Monday, September 25, 2006

Taking a Bite Out of Marriage

Let's not forget that the author of Jaws, the late Peter Benchley, was a long-time Mass resident. Could this happen here?
WASHINGTON DC—Senator Bill Frist (R–TN) introduced a controversial new bill Tuesday that would severely limit the ability of sharks to "mutilate the institution of marriage until it is completely unrecognizable."

"For too long, we've stood by as our most sacred institution has been thrashed, bit by bit, by these amoral predators," said Frist at a press conference, standing in front of a detailed diagram of a great white shark. "Marriage is a union between one man and one woman, and no shark should come between them with its powerful jaws and massive dorsal fin."

Sen. Bill Frist (R–TN) decries sharks' "ferocious impact" on marriage. Bill S-691, also known as The Protection Of Marital Extremities Act, was co-sponsored by Mel Martinez (R–FL), who said that, as a devoted husband, he would not want his own 25-year marriage to be split to pieces by a shark, and hinted that opponents of the bill were in fact aiding the fish in their "murderous ways."

"Liberals and Democrats would have you believe that sharks pose no threat to married couples," Martinez said. "They tell us that sharks should just be left alone to mind their own business, and they won't do anyone any harm. But we say it's time for those of us with backbone to stand up for what we believe in—before that backbone is torn violently from our torsos by these soulless, underwater killers."

Thanks to the Onion for alerting us to Bill Frist's unending work to protect us from the many threats to marriage today. I know that next time I'm at the New England Aquarium, I'm steering my hubby away from the shark tank.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Middle School Is Kicking Our Collective Butts

"They" (you know who "they" are, right?) were on the money--middle school is a whole step up, homework-wise, from elementary school. Nearly every night brings more than an hour's worth of assignments, and in many cases two or more. (This is only sixth grade, after all.)

Although he's a good student--and seems to genuinely enjoy the new school--The Boy is taking a few weeks to adjust to the big changes--multiple teachers, different classrooms, dressing out for gym, and carrying around the biggest darn binder you've ever seen. Trying to be diligent parents, we often (usually) sit at the dining room table with The Boy as he works, with our main task being to keep him on task, seeing as how eleven-year-old boys can be distracted by anything from a passing car to a passing mote of dust. All this homework is seriously cutting into my laundry-folding, kitchen-cleaning, and lying-around-slothfully-after-work time. But I know he'll adjust, and we'll adjust, and everything will work out fine.

Still, it kind of makes me grateful to just have a plain old paying job.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Happy Birthday, Honey!

It's my husband's birthday today. He'll be spending the day helping out at the polls in Boston on behalf of MassEquality. That's the kind of guy he is--he would never ask me or our son to wait on the celebrating in order to fulfill a promise on primary day, but he's more than willing to do so himself. He's the best--and gets better every year.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Don't Forget to Vote Tomorrow!

Don't forget to go to the polls tomorrow. I'm a big believer in voting early and often (can you tell I'm a Democrat?). I'm also a big believer in the old adage, "If you don't vote, don't complain about your government."

Of course, this is a primary, so you don't have to listen to me today if you don't want to help pick the candidates. But don't worry--I'll be back to nudge you again in time for November's general election.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Farewell, Feathered Friend

A few days after arriving home from our lovely vacation--this past Friday, to be exact--we discovered our beloved Quaker parrot, Sparky, dead in his cage.

We've been bird owners for more than 20 years, and one thing you never get over is the shock of a pet bird's sudden death. Unlike mammals, birds rarely show sickness until it's fatal, which means there's rarely time to take the bird to a vet and never enough time to prepare emotionally.

This fact held true in Sparky's case. Even when we buried the poor thing he still looked vibrant, almost healthy. Whatever happened remains a mystery--an infection, perhaps. He was about 9, which is a little young for a Quaker, but not unheard of.

We'll always remember Sparky for his gift of mimicry (much better than our other parrot, a yellow-collared macaw), his lovely green coloring, and his prodigious appetite. To my son, Sparky holds a special place as the first pet he ever had any say in choosing. Naturally, the Boy was devastated--a tough blow during the first week of middle school, which is already a stressful transition.

Every night, we said good night to our birds with "'Night, 'night, Sparky! 'Night, 'night, Cookie!" and they'd both answer back. It's going to be tough learning to say good night to just one from now on.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Just returned from two weeks in Canada--a week each in Quebec and New Brunswick. Glad to have gone, glad to be home. More on this later.