Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The "Ballet" Dress

L loves cats and pink and purple, so I took it upon myself to make her an instantly favorite dress combining all three of those elements. The fabric was found at JoAnn's and I made up the pattern myself. L calls it a "Ballet" dress because it twirls nicely. This is the most important feature of a dress for girls of a certain age (and also ladies who like to twirl, like myself ;) .

close up of kitty fabric

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mugly Others

Some more of the boys' creations which were sent off today as gifts to some cousins.
Top row L to R "Army Man", "Cutie Pie", "Trucky"
Bottom row: "Dolphy" on left and "Wonder Horse" on right
From this batch only "Trucky" was made by D the rest are K's work (with my help of course.)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

the collages

Unfortunately, you can't see all the cool details, like the wires that connect all those gadgets, with this crappy camera-phone shot.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

home school happenings

My oldest son likes math, but not only does he like math, he does it for fun. Today instead of his regular math lesson (which have been too easy lately) I taught him an impromptu lesson on long division. He doesn't even know all his times tables yet, but the subject came up and so I seized the opportunity. I remember being a bit mystified when I first learned long division in third grade, and that was probably because I had absolutely no interest in it whatsoever when it was taught to me. This is another great benefit (and draw back) to home schooling. I get to strike while the iron is hot, but that also means getting "behind" in our lessons... ironic since I'm actually teaching ahead of them. Anyway, K, spent at least an hour writing up very long addition problems with multiple digits adding them and then multiplying the sums by 2 or 4 or 7, for fun! The problems he was inventing were too big to punch into the calculator to check his work, so I also got to do lots of math for "fun." Yay.

Today we also started an impromptu art project of creating self-portrait collages. I traced the children on large paper and they started clipping out magazine pictures and pasting them on as well as adding some of their own drawings. The boys' images are looking very much like robots. After "lights out" tonight, they were discussing how they wanted to finish them and even make more. K suggested making one for each season, and also one with all plants "like a jungle." D doesn't usually like doing "crafts" but once he saw what K was making, he wanted to make his own. The results are similar but different enough... I'll post the finished products when they are complete.

Yesterday we went to Holly Hills Nursing Home in Towson to sing to the residents and give them some of the children's art work. This was arranged by another mom in our home school group and she did a great job organizing it all and presenting our group to the residents. Many seemed unresponsive but the few who could speak expressed their delight in seeing the children and hearing our singing. I had taught an art workshop last month with the primary purpose to produce a gift item for the children to give to the nursing home residents. We printed designs inspired by Baltimore Album quilts on little tote bags. The products turned out well.... better than the lesson did, in my mind, although I did get a lot of positive feedback from our group. (It's been a long time since I taught an art lesson to a group of 20 kids!)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Nothing Spectacular

I've been reflective lately. Autumn has that effect on me. It's something about the way the sunlight flickers through the wind blown leaves, casting shadows and dancing orbs of light on the floor. I could watch this for hours just thinking about things.

Lately my thoughts dwell on my imperfections and the great shortcomings I'm noticing in myself. I wonder why my passions don't always align with my beliefs and vice-versa. (I am praying for more continuity in these things.) I'm wanting to be better at what God has called me to be, and I'm still trying to discern what I'm supposed to do with this life I've been given. I continue to feel tension between believing home schooling to be the best option for my children, and a desire to have them in school so I can pursue meaningful, full time, gainful employment to be a better financial provider. (This could just be a pride vs humility thing.) It seems that whenever this doubt grows to the point of where I'm on the cusp of acting on it, some sort of encouragement comes from an unexpected source. That usually gives me enough momentum to carry on another day or week or month until the doubt wells up again.

Today, while the kids were with their dad, I got to sleep in after a late night of swing dancing and apres diner chow down. I managed to do the grocery shopping, run an errand, do some housework and get dinner underway before my munchkins came home.

As we sat down to dinner, my heart was bursting with love for those three little people... just seeing their faces around the table, having them home safe again... "I love you guys," I said hoping that it sinks in all the way down to those hard places inside of them that will surface in the next five to ten years. I don't ever want to take that for granted. It makes me think of that scene from "Our Town" when whats-her-face gets to go back and see one day of her life. She's told to pick an ordinary day, because that will be hard enough. It was an ordinary moment, but I shall treasure it.

The children didn't like what I had prepared for dinner which I thought was one of their favorite dishes. I guess their tastes have changed since last time I fixed cranberry meat balls and rice. Oh well. When I asked them what they had eaten today at their dad's, they said, "Cereal, bacon and cheese. ...Oh and smoothies." Yep, that's him alright. Their father thinks of bacon as "the pink vegetable." So I didn't force them to eat the meal. They had some carrots and fruit to make up for the forgotten food group and we were all content.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Entertaining Myself

Lately I've been watching season 3 of Project Runway. The first disc had a long wait on Netflix (no, I don't have cable T.V.) so I just skipped on to disc 2. I love this show because it has not only to do with fashion, but construction of garments. I love watching the process of an idea being made into a reality. The people on the show (real people chosen for their talent) are characters to say the least. The dynamic in and out of the workroom with these people can become quite intense. They are under extreme stress, limited time, sleep, and budget, with crazy criteria and high expectations from the critics of creating "fashion forward," "innovative" designs that are made and fit well. I can't help wondering what kind of stuff I'd make out of recyclables, or what I'd design for a plus size woman to make her look fabulous and "fashion forward," or what kind of outfit could I make with only one day and $50 starting from scratch? It's "reality" television, yeah, right, this stuff never happens in reality, but it's still fun to watch.

Friday afternoon my cheap-o plug'n play Dance Dance Revolution game arrived in the mail. I had bought it from ebay for cheap, and now I know why, but it's still great fun for the kids and myself. Dancing is really the only form of exercise I enjoy, so I thought I'd get this as a workout kind of thing. The music is cheesy electronic versions of pop songs from three years ago (or more) and the graphics are reminiscent of programs we designed in 8th grade computer lab (OK maybe not the ones I designed but other kids in my class). But it keeps us moving. The boys have taken to the pinball game where they move the "flippers" by jumping on the dance pad, and L likes the "whack-a-mole" game if we all help her, so she only has to jump on one square. Now, after playing for only three days, I'm seriously considering going for the real deal...

Friday night I went to a party for my friend's birthday and learned about another cable show I'm going to be hooked on called "Flight of the Conchords." It's completely quirky and hilarious and I can't even begin to explain it in a way that would do it justice. Only that I laughed so hard that there were many lines I missed, so I'm definitely going to watch those episodes again. Watch a clip here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fabric Junkie

On my birthday one of my mom's friends brought me three big bags of fabric, patterns and notions from her stash. She is downsizing, and I think, realized that a lot of the projects she started will never get finished. I've been having fun picking through the stuff, and have found some real "gems." But even though I have plenty of uncut yardage waiting to become something wonderful, it's very difficult to curb the compulsion to buy more fabric, especially when it goes on sale for riduculously cheap! My latest acquisition is this fabric (above) which I thought would make a humorous "Cocktail" dress. It's 100% Japanese cotton lawn, which for you fabric dummies, has a lovely soft hand and is almost sheer. I'm thinking it'll be cocktail/sundress for Spring/Summer '08.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

In the Wall

Lil Miss L has some new friends. Jo-Lisa and her boyfriend, Bajesus, live in the wall (at the ex's apartment) with their cat, Meego. L informed me that they are only pretend, but I have to wonder if she's given names to the voices she might hear of the neighboring tenants.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Look what fell off the Ugly Tree!

After seeing these "Ugly Dolls" (left) in a toy catalog yesterday, my boys decided they'd like to design and make their very own ugly doll.

D drew several designs and finally settled on a bat-like creature. I had to enlarge the drawing to make it a more workable size. Instead of making it all in fleece, D chose to use some black leather scraps for the ears and wings. In K's drawing the legs were too thin to sew so we beefed them up a bit. I did most of the assembling, but the boys did do some hand sewing on the eyes and mouths. They also stuffed them and then I sewed them closed. The only thing this cost us was time. I think they turned out quite nicely and the boys are so proud of their unique toys!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Marilyn Me

Now I'm famous! I just found a picture of myself (enjoying the fan) posted on the Friday Night Swing Dance Club website! Check out some of the crazy Halloween costumes here, or better yet, come dance with me sometime.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Soiree

Here I am at my party sporting my $2 dress after a few alterations. What did I do? I had to take in some from the back, shortened the sleeves and used the extra fabric to add a swingy gore to each side seam to keep the dress from clinging too much. This also helps the dress from disappearing when I sit down since it is cut on the bias.

It was a great time: lots of yummy food and drink, great people, and even a little Dance Dance Revolution (not kidding!) I think what I enjoy most about my parties, is seeing all the different people who are special to me mingling and getting to know each other and having a really good time. I had dreamt up the idea, and the speech to go along with it, one night last week for a toast I was going to give at my party. You know those eloquent things we think of saying to people we love just before dropping off to sleep?.... anyway, it didn't quite come out the way I'd hoped, but I think I was successful at communicating that this birthday I wasn't celebrating me as much as I was celebrating all of *you* being in my life!

Friday, November 02, 2007

You say it's your birthday? It's my birthday too, yeah!

In this week of Octember, we celebrated L's 4th birthday, got geared up for maximum candy collection and today, "celebrate" my, ahem, 35th year of life. I actually had an early family party on Tuesday with L's complete with double chocolate cake (I made for L) and birthday pie. (Mom's pies are hard to beat, so I take the opportunity to request one instead of cake these days. It also made up for the disappointing pie I had at Towson Diner last Friday with my new swing dancing friends.) Tomorrow is the real party though, and I'm looking forward to spending an evening amongst some of my most favoritest people.

So you ask, what did I get? Well high on my "want list" was a new pair of dance shoes. The Suzie Q in particular, I found a pair for a terrific price, but a day after I placed the order, found out they were out of stock (boo). I guess they are very popular and sell out fast. So I decided to go with another less costly style and placed my order for this fantastic footwear. I can't wait to try them out! The shorter men at the dances will appreciate them too.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Harmony Bear, Mars Mission Astronaut, and Skele-boy.

K wanted to be a Lego "Mars Mission Astronaut" so I stepped up to the challenge and created his costume. My dad had an extra, small white motorcycle helmet which worked perfectly. I covered the face shield with gold faric using temporary double-stick tape (he could see through the fabric.) I had lots of white shiny stretch knit that was given to me, so I used that lined with white polar fleece for the "suit" which consisted of a vest with silver patch "kangaroo" pocket and zipper and pants. The harness was made of duct tape (I love that stuff!), fun foam, self stick velcro and some metalic paints. Both boys love this suit, mostly because the soft fleece feels so good against their skin!

Dad's thumb was hiding the rest of this dress in the photo, perhaps mom's copies will be better. I was, you guessed it, Marilyn Monroe for the Friday Night Swing Dance Club Halloween Dance. It was loads of fun. I used more of that shiny stretch knit (I still have tons of it left) and designed this simple halter dress. I didn't use a pattern, but I borrowed a pattern piece from another dress for the high waist band which joined the halter and the circle skirt. It was a great dress to twirl in! I received lots of compliments, but since there were 2 other "Marilyns" present (even though I was the only "blonde") I didn't win any prizes.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

50's Flair

Sometimes all I need is a good excuse to make a dress and I will. I've had this reissued 1952 pattern hanging on my wall for at least three years now, but it wasn't until my friend announced a 50's themed birthday party for her husband that I actually took the time to make it up. Being that I hadn't tested the pattern and spent about six bucks on the fabric, it's more of a wearable muslin. But I wore it swing dancing last weekend and it held up just fine.

Hidden talents. I managed to win the bubble gum blowing contest. Look closely, this one is a double bubble. I know you're impressed, well at least the dude in the background is.

At the Fair

I already posted, but here are more fun pics of our day at the Maryland State Fair.

Mmmm, bacon. Just kidding. (sort of)

I made this dress that L is's getting too short now, but with shorts, it works.

The boys sit inside the belly of a real State Trooper helicopter.

The horses are on the track...

Holden Turtles (again)

I just got some pictures back from my recent summer excursions. I thought I post the visual aides to this post here.

This is the turtle nest. If you look with a magnifying glass you just might be able to make out the teeny tiny tracks they left behind....or not.

My surfer dudes.

Finally Lil Miss L is enjoying the ocean!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Big Fat Greek Wedding!

First, thanks for patiently waiting for this post...I've had to be patient about it too. See the slide show with more photos via Snapfish here.

Maintaining sanity:

At the salon, the mother of The Bride received a very unsatisfactory hairdo. The Bride and bridesmaids agreed, it needed more oomph. Her stylist added a little more curl but it still didn't look good. Then her stylist began working on someone else...After The Bride had her hair coiffed her stylist completely redid the mother's and it was much better. Then a tipsy client standing next to The Bride spilled sangria all over the place, but thankfully, none got on her veil. After our hair was fixed and shellacked into place, The Bride and I went back to her place to finish getting ready and tie up some loose ends with the programs. It took her a long time to get the layout right and then we were hurting for time to get all the programs printed on her computer. She called Kinkos. They could manage the job in about an hour, but it would cost $500 for the job. She decided to print them at home and let the groomsmen pick them up and fold them at the church. While she tried to figure out her printer, I put on my make-up. Then she started in on her own make up, but still hadn't done her nails. It was almost 3 o'clock and that is when we were supposed to be at her mom's house for pictures. At about 3:10 the groom's sister called, frantic and lost in Towson wanting The Bride to give her directions (!) I took the call, but didn't know the way and tried diverting her to call The Groom. She started to freak out, The Bride, with only half her face "on", took the phone and told the sister to call her brother for help and hung up. At 3:30 the sister of the bride called, I answered it. She was getting impatient and said, "The photographer wants Tricia here NOW!"
I told her, "I'm doing the best I can and we are getting ready to leave." The Bride took a final sweep of the apartment trying to remember what she had forgotten. I was standing by the door holding several bags and things ready to go. Then she remembered: "My Computer!" Stuffing it into a bag, she then grabbed for the power cord. It was plugged in, of course, behind a tall book shelf. The Bride got down on the floor with her veil off to one side and reached under the shelf tugging hard. I saw the bookshelf teeter. "TRICIA!" I yelled. "The shelf! Be careful!" Her arm is sort of stuck under the shelf and she jerks it out. I dropped everything and rushed over and then she heaved the whole shelf away from the wall in one hulking thrust, yanked out the cords, jammed them into the case and we were off. Whew.

Pre Wedding Photos:
The bride wanted a photo of herself in her veil while sitting in her convertible. So instead of driving there and then putting the top down, she drives the whole way with the top down, veil blowing up in the wind. I followed her in my car and saw passersby giving her double-takes. I thought for sure the whole veil was going to blow off and fly away down the highway, and I'd be the one chasing after it, but she managed to keep it on. The bride's dress and accessories were all at her mom's house and still needed to be put on.

Some other bridesmaids and I dress her, and secured her into the gown and she hurried off for pictures without any jewelry (or her nails painted!). I pushed through the crowd of relatives and put on her necklace and handed her the earrings while the photographer adjusted his camera.

Whew! Lots of photos are shot very quickly,
and then there was some confusion about the limos. One had to leave ASAP because he had a prom to get to, and we were about 50 minutes behind schedule. We headed off to the church.

At The Church:

I followed the limo in my car since the reception was not too far from home, and when I walked up to the limo, Sam (the old and small but forceful wedding coordinator or Wedding Nazi as we bridesmaids referred to him) was yelling at the limo driver, "You need to back this limo up NOW! The bride needs to come in that door, back there!" The driver was confused since he was taking orders from the bride and her parents from inside the vehicle too. He explained there was to be a picture taken by a certain tree. Sam insisted there wasn't any time for that, and demanded the driver move the limo back. The bride and all her stuff get ushered into the chapel and there we wait. She still didn't have her nails done. Her cousin volunteered for the task about ten minutes before it's time to walk down the aisle. Sam hollered to us to get lined up. "Where is Mimi?" everyone was wondering.

Later, I find out the nail polish had spilled on the floor and there was a frantic half-assed effort to clean it up. The bride changed her mind that she wanted the children to walk down first. Sam insisted we must do it as rehearsed the night before. I noticed a vein popping in his forehead. The father of the bride and The Wedding Nazi butted heads but the Wedding Nazi won the skirmish. The flower girl was confused about when to walk down. A compromise was reached. The boys walked down first and the flower girl walked down after the last bridesmaid, just before the bride.

The Ceremony:
I walk down the aisle on cue and met my handsome groomsman at the dais, he had missed the rehearsal the night before, so I whisper to him, "Bow," when we step up to the table. Slightly confused, but obedient, John followed my lead and all goes smoothly.

One of the priests looked like a salty-haired Mr. Bean.
I tried not to think of it, for fear of inappropriate laughter. We stand for 45 minutes on very hard marble. I resisted looking at the candles as advised at rehearsal to avoid fainting, and listened to the chanters. The ceremony was beautiful. The flower girl was standing, shifting, one arm akimbo like a little diva.
The flowers got really heavy and then we were walking out again.

The Reception:
It was starting to rain at the time to head over to the hall so one groomsman offered to get an umbrella from the car. I look up and see this dapper tuxedoed man walking with a bright tangerine umbrella. It's not the wide kind for two people to easily walk under, it's the highly domed kind, somewhat reminiscent of the clear plastic bubble ones that were popular in the 70's. He reminds me of a Magritte painting. Several of the bridal party caravan to the reception hall with me in the lead, I nearly lose everyone at a stop light. (In my defense I only knew of one groomsman who was unsure of the way who was following me, but he had some other guys following him.) We make it there and are ushered upstairs for our own private cocktail party while the rest of the guests enjoy cocktails downstairs. The place is absolutely gorgeous. Gold and crystal chandeliers, damask wall papers, and rich textiles decorate the rooms. Everyone is introduced into the Grand Ballroom.

Pure genius on The Bride and Groom's part was to provide big wheels for the little ringbearers to cruise around on while the Father of the Bride gave a neverending toast. Delicious food was followed with lots of Greek-style dancing,

including the Ouzo circle dance the young men were doing in a corner to demonstrate their "manly coolness." Money was strewn all over the floor after having been thrown into the air by the Father of the Bride and other relatives.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Holden Turtles

Well, I'm back from a week at Holden Beach, North Carolina with the kids (and Oma, Grandpa, and my sister's whole family of 7). It was loads of fun. This was the first year that my sons took a real liking to the waves, either jumping them or riding them on boogie boards. Lil Mis "L" was scared to death of the water for the first half of the week. Granted the waves were pretty ginormous, but even after she was OK with wading in knee deep, she'd completely freak out if she saw me out there swimming.

The most exciting part of our stay this year (no we weren't evacuated this time) was the nest of sea turtle eggs right near the dunes by "our" place. Not only that, but it was the week that they were expected to hatch! Now I didn't see the nest "boil" as they say. (That's when the sand bubbles up because the baby turtles are pushing their way up and out.) But I did see the most adorable little tracks in the sand one morning. Sea turtles are heavily protected on Holden Beach. They've got a Turtle Patrol specially equipped with red t-shirts and ball caps monitoring the whole process. They had the nest taped off and they dug a trench out to the water to give the hatchlings a better chance of making it to the sea. Two days after the hatch, the Turtle Patrol noticed a crab hole down in the nest, so they carefully hand dug up any remaining eggs or hatchlings. There were five babies left. I asked if I could touch one of the broken pieces of shell. Would you believe it's ILLEGAL to touch a piece of shell? I can understand why touching the endangered turtles would be a problem, but a discarded piece of turtle eggshell? C'mon. I wasn't asking to keep it. Oh well. We all got to watch them walk the trench, some much faster than others. We placed our bets and named them, but since they all looked the same it was hard to be sure who really "won". They didn't crawl into the ocean either, they were collected at the end of the trench and then placed in the water. A thunderstorm was approaching and the Patrollers wanted to speed things along a bit. Still pretty amazing. Most likely a once in a lifetime experience.

*Because the turtles are attracted to light, we weren't allowed to use flash photography, so I didn't bother taking any pictures since it was dusky when they made their way down the beach. The one I found online, however is pretty good and shows the cute little tracks they make, like the ones I saw.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Ren Fest, Races, and Rides

Last weekend, as in just over a week ago, I took my three darling children to the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Huzzah! It happened to be the hottest day in August, but we went anyway, and I think we had fun. Sometimes, when it's very hot and humid, and I can feel sweat sliding down the valleys of my body, it's hard to feel anything other than hot and perhaps a little irritable. I made some cloaks for the kids to wear, but guess what? I forgot to bring a camera, so a whole day of photo ops was lost. I tried to make a conscious effort to store up some vivid memories, though. Let's see, we started out by spending nine bucks for three snow balls, and then walked over to the playground area. On our way over there, I noticed a sign a for free pony rides, and L wanted one, so she got to ride around the ring once on a little brown pony. She wanted the white pony, but didn't make a fuss. (That's my girl.) Our quest for the day was to enjoy as much shade as possible, and the playground was mostly shady, but unfortunately the jousting was not. We stood off to the side in a small patch of shadow cast by a small spindly tree and saw two jousts. The boys wanted to know why no one was knocked off his horse. We watched two plays. The first was Robin Hood, the children's theater version where volunteers from the audience act out the story. We sat still and watched. The shade shifted and we got a little baked in the sun. Then we walked around a bit, bought some wooden swords and then watched most of the Hack and Slash show, we were late and the best shady seats we could find were behind some posts and trees so we had to lean to get a good view. Oddly enough, even though it was so hot, and we were sweating quite a bit, I guess the kids were well hydrated because it seemed like each time we visited the "privies", five minutes later someone else had to "go" again. I was losing most all my water through my skin... After about 4 hours of wandering around peering in shops, and spending too much money on beverages and food, we all agreed it was time to leave. It would have been much more enjoyable on a cooler weekend, but this was the one when kids were free!

Friday "Grandma" took all of us to the Maryland State Fair. I usually don't like the fair. You see, I have lived for 30 years only about a half mile away from the fair, and it gets old. I also get annoyed with all the increased traffic and lack of parking at the shops, but actually this year it wasn't so bad. Maybe I just stayed home more this past week. Anyway, we went to the fair on Friday and had a really fun time. We saw lots of cows, horses- part of a pony show, pigs- with 4 day old piglets, chickens-and just hatched chicks, and other farm animals, prized vegetables and local honeybees, but L was disappointed that the cows babies weren't being born as scheduled. Grandma also bought us tickets for rides. I took the boys on a little caterpillar roller coaster, L on a merry-go-round (and tried not to get sick), and we all went through a mirror maze fun house. We got to look through a telescope and see the sun. It just looked like a bright yellow circle, no spots or flares, probably because it was a little overcast. D won a stuffed animal for popping three balloons (for $5) by throwing darts at them, and then the man gave L a little blue bear just for smiling at him with her big blue eyes. Then, since I have never once been to the races here in town, we watched two horse races as well. Grandma placed a two dollar bet on number 6, her first bet ever, but he came in 4th place. Oh well, at least the parking was free. It turned out to be a much more educational "field trip" than I had expected too. We learned a good bit about erosion and global warming and how it would effect our wildlife and streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed area. Overall a rollicking good time. Experienced through the eyes of my children, it was like being a kid again myself. Thanks again Grandma M!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


I thought I'd finally post something! I started school with the boys two weeks ago, we are following a pretty structured schedule now and so far so good. Last week's impromptu art lesson, jumping off from something the boys were already "into," was to create their own Pokemon character in a crayon/watercolor resist. They had already been busy making (rather crudely) some of their very own Pokemon cards drawn out in colored pencil on index cards and then roughly cut to size. My idea was to make a larger painting of one of their favorites. It took very little to motivate them, in fact they were busy before I finished giving them some basic instructions. Today, after fiddling around with the scanner and changing some preexisting cards, at K's request, I thought, we should actually make their paintings into cards. This became an all day project of figuring out the software and remembering once learned, and soon forgotten, computer graphics skills I picked up in high school.

The paintings:

As you can see, K already added some of the card info to his painting.

OK, now their cards. I had to squish D's "Spiraly" to get him to fit our format, and they aren't perfect, but certainly satisfactory for a first time effort, I think.

Twice this week I received emails from different friends with a link to this ebay item. There's a very funny story that goes along with the Pokemon theme here, about shopping with lots of children, and how sometimes we buy things we never even meant to. She is a kindred "mommy blogger" check out her other funny writings here.