Monday, July 13, 2009

Maxis Are Back And I'm Not Talkin' Pads

When we went to see Megan up in Michigan we took a little side trip to Chicago just for fun. While there I was surprised at a fashion trend that I saw. I can honestly say that it hasn't been in style since 1971, and that was a pretty brief flash in the pan.

I haven't seen any one in Dallas wearing this style. I think it is because it is so hot here that all of that extra fabric might be a contributing factor to heat stroke. Yet I have seen the new maxis on the current racks at Target.

I just don't see this style doing a lot for anyone. Generally, they are made out of tee shirt fabric and they show every lump and bump, or lack thereof. I remember hearing years ago about a study relating the length of women's dress hemlines to the general state of the economy. The better the economy, the shorter the hemline. So according to this predictor we must think the economy is in the toilet if we are willing to wear maxis. I think we should rebel against the pessimism that would put us in cheap prom dresses! I really don't think the economy is bad enough to put the hemlines back 100 years.

We went to Navy Pier to look around.

We might have stayed there a little longer but no one wanted to see the Shang Hai Circus and the Ferris wheel was broken. But what a great place for some pictures.

We found a large fountain and Joe took off his shirt and shoes and took a few minutes to play. In this picture he is reenacting a scene from the movie Annapolis when the plebes in a company were forced to do push ups in the rain.

One of our favorite things to do in Chicago is to go to the Hershey Store. We like to have the Hersheyiser decorate our cupcake for us. It is worth the extra dollar that you pay.

Joe had to pay his devotion to Lord Vader at the Lego store.

We pulled a surprise twin day on Chris. Joe was so excited to wear the same shirt as Chris. They got so many looks and a few comments. I sure hope no one ever does this to me. But I am definitely considering how I could incorporate this into a good April Fool's Day Joke.

No trip to Chicago would be complete without a visit to Giordonos for Chicago style pizza. Joe has been wanting to try this for a long time so he was pretty happy when we finally took him.

Friday, July 10, 2009


I think one of the reasons Joe likes Chris so much is because Chris will play all out. Joe seems to be on the losing side of this shaving cream wresting match.

I am not sure how Megan and Joe got into a tennis wrestling match but it looks like Megan is winning this one. Joe claims they posed for this but I don't know.

Megan and Chris have been living in a house in the Michigan country-side. One feature of the house is a wheel chair lift which Joe decided was a pretty cool theme park ride. I had to put a stop to it because he couldn't just go up and down the steps he had to go up 7 inches, then down 12 inches, then up 18 inches, then down 4 inches. It was getting annoying and I was afraid he was going to break it. He wasn't too upset about losing his Disneyland Pass because we went to the Ford museum and village in Dearborn.

This is the bus on which Rosa Parks made her famous stand by not giving up her seat.

Just inside the door of a railcar diner was this cigarette machine. I remember all of the cigarette machines around when I was a kid. It is no wonder that almost all of the kids in my sixth grade class were already smoking. Joe will be in sixth grade in the fall and I can't imagine anyone his age buying smokes. Back when dinosaurs walked the earth there would be a sign on the machine saying that no one under 18 was allowed to buy the cigarettes, but a machine can not check for ID so you can guess how effective the control was.

This is the car that JFK was riding in when he was shot. You know, I never wondered what happened to that car.

This is the chair that Lincoln was sitting in when he was assasinated. Yes, there is still a blood stain on the chair. Isn't this collection kind of odd? You have to wonder what the curators were thinking.

This was a sign outside a southern plantation home on the museum grounds. I wasn't there but I bet the plantation owner and his kids were working just as long of hours during the harvest. That is the thing about farm work. It is always hard and the harvest has to be done in a timely fashion or the whole crop will be wasted and that might mean starvation for everyone. My dad has a catttle ranch, and even the hay harvest is extemely time sensitve. He works from sun up and into dusk so that he can get his hay in before it gets rained on and he has to sell off his livestock because he has nothing to feed them in the winter. What I am saying is that perhaps the evil slave owners were not so evil, but concerned for the viability of the farm.

When I walked up to this house I almost felt like I had walked into my Grandpa and Grandma Stockam's living room. Then the guide told us that this was the typical home of an African American family in the south during the depression. I had to let her know that a lot of white people were living in similar circumstances. I was starting to get a little peaved that caucasions were being portrayed as the rich over bearing class and that they spent their lives oppressing African Americans.

We found an old fashioned one room school house on the grounds and Joe and I went into our natural roles.

We found a hat shop and somehow Megan talked Joe into posing.

We ate lunch at a cafeteria that tried to serve some authentic old timey recipes. This is a hollowed out bread bowl filled with roast beef, topped with mashed potatoes and then covered with brown gravy. It was pretty good until we got down to the soggy bread. I think a sour dough bread bowl would solve this problem, but I wonder if Lincoln would ever eat anything like that.

This is a letter written by Clyde Barrow, of Bonnie and Clyde. He is praising Ford cars for their get-away ability.

My kids have always been good at walking on stilts so we were able to show off our ability with the old fashioned games and toys in the park of the village.

The Ford Museum and Village had so many displays. If you ever find yourself near Detroit I would reccommend checking it out.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Puzzling Problems for Michael Jackson

I love puzzles. I do a sudoku a day and a crossword once a week. I enjoy putting picture puzzles together with my kids. I really think it is good for a little kid's brain to do picture puzzles. I am also just a little frayed with the constant news releases about Michael Jackson. Have you seen the video being played over and over about how much Michael's two oldest children love their father. The video was taped about 8 years ago. If anyone is as observant as I am you will notice that the puzzle he puts out for his three and four year old children in the video is a 200 piece puzzle. There are a few problems with this. It is kind of like trying to fit a puzzle together when the pieces don't quite fit. Do you take an Exacto knife to the piece and shave it down to fit? No, that would ruin the puzzle's integrity. The same thing goes with the puzzle problems. The puzzle play time is replete with a lack of structural honesty. First, kids that age can't do 200 piece puzzles. Most three and four year-olds enjoy a 12 to 24 piece puzzle. I have seen some really gifted kindergartners do a 50 or 100 piece puzzle. But they have really done a lot of puzzles, and clearly Michael Jackson's kids have not. There are at least 10 adults around in the video, but no one has the sense to notice that the puzzle is age inappropriate. Those poor kids! Additionally, you don't do a large puzzle on the floor, you do it on a table because large puzzles take time and you usually don't finish them in one sitting. If started on the floor then the puzzle would have to be put back in the box for sweeping or vacuuming. You don't even attempt a puzzle from a crushed box, such as the one being shown in the video, because it is painful to know there will be pieces missing even before you start. The only thing those puzzle pieces are good for is to glue on a frame or an ornament as an art project. Any good puzzle person knows these things. You start a puzzle by gathering the straight edges so that you can make the border. Then you look at the picture and gather like colors so that you can maybe start piecing together the picture. What is he doing in the video with his kids? They are scooping the puzzle from the box to the floor and from the floor to the box. They have no strategy. Michael is not asking the question, "What kind of picture will this puzzle make?" Poor Michael, I bet no one ever taught him how to put together a puzzle either.

So why does this bother me? It bothers me because if they are so clearly faking the good time they are having by working a puzzle, what else are they faking? Honestly! It is the lack of integrity I see when putting the Michael Jackson puzzle together. Puzzle people are bothered by these types of things. I would never adjust a puzzle piece to fit into a puzzle and I have a hard time watching others do the false fit.

Okay, if you don't want me to notice these details, the press had better stop showing this type of footage over and over. I always told my teenagers that I am judgmental because I have judgement. Now that I have shared this observation, the next time you see the footage, and you will see the footage if you leave your TV on for five minutes, notice the puzzle and make your own decision.

About Me

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I am a stay at home mom but the clock is ticking. My husband and I only have one child left at home. I enjoy shopping and finding great bargains.