Monthly Archives: November 2006

A Visit From the Ambassador of Willistan

Yesterday, Eli’s friend Will came to visit. Will’s parents and his young brother came as well, but since Will is about Eli’s age, nothing else mattered but Will. They ran around the house shrieking and having a good time hitting things and dropping things and chewing on things while us parents sat around the kitchen table and looked at each other as if to say, “What were we thinking?”

It turns out Will is in the warped toddler logic stage of development as well. Right now Will’s very interested in what things are made of. According to his mom, that led to the following conversation:

Will: What are people made of?
Will’s Mom: Skin.
Will: Oh.
Will’s Mom: Do you know what’s under people’s skin?
Will: Poop.

Eli and Will play together well, especially considering that they’re both about three years old and thus share slightly better than rabid cats. They would each grab a toy, shout, “POGO STICK!”, and then hop around the house giggling madly.

It all went well until Eli and Will became tired. Then negotiations broke down over a set of rubber ducks. Will found them and began carrying them around. Eli demanded them back. Will refused. What followed was enough crying and angry, confused babbling to fill an entire Lifetime movie. We told Eli that he couldn’t take the ducks back from Will because Will had them first.

Then Eli wised up. He rummaged around in one of his toy buckets and found a large ball. “Look, mommy! Look, daddy! Look, Will! A ball! Wow!” He sidled over to Will. “I give you this ball and you give me the ducks, okay? Okay?” It was not okay, of course, and eventually I had to take the ducks away and explain that they needed to go to sleep.

This is how I imagine the United Nations works. “Ooh, light-water reactors! Look, everyone, light-water reactors! I give you these reactors and you give me your nuclear weapons program, okay?”

Fun For The Whole Family of Young Boys

For Christmas last year, my family gave me the Books-A-Million Book Lover’s Calendar. I’ve enjoyed seeing what books the calendar profiles and how they describe the books. Then I saw the description for Lord of the Flies.

William Golding won the Nobel Prize for his classic tale of a group of English schoolboys’ attempts to govern themselves while they are marooned on an island. The book brilliantly reveals the boys’ struggle between civilization and barbarism, highlighting the fragility of their social network. All this in the form of a rollicking good adventure tale.”

I say, Piggy, we’re having a jolly fun time, eh? Let us sharpen these stakes on both ends, what?

Big Boy Bed Update

Eli went to bed great last night. He seemed a bit confused by me reading to him in bed. (We previously sat in the rocking chair in his room to read our bedtime story.) But by the middle of the book he was getting sleepy and doing some heavy snuzzling with his blankie. After story, I turned out the light and sung a very poor rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, obviously the new bed confused me too since it rendered me unable to remember the verses!

I heard him at about one this morning. I either dreamed he was laughing and he made a noise loud enough to wake me up or he really was laughing in his sleep.

This morning at about 6:45 he woke up and knocked on his bedroom door and said, “Are you in there, Mommy?” I told him last night that we would come get him at seven. And I situated the clock so he could see it but I guess he forgot this morning in his ability to leap from his bed.

Stephen went and liberated him and asked him how the big boy bed slept. Eli’s response, “Fine.”

Friday Night Videos: Animated

a-ha: Take On Me (1985)

The video has held up surprisingly well over twenty years, despite the female lead’s tragically 1980s hair. It’s a mix of rotoscope and live animation that has lived longer in cultural memory than the movie it’s in part aping, Altered States. Family Guy has even replicated the video’s look, though given how fast they chew through random references, it’s no surprise that they’d eventually have to borrow from the Norwegians.

Gorillaz: 19-2000 (2001)

I really like the animation on the early Gorillaz videos. And I must confess that I never get tired of “objects in the rearview mirror are closer than they appear” riffs. Except when Meatloaf does it. Brr.

Guitar Hero v Kidz Beats

Earlier we mentioned that we bought Eli a toy guitar to carry for Halloween as part of his Guitar Hero costume. In the picture below you can see a Guitar Hero guitar/controller for the PS2 game on the left and Eli’s Kidz Beats guitar on the right.

Two toy guitars

They resemble each other, yes? But a closer look turns up some notable discrepancies.

Guitar Hero Controller Kidz Beats Guitar
5 fret buttons 8 fret buttons
No built-in songs Many built-in songs
Chords must be manually played Auto-chording mode
Annoying cord Cordless
Black-and-white body Rockin’ colors
$30 $10

I had no idea Harmonix and Red Octane were ripping me off like this.

Making a Difference

Jessica got me hooked on a crafting blog a while back and I’ve been reading it and several others like it. It’s fun to see what other people are making and what’s out there. Several of the blogs I read are European and there’s even one from Australia so it’s always interesting to see what’s trendy elsewhere and what craft is popular where. is the one that Jessica originally showed me and they have just completed a couple of posts on teaching prisoners in Britain to quilt. I found it both interesting to see how people are using their crafting abilities to make people’s lives better and incredibly moving to hear the prisoners talk about their new skills.

You can read the two part series here and here.