Sunday, October 17, 2010

Kids Corner

(Olive Press/Phoenicia Times May 20, 2010)

I like food, and I like restaurants. My favorite type of dining place is the Awesome Treasure Cove of Food. Let me give you an example: I once went to a restaurant that made the food in front of you. It was a Japanese place and they had a big table that went around a grill. The guy threw stuff around, and made rice in the shape of a heart. He then put a spatula under the rice and went, “thump-thump,” like the rice was a beating heart. I was really young, but I still remember the beating heart rice. That makes it an ATCF (Awesome Treasure Cove of Food). My friend Gracie completely tops me. She’s had LOTS of interesting ATCF experiences. She once went to place that sent food down a conveyor belt, and another in France where food came to you on a little boat. My friend Bruce told me about how he used to go to Horn & Hardart Automats. An Automat had a wall filled with tiny, glass doors. Inside the doors was food. I researched it, and if you looked through the glass doors you would see home cooked meals like creamed spinach, macaroni and cheese, and baked beans. Automats were popular during the Depression, probably because you only had to pop in a few cents to get some food. Want to know what they were replaced by? You guessed it, fast food chains. This is so annoying to me because fast food just turns people in humongous, lethargic beings. The whole idea behind fast food feels empty, like the exact opposite of home cooked. At least Horn & Hardart tried to make it feel like home. H & H is totally ATCF. If I could have a restaurant in my town, it would feature a different mom every day of the week, making homemade meals and serving them family style so people have to share. The prices would be low so lots of people could go. I would name it “ATCF Home Cooked.”
(Olive Press/Phoenicia Times May 6, 2010)

Test, tests, tests… Last week we had the English Language Arts test (ELA). We have math tests coming up too. That equals 6 days and 58 minutes of tests. That’s a lot of tests. I don’t exactly think I learn anything from all these tests. They are definitely not my idea of fun. I think they have all these tests to see where kids are in subjects. My teacher, Ms. Heppner, usually knows if kids are good at subjects, and I don’t think she needs tests. A lot of people were scared going into the ELA. My mom and dad gave me lots of eggs in the morning. Some other kids maybe had different rituals before the tests, like taking showers, having special drinks, or wearing special items of clothing. We got the ELA test, and Ms. Heppner told us not to open it. The atmosphere was nervous. Then, she passed out the Ticonderoga #2 pencils. I was actually feeling pretty good when Ms. Heppner said, “Open your tests,” but other kids had uncomfortable faces. After I finished the first day of ELA, I felt strong, confident—like I could do anything. On the second day I wasn’t so bold. I was a little sick and the essay we did was really hard because it had to be three paragraphs. The third day, I was upbeat: one because the testing was over and, two because the longest thing I had to write was two paragraphs. Next week is the math test. I’m not going to have piles of eggs this time. I don’t feel like I need any special routines. I’m going to go in there and be indivisible in math. Good luck to all you kids in the U.S. taking tests. If you feel nervous, twiddle your thumbs, or deep breath, but don’t eat eggs.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Kids Corner

(Olive Press/Phoenicia Times April 8, 2010)

I've been a Flower Girl in two weddings. The most recent wedding was my Aunt Mandy's. When you're a Flower Girl, you look to the bride and think two questions: "have I ever seen the bride look this good?" and "do I look good enough?" The job of the Flower Girl is to make the bride's entrance look fabulous and glamorous during the wedding. Before the wedding, you hang out with the bride and tell her she looks lovely. The first wedding I was Flower Girl in was my aunt Chelsea's and Chad's wedding. She got panicky and wheezy, and I gave her my asthma inhaler, and she felt less agitated after she used it. You need to be on your toes and prepared for anything that might happen. Flower Girls need to wear whatever the bride tells you to wear. In the first wedding, the bride picked out the dress. It was a nice dress, and I didn't look too shabby in it, if I say so myself. For the second wedding, I picked out the dress. This is better, because you can show a bit more of your own personality. There's a lot fuss about weddings. For a Flower Girl it's, "how many petals should I throw?" or "is my walk too messy? Should I be doing a step-together walk?" For the Groom and the Bride the fuss is really different. The Groom is probably thinking, "is there stuff stuck in my teeth?" or "did I spill something on my shirt?" The Bride is probably thinking, "Oh my gosh, is there a petal stuck in my heel?" or "am I holding my bouquet too close to my chest?" The fuss is all about three things: timing, apparel, and facial grooming. They don't remember the big picture. It's like your birthday: the night before your birthday, you have some toys you like to play with, and they are nice toys. When your birthday comes, you have new toys and you feel special. No one else has played with those toys and they are all yours. So, if you took all the fuss out of a wedding, you would basically just have a really special birthday.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kids Corner

(Olive Press/Phoenicia Times February 25, 2010)

Days. Days turned to hours. Hours turned to minutes. Minutes, to loads of laundry. I stood face to face with the largest pile of laundry ever. This pile was as big as, probably, Mount Kilimanjaro. I don't think any child has ever done this much laundry in her life. Why I'm talking about doing laundry is because I recently got a punishment for leaving towels on my floor. They were camouflaged with the mess of things on my floor. Maybe I'm just towel blind. I was repeatedly leaving towels. This habit made my dad have a slightly large cow. He warned. I tried. I failed. One day, I came home from a particularly boring day of school, and my mom said, "You forget something today." In my mind, I was thinking, "What could it be? My backpack? My folder? My music binder?" But, wait, no, I didn't have music class today--just bland work. "WHAT???" So, she said, "Your towel. You forgot your towel again." To myself, I was rethinking hard, "I didn't have a shower today..." That towel ended up being THREE DAYS OLD! To all of my Washing Wonders (all you kids out there who have to do laundry), I have no strategy for doing layndry. No shortcuts. My strategy would be to avoid doing laundry at all. Beg for dear life not to have this for a punishment. That's just my advice, though. So, live long and wear dirty clothes.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Kids Corner

(Olive Press/Phoenicia Times January, 2010)

Oh where, oh where has my little dog gone, little dog gone, little dog gone? Seriously, WHERE HAS MY DOG MOSES GONE???!? My dog has been coming back from somewhere up the hill and bit by bit has been getting fatter. It’s like he’s swallowed a slightly deflated beach ball. I have a theory that maybe he’s gone to a place where people throw bread out for birds. Another theory: maybe he’s going on a game show called “The Opposite of Biggest Loser.” Contestants—all dogs—eat as much as they can, and go home to their owners who have no idea what happened to them. Moses wins the game but all he wins is a big tummy. (I think he was hoping to win a car—a Smart Car—that he could stick his head out the window of, flashing his tongue at everyone). Maybe some man invites him into his home thinking Moses is a poor orphan dog. He goes into the neighbor’s house, sits at a mini doggie table, with a fresh bowl of water and napkin tucked in his little collar. The neighbor man tells Moses to put his pinky up when he drinks tea and to dab his little beard daintily after he’s eaten. When Moses is finished, he says, “thank you very much,” in dog and comes home, sneaky as a snake. He’s a dog of mystery. I worry about him. He could be making friends with the wrong sort: raccoons, crows, foxes. I imagine that he’s having a great time though. I guess I’ll just trust him for now—until he comes back with an inappropriate tattoo that is.

Kids Corner

(Olive Press/Phoenicia Times February 11, 2010)

Action Pants: you can kick, you can stretch, you can do karate. I learned about Action Pants from my Uncle Chad. He showed me an '80s ad for Chuck Norris Certified Action Pants on his Iphone. We were talking about how my mom had to lie down on the floor and suck her tummy in to zip up her skinny jeans in the '80s. Skinny jeans are definitely back in and running. Kids all around (and me) have them. Some kids have many pairs, like my friend Rachel Sommer. Some people have none (like my friend Kemp Battle). He doesn't have skinny jeans because he's too sophisticated and involved with important business. Some people really rock their skinny jeans, but it's like they suck their butt in to look like they have no tushy.

Now, skinny jean have Lycra in them, which give people the ability to actually MOVE in them. It also means that people don't have to get on the floor and suck their stomachs in to get in their pants. This means that more people can rock skinny jeans. President Obama could rock skinny jeans, but he would look less presidential. Artist Ziemba could usually rock skinny jeans, but she's very pregnant right now and that's asking a little over what she bargained for. My dog Moses could rock the look--no buts about it--but when we put a Halloween costume on him, he didn't move at all. It was like he was lost, frozen in a perilous world. (He doesn't like clothes). My grandpa, Pops, turned 70 yesterday, and he could totally rock skinny jeans. Is think he should. In fact....goodby for now, I'm gonna buy Pops some skinny jeans!

Friday, January 8, 2010

This is my theme song!


Kids Corner

(Olive Press/Phoenicia Times December 17, 2009)

Lady Gaga has potential, except I don’t think she’s expressing it through her songs. I think she’s a half rose that hasn’t bloomed. I think to become a full flower she needs to fix her lyrics. For instance, in the song “Paparazzi” she’s saying, “I’m going to chase you down until you’re famous.” This is pretty psycho! The song is about following people with cameras and that someone is basically awesome because they’re being stalked. The song is very popular. However, the message of the song says she gets crippled because some guy throws her over a balcony because he thinks it’ll make a good photo shot. This is crazy, but kids just like Lady Gaga! Even I get caught up in the melody, and the way Lady Gaga dresses (even though she’s a total freak with her costumes: science fiction, dorky and bare). I think I’m into her music because of the rhythm too. I still think she could do her thing, but in a different, less sexual man-talk and plum inappropriate way. Maybe her lyrics can be about something other than men. For no particular reason, just a break from men, I would like to hear her write a song about kittens. It could go like, “Kittens are awesome, and I shall not throw them off the balcony. Kittens can dance with rainbows, YEAH!” Here’s a letter to her:
Dear Lady GooGa, sorry Gaga,
I’m always available as a lyricist, in case you just want to write about kittens dancing with rainbows and not so much about men dancing with women. You have great melodies and rhythms—keep it up. Just remember I want to help you with your lyrics.
Cally Mansfield (a.k.a. Llamas in Scarves)
P.S. I’ll give you the kitten idea for free—seriously, use it.

Kids Corner

(Olive Press/Phoenicia Times December 3, 2009)

I asked my dad what a trick question was. He gave a bunch of examples, and I could have figured them out if I had just thought about them harder. First, he asked: "If a rooster flew all the way to the top of the roof and laid an egg on the tippy-top, which way would the egg roll?" I answered, "right." He said, "No, roosters don't lay eggs." The next example he gave was, "If you put a piece of toast in the toaster, you have three settings: golden, medium, and dark. Which one cooks toast the most?" I say, “dark.” Wrong again. The answer is, “You don't toast toast, you toast bread.” By the third example of trick questions, I was on to Dad. He said, "There's a watermelon tree on one side of a fence. BUT, the watermelon falls in the person’s yard on the other side of the fence. Which person owns the watermelon? The yard the tree was on, or the yard the watermelon fell on?" "Neither!" I answered, "there's no such thing as a watermelon tree!" I hear people refer to the phrase “trick question” a lot. Personally, I can’t remember ever asking a trick question. I think people use this phrase too much, maybe to describe things that aren’t really trick questions or because they are suspicious. Readers, tell me, have you heard any real trick questions lately?