettable. Most regrettable. His taste should not be consulted; it is being formed.

Smackdown. What can I say.

5.  Claire, senior year roomie and partner in “hey we should start blogging again,” has also posted a 7 Quick Takes today, and #6 in particular reminds me of how very different we are. She deliberately sits next to an inhabited spider web to say Morning Prayer; let’s just say that yesterday, Lucia, who’s now in the habit of repeating our words and phrases verbatim (and ad infinitum), screech-chanted “I GOT DA ‘PIDER! I GOT DA ‘PIDER!!” throughout the day. Said spider had been haunting my car’s dashboard, windshield and air vents all morning, staying just out of reach of my shoe or even the pieces of paper I would timidly stick in the cracks to flush it out. Finally, in the grocery store parking lot, after three hours of this tortuous game of chicken (you try keeping your eyes/car on the road while knowing  at any moment a spider could crawl out out the AC vent right next to your leg or drop from the roof into your shirt), I slid into the driver’s seat after buckling the kids in, shut the door and BAM! There’s Mr. Spider at eye level, on the inside of the door frame, right next to my head. It’s safe to assume that all of the following may have occurred: screaming, jumping out of the car, sandals flying, successive door-slammings and, when I finally flung the spider out into the parking lot, all the maniacal glee of Bruce Willis throwing terrorists off a skyscraper (Luke has barred all chick flicks from movie night…) — minus the profanity *of course*, which is good because Lucia, who’d been watching silently the whole time, then took up my victory chant the rest of the drive home.

Spiders are bad, Claire. Very, very bad.

6. Luke just sent me this article on Dr. Harvey Karp’s (The Happiest Baby on the Block) less-than-blockbuster approach to raising toddlers. I’ve only skimmed, and am rolling my eyes already, but this line caught my eye: “…according to Karp’s theory of toddlerhood, toddlers essentially are little apes—or, at best, little cavemen—and ought to be approached using tactics that treat them as such.” Note to my toddler: you are not doing much to help your case.


Creeps me out every time.

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3 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes

  1. Oh Liz! I have missed your writing so. Never stop, ok? 😀

    And it’s not so much that I purposefully sit next to the spider, as the tiny little spider builds its web not far from the best place to stand and pray. Outside is a good place for spiders to live. Besides, spiders might well be our #1 weapon in the war against mosquitoes. Our pest is their dinner. I will support that at any cost!

  2. You missed the best part of that article, where he had to remove the phrases “charming chimp-child” and “knee-high Neander­thal” because Creationists were boycotting his book.

    Quoth the article:

    “I ended up totally rewriting that book,” Karp says, “because I got so much blowback from fundamentalist religious groups.” His rationale for what may be the most substantive act of self-censorship ever to hit the genre of modern parenting advice? “I’m not here to try to convince anybody to believe in evolution,” Karp says, his voice all grown up now. “I just want them to learn how to do better handling their kids.”

  3. I am so happy that you are blogging again! Your posts always make me think, or laugh, or both. And always revives my fantasy that someday we’ll be living in the same neighborhood (or state!) raising children together. Miss you!

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