New Jen's Horde

Monday, October 31, 2005

Just had a thought...

Kids are starting to knock on our door to Trick or Treat. It occurred to me that this would be an EXCELLENT night to serve papers on someone. Almost everyone is going to throw their doors open wide to anyone who knocks tonight between 6 and 9.

I hear there's good money in that. I'm going to see if I can get a job doing that next year. "Trick or treat, are you Steve Smith? You've been served. Hey, are those Reese's Peanut Bu-SLAM...darn.... Oh well, who's next on the list?"


Happy Halloween!

To help celebrate I bring you Retrocrush's 100 Greatest Horror Movie Performances.

It is a good list, but I would have put the creepy long haired girls from Ringu or Ju-On (or their American remakes) on there somewhere. That's just me, though. They did put the creepy boy from Ju-on in at #71, he was mighty scary....

Editing to add: Oops! I'm an idiot! I missed Daveigh Chase at #68. The Japanese version was scarier with the whole EYE thing, but this one certainly gave me the willies, too! There, I feel better.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

Can you do me a quick favor?

Pop on over and add yourselves to my new map? (Just follow the arrow!)


Thank you kindly :-)


Need a graveyard in a hurry?

Or maybe a haunted dollhouse or an undead chess set? You can find them all here for free at the Ravensblight printable paper toys page.

After only two tries I made this super cool coffin for my daughter's tiny octopus toy. (Once I read the instructions it went much better...I have issues with authority, sue me.)


I think I'm going to make some of the skull dice for the kids next.


Friday, October 28, 2005

Getting Ready for Halloween

OK, I'll just pretend they mean I'm intelligent and well-read, and of course classy, and I'm going to ignore the whole "ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti SLURP SLURP SLURP" part...

Take the quiz: "Which Horror Movie Are You?"

The Silence Of The Lambs
You're a thinker, a creator, and a very psychological person. You enjoy learning about other people, whether it is to befriend them, or to destroy them. You take pride in being you, although you sometimes can get fed up with even yourself. You're an extremely intelligent person, but don't let your mind get the best of you. You're smarter than you think.


Wish They'd Cut Me a Check...


My blog is worth $19,758.90.
How much is your blog worth?

I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean, but I saw it at Cube's Blog and had to try it...


Thursday, October 27, 2005

My third Thursday Thirteen


Thirteen Things about JEN

1. I'm back from my friend Sara's cabin early, it seemed like the kids were getting sick so we cut it short. It was a load of fun and we're all waiting with bated breath for the game "Cornhole," which is apparently going to be Sara's Christmas present from her family. I can only imagine.

2. Sheri at Shades of Pink tagged with a meme where I'm supposed to tell 5 things about myself. I asked if I could just roll it into my Thirteen, hope that's OK!

3. I like to drive. I especially like to drive when I get to be the DJ, too.

4. But, I don't like to turn left unless I have a light or some other protection. I hate it when the people behind you assume you should have gone and start honking, it makes me all tense. Look I drive a minivan, I guarantee you it doesn't have the same "get up and go" as whatever you're driving...

5. I could read before I went to school.

6. Unlike Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, I don't recall the teacher yelling at me for already knowing how to read.

7. I was born in Indiana. When Maya and Sage were born, Davin and I were asked our birthplaces for their birth certificates. Even though I filled it out correctly, their initial paperwork came back saying I was born in India and we had to send it back.

8. Speaking of birth certificates, when I ordered mine from Indiana for a trip out the country (pre-9/11) it came to me stating a birthdate that was 9 days after the one I've been celebrating my whole life. It was apparently a data inputing mistake with the new one, and my parents insist I haven't been living a lie, but it's weird that I now have two legal birthdates to choose from...

9. I am taking a Conversational Spanish class right now. For the most part I'm doing ok, and it's interesting how all of my college Spanish is slowly drifting back up to the surface. Mostly this week I've been goofing off and creating sentences that really don't mean what I want them to mean in Spanish, but are very funny to me. Por ejemplo (for example) before leaving for the bathroom I now say: "Necesito vistar un hombre a respecto un caballo," that is, "I need to see a man about a horse." I slay myself.

10. In college Spanish, we all had to pick Spanish names for ourselves. I tried to act innocent and told the teacher I'd like my name to be Mary Jane. Apparently this wasn't nearly as hilarious to her as it was to me, and she said I wasn't allowed to be called "MariJuana" and that I needed to choose something else. I spent the rest of my college Spanish career being, simply, Juana. I'm beginning to remember why I didn't do so well in college...

11. I also took Latin in college, and French and German in high school. Latin was my favorite hands down, because we got to read cool stories and, being a dead language, we never had to learn how to order things in a restaurant. I always hate that part. French was my least favorite, because I completely sucked at it.

12. We love Halloween, and between now and Monday there's only one day that we're not attending a Halloween party.

13. I start decorating for Halloween after my birthday (August 10 or 19, depending on which paperwork you're looking at), so we've been in the spirit for quite some time now... Happy Halloween everyone!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Renee at fefyfomanna

2. Shake it Like a Polaroid Picture

3. MommaK at Petroville

4. His Phoenix

5. Jenny @ Jenny's Journal

6. Leanne

7. Loose Leaf

8. Tommi @ Just another boring blonde

9. InterstellarLass

10. Nearest Distant Shore

11. I'm Just Sayin'

12. Mrs. Fun

13. Multiple Mania

14. You and Me and Baby Makes Three

15. Simply Sassy

16. Sleeping Mommy

17. Has to Be a Pony Somewhere

18. Uzi's Musings

19. Trinity @ dodge this

20. lilybleu

21. Jak @ It's Not Called SLO For Nothing

22. Sugar Mommy

23. The Fountain Pen

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


I love stories like this!

I love to read stories about homeschooling families who use their freedom to do different things together.

To me, this story was especially interesting for a couple of reasons.

For starters, I have this secret desire to be like the Von Trapp family, all singing and making music together. However, unless there's some exploding musical niche for armpit fart recordings, it's not going to happen. That is, unless they really are serious about beans being "the musical fruit," in which case we're simply leading the pack of some Music/Bodily Functions Fusion movement.

More importantly, I think I felt drawn to this story because they specifically set out to do something together as a family to bring them closer together after the death of one of the children. That really resonated with me, after the many times we've been faced with how fragile life can be.

I just thought this was really neat.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

We're out of town!

Be back Friday....


Monday, October 24, 2005

We Are(n't) The Champions, My Friends....

Yesterday, my family participated in the Girl Scout 5K & 1K Walk/Run in Washington Park in lovely Denver, Colorado.

We came in dead last.

In our defense, we didn't actually start with the pack, when the race started we were waiting at the potties. And we weren't really terribly motivated. And we had to stop a few times to use the portapotties again, and Maya and Sage got blisters, plus we had a stoller with Tiernan in it and that slowed us down. Mostly, it was a beautiful fall day and there was just no need to rush, and we were having fun with the other family we walked with. I am glad to say that, as the fat girl of the party, I was NOT the one slowing us down, which was my main concern. Whew!

We weren't sure until we saw the results online that we were last in our categories, but we were pretty sure anyway. We had our first inkling that we weren't doing very well early on when we realized that we were being tailed by a police escort, and they were taking down the cones and barricades that blocked the roads to traffic as we passed them. One officer actually told us that if we cut down a side street we'd catch up with the pack. I'm fairly certain that's not a good sign. I think when people in the Boston Marathon see that sort of stuff happening, they take off their bibs and catch a cab home. Not us! At some point there's a perverse joy in seeing just how truly magnificently you can suck at something.

To give you an idea of how wretchedly this went down, most of the folks who came in first were doing so in about 25-35 minutes. The fastest runner did it in just under 16 minutes. The oldest person in the race (a respectable 83 years old, he was!) came in at 53:54. We rolled in at 1 hour and 30+ minutes after the start of the race. We were far enough behind the second to last people that, as I came through the chute I threw my hands up and pretended I was the very first person and asked why the ribbon wasn't up. They humored us and gave us the star treatment, which was mighty kind considering I was just surprised that the clock was still running and there will still people waiting.

Oh well, we're bound to do better next year!


Saturday, October 22, 2005

Be on the lookout

"Ripped straight from the headlines!" (OK, ripped from Yahoo's Oddly Enough pages...)

A motorcyclist with a helmet-wearing corpse strapped to his back crashed in this Mexican city on the U.S. border on Friday and fled on foot, setting off a police murder hunt..."When the police arrived they took the helmet off the corpse, believing at first that he had died in the crash," said Francisco Castro, a spokesman for the Baja California state police's homicide division. "But he had adhesive tape stuck to his face, a knife wound to his forehead, and showed signs of strangulation," he added.
I wonder how long it will be before this story turns up as an episode of Law & Order or CSI?


Friday, October 21, 2005

Happy 10th Birthday, Anya!

You know what that means?

Yep, I've been changing diapers non-stop for 10 years.

Since October 21st, 1995, I've had anywhere between one and three kids in diapers at any given time.

Doesn't that rate a Medal of Honor, or at least maybe my own talk show? I'd settle for a free trip for my four year old to Potty Training Camp. You'd think I'd know how to do this by now, but apparently God has saved my biggest challenge for last.

If you'll excuse me, I smell nature calling...


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Thursday Thirteen #2 (for me!)


Thirteen Things about JEN

1.Today is my Dad's birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad!

2. I try not to mimic my kids when they pronounce things incorrectly. This was a lesson learned the hard way, when my oldest daughter couldn't get a babysitter to grasp the urgency when she informed her she was going to have "ballerina poops." (diarrhea.)

3. I have a weird obsession with office supplies, and cleaning supplies, too. I don't know why, but I love to purchase these items. I think I am trying to create some sense of order and cleanliness in my life. It's not really working as well as I'd like...

4. I met Davin in high school, and I've known him for 20 years now. So far he's working out well :-)

5. I just discovered iTunes. I mean, I always knew it was out there, but I just started using it. I think I have serious issues, it's taking up a lot of my time.

6. My favorite download so far? Us by Regina Spektor. The kids' favorite? Godzilla, by Blue Oyster Cult. Oddly enough, I can't find a video of that one to show you, but here are the lyrics if you're interested.

7. In my senior year, my friends and I performed The Time Warp from the Rocky Horror Picture Show for the school talent show. I was a Transylvanian. We did not win, but we hadn't expected to, we just did it for the sheer joy of goofing off with friends.

8. I used to pierce my own ears.

9. I had my nose pierced 3 times, but I didn't do those myself.

10. I am in the middle of crocheting a sweater for this project.

11. My grandma saw a ghost in my house. I've never seen it, but other people have told me they've heard voices or felt something creepy. I asked around and got various opinions on what it was ranging from demonic activity to lingering energy to "active imaginations." I've decided that denial is my best option here, and I just ignore it.

12. I had a lump in my breast last month. I decided that denial was NOT my best option in this arena and sought medical advice. It was determined to be a sebaceous cyst and has since disappeared.

13. I would like to see my sister play this as well. She's full of interesting thoughts! Julie, if you read this today, try it. If not, do try next week?

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Shake it Like a Polaroid Picture

2. MommaK at Petroville

3. Leanne

4. PractiGal

5. Jak at It's Not Called SLO for Nothing

6. Interstellar Lass

7. I'm Just Sayin'

8. Life isn't all ha ha hee hee

9. Mommy D at Multiple Mania

10. Rashbre

11. Renee at fefyfomanna

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I'm not normally into Betty Boop,

but you have to love this delightfully nightmarish version of Snow White from 1933.

It gets really good after Betty Boop is frozen in ice and the clown starts singing Cab Calloway's version of "St James Infirmary." The first time I saw it, several years ago, I remember it actually gave me the shivers. I was so excited to find it available to watch online, *I LOVE THE INTERNET!*

Speaking of "St. James Infirmary," this is a great song! It's been covered by darn near everyone. I spent a few hours yesterday on iTunes just listening to the different versions and downloading the ones I like. After Cab Calloway's rendition, I think I like Louis Armstrong's the best. Man, he had a voice I could listen to all day...


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Watchdog group cracks hidden tracking codes in color copiers

Apparently, even if you don't put your name on your copies, it's possible they can be traced back to you by tiny dots on each page.

This article states:

Researchers found patterns of yellow dots arranged in 15 by 8 grids and printed repeatedly over every color page, said Seth Schoen, a staff technologist at the San Francisco-based civil-liberties group.

The dots are visible only with a magnifying glass or under blue light, which causes the yellow dots to appear black.

By analyzing test pages printed out by supporters worldwide and by staffers at various FedEx Kinko's locations, researchers found that some of the dots correspond to the printers' serial numbers. Other dots refer to the date and time of the printing.
How super secret can these documents be if people are copying them at Kinko's? I'm pretty sure that's where James Bond goes when he...

Oh wait, did they say Kinko's? Hang on, I have to go shred some color buttprints...


Monday, October 17, 2005

Dzzzhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ow. Ka-CHING!

That's my phonetic rendering of a tattoo parlour. Do you like it?

Remember when I told you I would be babysitting four adults as they got tattoos this weekend? They didn't really need a sitter, so I'm just going to assume that I'm so much fun they needed me along even though my presence was completely superfluous.

I have two tattoos, both of which I'd gladly get rid of (one more than the other) if given the chance. I could argue that I was young and stupid, but I got one of them after I was married! Still love the husband, but regret the tattoo. Sometimes I'm a moron.

So, even though I had the means and opportunity, I lacked motive and just hung out while everyone else submitted to the needle.

All of the artwork turned out well, but this one was just so interesting I thought I'd post it. I was used to tattoos looking kind of like intricate coloring book drawings, but this one (on my very dear friend Janet) has variations and depth and is just not what I expected a tattoo could look like:
tat-Janet after
I don't know a lot about tattoos, so it's possible they've been doing this a while and I just never noticed. I wish the picture was better, she's still pretty red and swollen here, and it's hard to see how subtle the shading is.

As far as the Ka-CHING part, good tattoos are expensive and everyone involved was told ahead of time how much their choice would cost, so there were no surprises. They all felt happy with the price and their results. They were done at the Emporium of Design in Denver (the artist who did the one above was called "Grandpa." He was pretty cool.)


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Image Scavenger Hunt

I saw this over at Barry's blog and it just looked like such a hoot I couldn't pass it up.

First you go to Google Image Search and look up the following categories. Post the first (appropriate) picture that comes up for each question. Have at it!

-The name of the town where you grew up:
I am a proud graduate of Evergreen High School, class of '88. OK, I wasn't proud at the time, just glad to get out of such a little town. It was a nice place, but at the time they didn't have a movie theater or anything and on Saturday nights the kids hung out in front of the 7-11. Yep.

-The name of the town where you live now:
It's an eagle landing, but for a long time before I moved here I thought it was some sort of freaky running bird. Watch out Wyle E. Coyote's after you! If he catches you, you're through...

-Your name:
This is Jennifer Love Hewitt.

-Your Grandmother's name (pick one):Wanda
This is the first photo for the name "Wanda." Apparently Grandma was a scantily dressed alien lifeform. Grandpa knows how to pick 'em!

-Your favorite food:

-Your favorite drink:
I typed in Diet Coke, I got Diet Coke with Bacon. Frightening.

-Your favorite song:
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

-Your favorite smell:
clean baby
This is what was first when I entered "clean baby." Who doesn't love that clean baby smell? Especially when they're brand new and their hair is just fluff and even their poo isn't all that stinky... So wonderful.


Friday, October 14, 2005

A-POOP-aclypse Now

Tiernan, who will be 4 this weekend, actually pooped *IN* the toilet last night. This is a first, it has never happened before.

I am giving him credit for it, even though the initial "Recon Turds" were released into the tub where he was bathing. They radio'd back the message that they had not found the proper co-ordinates and he quickly re-oriented his position and dropped the final payload in the toilet.

I consider this a successful mission, and am confident it is the first of many.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Thursday Thirteen


Thirteen Things about Jen

1. I had lunch at McDonald's today with two women, a four year old, 3 three year olds and a kid who's almost 2.

2. I very much enjoyed myself at lunch. I think my standards have really changed.

3. Tomorrow is the first day this week that I don't have to go anywhere. I'm not sure why they call it homeschooling.

4. My four kids just started in Girl Scouts this year, even though one of them is a boy. So far it works.

5. My middle name is Dee. My parents didn't have anyone in mind when they chose it, but it ended up being the name of my Dad's second wife. Weird, huh?

6. My last name is hyphenated, so is Davin's. We also hypenated all of the kids. Before you ask, I don't care what they do with their names when they get married, it's not my problem :-)

7. I learned how to surf the internet when I was on bedrest for 19 weeks with my twins. I LURVE the internet, it saved my sanity!

8. I bite my nails.

9. I have one sister and two brothers, two sisters in law and a brother in law. I haven't met one of my sisters in law yet.

10. My sister and I shared the same due date, only hers was exactly one year later. She was born 8 days after her due date and I used to tease her that she's been 8 days late ever since. ;-P

11. I know all the words to Barry Manilow's Copa Cabana. I will sing them for you, if you like. That song doesn't accurately reflect my musical taste, though ;-)

12. I am babysitting 4 adults this weekend as they go get tattoos. I'm not entirely sure how this situation came about... At least I won't have to tell anyone to "push!"

13. Considering how much I go and and on in person, this really wasn't as easy as I would have thought...

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Shake it Like a Polaroid Picture
2. MommaK
3. Interstellar Lass
4. Uzi's Musings
5. Leanne
6. Jenny's Journal
7. It's Not Called SLO For Nothing
8. the daffodil quill
9. Multiple Mania
10. The Color Purple
11. Has to be a Pony Somewhere
12. Memoirs of a squashedtoad
13. The Fountain Pen
14. A Cluttered Mind
15. Wednesdays Off

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


I hope to embiggen my vocabulary

by studying this list of made up words in The Simpsons.

Don't be, as we say in Latin, a dorkus malorkus...go check it out!

Via Pop Culture Junk Mail


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Easiest babysitting job EVER!!!!!

You gotta love babysitting when the kids all tape their own mouths shut and see who can stay quiet the longest!
Tape mouth

Next they took the googly eyes and taped them to themselves, crazy freaks!
Googly eyed freaks

Now they're full of popcorn and koolaid and destroying the basement, whatever, they're out of my hair.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Bodyworlds is coming to Denver!

They announced last night that the Bodyworlds exhibit will be coming to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science early next year.

I CAN'T WAIT! I was so hoping it would come here!!!!!!


Monday, October 10, 2005

Colorado, where the seasons come all out of order...

Last night we had our first snow. That is always a fun and welcome time of year, the kids love to play in it, and we love how pretty it makes the neighborhood.

But for some weird reason, the first snow came before the trees lost all their leaves this year. This always makes for a great deal of broken branches, and we have plenty of that in our neighborhood.
First Snow-Green Tree
In fact, as you can see from this photo, the seasons are so mixed up, the leaves hadn't even changed yet because it's been so mild until today. They're still green! Stupid weather.

We are lucky that none of our fallen branches landed on our house or our car. But that doesn't mean our house has suffered no casualties:
First Snow-Tragic loss of life
Rescue workers toiled ceaselessly through the morning to pull our dear friend Joe Scarecrow from the wreckage, with no regard to their own danger. In spite of his long ordeal, he appears to have no major injuries, and will return to work as soon as the area is declared safe.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

All Hail Julie!

OK, if you've been reading at all this month, you know that we've had a horrifying "pets gone wrong" situation here. Our Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, who we were assured wouldn't reproduce, did so in a spectacular fashion and at least one of the tiny nasties escaped the cage.

We were told that they couldn't survive in our climate, so we needn't worry about any escapees, and we jettisoned the tank, the mothers and the spawn and thought we were off the hook.

Then Julie hit the scene.

Julie, you need to know, is a complete genius. She is my little sister, and while I'm sure I've called her all sorts of mean names over the course of our lives, and often called her intelligence into question, I will do so no longer. I do not doubt her intellectual superiority, I EMBRACE it, and urge you all to do the same.

You see, it may not be obvious from reading my blog, but I am stubborn. And I am especially stubborn when I don't want to think about something, for instance an army of non-native, giant roaches breeding in my kitchen. And giant they are, open this link at your own risk. Picture me with my hands over my ears singing, "LA LA LA LA, I DON'T HEAR YOU! LA LA LA LA!" When this subject comes up...

Julie's no dummy, and she did a lot of research on these nasty creatures. Then she applied logic to the situation ("The people who told you they couldn't survive in your climate, weren't they the same ones who told you that two females wouldn't breed?") and more importantly, used her time-tested sister training techniques to make me listen. She told me terrifying stories of places she's had to travel for her job, and the infestations she's seen there. She persuaded me, even though I was in deep denial, to buy roach foggers and set them off, even though there was probably no good reason to do so LA LA LA!

Well, we came home, aired out the house, and found FOUR (4)! dead baby roaches in the kitchen. As we all know by now, it only takes two, regardless of gender apparently, and so we've hopefully avoided an invasion.

Thank you, Julie, for being persistent. Thanks for telling me what to do, even when I didn't want to believe you. Thanks, above all, for keeping my house from looking like this.


20,000+ Dead in South Asia

Our prayers are with you.


Saturday, October 08, 2005



Posted by Picasa

Tonight we will be taking the family to see Corpse Bride at our local drive-in movie theater. If you're in town, stop by and say hi! We're the ones in the big vehicle with the kids and the popcorn, you can't miss us.

It's the last night they will be open until spring. Sigh.

The drive-in is the BEST places to take little kids to see movies. For one, it's $12 a carload, you can't beat that with a stick! No one around cares if they're fidgety, you can bring your own food, and the kids can ask questions or sing along the whole time, should they be inclined to do so. Or if the movie is a real dog, (Fantastic Four, I'm looking at you!) your three year old son can play with the windshield wipers and other things on the dash while you wait for it all to be over.

Long live the Drive-in!


Friday, October 07, 2005

Baby Names

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper wrote an open letter to Kal-el, the new son of Nicolas Cage. Kal-el, for those of you who aren't up on your DC Comics origin mythos, is the birth name Superman was given on his home planet of Krypton.

Check here, A letter from Ga-el to Kal-el, for her letter, as well as reader feedback on what it was like growing up with mundane or unusual names.

This part cracked me up:
You wouldn't know this, Kal-el, being newborn and all, but back in the 1970s and 1980s, there were really only 10 first names legally allowed, and we all had to share 'em. OK, not really, but it seems a good explanation for why I know approximately 8 million people in their 30s named Jennifer, Scott, Lisa, and Dan.
You know the weird thing about being a Jennifer in her 30s? It seems like a lot of us now go by Jen. I don't know many 30+ "Jennifers" any more, there are a few, but we're mostly Jens anymore. Well, there is that one over-exposed 30+ Jennifer who now just goes by J and the start of her last name, but I think that's an affectation.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Despite the wildfires, the "Stately Wayne Manor" still stands.




This came from a homeschool message board I'm on. I don't know who the authors are, but they're wickedly clever!

"Once you've learned to correctly pronounce every word in the following poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world. If you find it tough going, do not despair, you are not alone: Multi-national personnel at North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters near Paris found English to be an easy language... until they tried to pronounce it.

To help them discard an array of accents, the verses below were devised. After trying them, a Frenchman said he'd prefer six months at hard labor to reading six lines aloud. Try them yourself."


Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation--think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough:
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup. My advice is to give up!
To read the rest, click on the .*.*.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I love the smell of Pine-Sol in the morning


Posted by Picasa
it smells like...VICTORY!

Wow, my house has never been cleaner than it is right now. No sign of any more CaCa-roaches so I believe our "keeping insects as pets" phase is officially over...

We've moved on to learning about our newest creature, Killer.

Many thanks to Khan at Macca Funhouse for the pic. :-)


Monday, October 03, 2005

It's a miracle! Hallelujah!

But we're getting rid of them anyway...

If you've been reading my blog a while, you may recall that I'm an idiot and I actually paid money for cockroaches. Granted, they were Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, but they're roaches all the same. We put them in a small tank on a shelf above the kitchen sink. They are pretty easy pets, they don't demand much. They poop a lot, (we call them the "CaCa-roaches") but they don't smell and they are kind of interesting. I never liked them, but they weren't my job to care for, so I let them co-exist with me even though they gave me the willies.

We were very careful to choose two of the same gender, and when the girls (which my children named "Cock" and "Roach") passed the 60 day point in which they could have come to us pregnant and had more, we heaved a small sigh of relief.

So, yesterday, after we'd owned them for over 4 months, when Davin saw a funky little "beetle" on the kitchen counter, he didn't think anything of it. He just disposed of it and went on with his day. That is, until a few hours later when he went to clean out the tank and found a zillion little baby CaCa-roaches, all fully capable of sliding through the airholes in the lid of the tank. Insert violent shudder with gagging and standing on chair here. Luckily it's too cold and dry here for them to survive outside the tank, so we won't get infested, but that means precious little when you're disinfecting your kitchen and looking everywhere for other escapees (so far no sign.)

We are unsure as to how this miracle occurred. Perhaps they are like some other insects and can harbor sperm for looooooong periods of time? Maybe one of them wasn't a girl? I suppose it's possible the Holy Cockroach Spirit visited one of them. I don't care. We've wrapped the entire tank and put it out with the trash. The dump has the heat, moisture and food they need to survive, so we're not actually killing them, are we? It's called "plausible deniability."

If you hear in a few months that the landfill outside Denver is overrun with foreign cockroaches, forget you read this.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Who loves the Beatles like I do?

There are a few cool flash movies of Beatles songs at Albino Blacksheep. These may have been there a while, but they're new to me so I'm sharing them.

I Feel Fine

Tomorrow Never Knows

Come Together

Which do you like best? Of the three, Tomorrow Never Knows is my favorite song. But, I I like the artwork in Come Together, with their Abbey Road outfits, better. Still, they're all really great and I'm glad someone put this kind of time into them. I loves me some Beatles, and I know I'm not the only one, so it's always a treat when someone puts something like this out there for the rest of us!

Hat tip to Miss Vaggie at Macca Funhouse.


Saturday, October 01, 2005

Pimp The Baby's Ride

Now, this is impressive! That's true Mama-love for ya.


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