Sunday, October 31, 2010

what's in a name? [what's in this brassiere?]

my middle name is leigh.

it was a fairly unusual name
at the time i was given it,
so i spent my childhood

either correcting people's
pronunciation of it ["lee,"
not "lay" or "lay-uh"],

or denying it was for
the actress vivan leigh
[miss scarlett], &

explaining it was for
the actress janet leigh,

best known for
1) playing the real-life role
of mother to actress jamie lee curtis,
who played the memorable role
of laurie strode,
the stalked babysitter in
john carpenter's halloween,


2) playing the memorable role
of marion crane,
the embezzling secretary
& infamous shower-scene victim in
alfred hitchcock's psycho.

no wonder i enjoy spooky stuff so much -
it's practically my middle name.

[& ms. leigh's psycho underthings, above?
seriously scary. am i right, ladies?]

happy hallowe'en!!

image source: that obscure object

Saturday, October 30, 2010

finding our beautiful.

one of my favorite bloggers,
kelly rae roberts,
has just had her first baby,
& today, she & her little family
are "finding [their] beautiful."

i read that, & thought,
i need to get me some of that.
finding our beautiful.

life around here has been
seriously roller-coaster-y

overall, it's good.
but lately, daily doses
of anxiety, overwhelm,
frustration, helplessness.

i can see us all wearing down.

so much stress makes
the beautiful much more
elusive than usual.

so today, the beautiful is

sleeping late.

opening windows.

completing costumes.

fixing the fence.

previewing holidays @ hallmark.

playing with trains.

revealing wisdom.

scary movies.

change your thoughts &
you change your world.
[norman vincent peale]

think pink:
ok, ok - giving football equal time: the nfl has been supporting breast-cancer awareness all month long with a special designation for october games, pregame & in-stadium initiatives, pink ribbon/nfl shield pins for coaches & game staff, team efforts &, of course, plenty of nfl/pink ribbon fan gear for sale.

image sources:,

Friday, October 29, 2010

lost in translation.

so, the big girl celebrated her twelve-teenth birthday
with an owl-themed party
[which i intend to blog about later].

naturally, i got her a few owl-themed gifts,
too, since she's into the big-eyed birds.

& one of her gifts,
a forest owners solar-powered owl bobblehead
[above], was clearly manufactured
in an asian nation, & had the loosely
translated-to-english warning label
to prove it:


In order not course thedanger of asphyxial, pleaese do no to put the spare parts into the mouth.

In order not course the danger of swallowing, forbidden to give the toy playing by the Children who are not enough 3 years old.

In order not course the danger of asphyxial, please do not cover the plastic bag on the head or face.

In order to avoid accident, please safekeeping the toy that make sure the children not shake and haul the toy.

Please do not shake and haul the toy.

Please do not use the sun energy battery tough and don't throw it away.

[is it racist that i find this amusing?]

i can't help but think of the newsradio episode
"jimmy james: macho business donkey wrestler."

if the bobbled translation didn't garner a giggle,
this video for sure will. happy friday!!

think pink:

with the world series underway, "save 2nd base” products seem like a timely tie-in between sports, humor & the fight against breast cancer. click here to shop for these "pink with a wink" products.

image sources: paper source, save 2nd base

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

'tis the season.

on one hand, i,
like you, i suspect,
loathe when it
begins to look a lot
like christmas
even before hallowe'en.

on the other hand,
i much prefer to
get a jump on the holidays earlier
rather than
have the holidays
jumping up & down on my skull later.

which is how i became
a christmas binder person.

yep. each year about this time
i begin putting my binder together,
complete with tabbed & pocketed dividers
[this week | priorities | gifts | home |
eats | cards | traditions | new year]
& printable forms to complete,
courtesy of my christmas binder guru,
cynthia ewer of

i discovered the "oc" about five years ago,
& began following ewer's christmas countdown plan.
the countdown begins six weeks before december 1,
& ends on 12.1, in order to give you the whole
month of december to just enjoy the holiday season
[or, in my case, to give me the whole
month of december to complete the countdown stuff
i haven't quite gotten around to just yet].

over the years, i've shaped the countdown
to fit my family's holiday
[gift closet inventory? yes.
"black friday" holiday sales planner? uh, no.],
but i still follow the basic countdown.

each week has a theme -
get organized | reality check | gifts & giving |
get cooking | decorate | celebrate -
with accompanying checklists, printable forms
& tip-filled, thought-provoking articles to read.

the site is delightfully comprehensive,
which is one of my favorite things about it -
stuff doesn't slip through the cracks of
jingle-bells-ringing-in-my-ears ...

& my other favorite thing about
it's *f.r.e.e.*
yep, checklists, forms, articles -
the whole holiday tamale
is available for the sampling,
&, if you likey, then help yourself
to the santa-fied organizational smorgasbord.

so, how do you keep it all organized during
the most wonderful time of the year?
& if your answer is some sort of snort
of preposterocity, then you might want to
join me, &
embrace the binder.

think pink:
paul ecke ranch & north carolina state university's horticulture department are working together to develop a pink poinsettia which will bloom earlier in the season - in october rather than december - to help honor & promote breast-cancer awareness month. click here to read all about it.

image sources: the container storenature & flower wallpaper

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

pink postscript.

i didn't want to lump a breast-cancer message
together with my latest, rather vitriolic post.

so here's my think pink item du jour:

breast cancer action, the self-proclaimed
"watchdog of the breast-cancer movement,"
wants you to beware of pinkwashers.

[pinkwasher: (pink’-wah-sher) noun.
a company that purports to care about breast cancer
by promoting a pink-ribboned product, but
that manufactures products linked to the disease.

think before you pink™, a breast cancer action
program, launched in 2002 in response to
a growing concern about the booming pink-ribbon marketplace.

the campaign advocates for
more transparency & accountability by companies
participating in breast-cancer fundraising,
& more questioning & discernment by consumers
buying into pink-ribbon promotions.

seriously fascinating stuff.

click here for the five essential questions
you should ask before you purchase pink

image source:

confessions of a disappointed gleek.

tonight, glee will feature its hallowe'en homage
to the rocky horror picture show.

truth be told, i can't wait.
my name is kristen card, & i'm an utter gleek.

but no matter how warped a time
the gleeksters offer during tonight's episode,
it can't compare in fright factor
to last week's glee-full horror picture show:
a gq cover shoot spotlighting glee stars
lea michele, diana agron
& some guy with his clothes on.

this has been beaten to death
by the media, with [ironically] a pair
of arguments arising against the,
um, inappropriateness
of the photo session theme.

argument #1: these young actresses portray
underage girls, so to dress them up
& shoot them as super-lolitas
promotes pedophilia.

first response: these actresses
are not teenagers, they're adults,
& as such, can choose to wear
as much or as little clothing
as they desire & be just as sexual
as they want to be.


argument #2: many children watch
the show, so it's irresponsible for
two of its big stars to pose for
what amounts to soft-core porn.

second response: it's irresponsible for
parents to let their children
leaf through what is clearly a
magazine intended for adults.
adult males, even.


[i'll skip over my thoughts about
the responsibility of parents
who let their children watch glee.]

so here's my question:
does it have to involve children
being traumatized to be
inappropriate or offensive?

because even if a pedophile or
an eight-year-old never sees this spread
[pun intended; here's looking at you, lea],
i - a 43yo mom attracted to adult males -
am still offended.

offended because it's sexist.
perversely, profoundly sexist.

but somehow, that doesn't seem to be much of an issue.
not enough of one to create a fuss about, anyway.

is this what we've come to?
a society where overt, arguably obscene
sexism is so ubiquitous, we just
accept it as part & parcel of our cultural scenery?

is it not worthwhile enough to mention
that this use of media
debases more than half of
the american population
by reducing two amazing young women
who are talented actors & gifted musicians
to naughty-schoolgirl stereotypes
with so little self-respect that
they will expose themselves,
fondle their breasts,
spread their legs,
perform oral sex with a lollipop,
& apparently share a guy
[who seems to wear more & more clothing
with every ensuing picture, btw]
to gain attention?

because that's the story that these photos tell.

so, to the gq eds,
i didn't know you were
vying for periodical
property with the likes of
maxim or playboy
[gentlemen's quarterly? really?].
duly noted.

to the photographer,
terry richardson,
just a little research into
you & your career
explains a lot about these photos.

& to ms. michele & ms. agron,
i assume you're proud
of being part of a tv program
known for its intelligent
& progressive approach to
some of today's most divisive issues.
you should be.

so how disappointing it is that while
you stand up, strong & tall,
when it comes to doing the right thing
for america's gay community,
you chose to lie down
when it came to doing right by women.

image source:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

a first time for everything.

i love cats. i do.

i'm way allergic to them, so i don't hang with them,
i'm a dog person of necessity,
but i heart the kitties. i do.

that fact established,
the sheer volume of "funny" cat ephemera
out on the interwebs
produces a knee-jerk reaction in me.

i eschew kitty videos.

i mean, how many really, seriously
hi-larious feline youtube moments
can there be out there?

ok, found one.

i don't even know why i clicked through,
but this had me laughing out loud
all alone on my couch, almost to tears.

ricky gervais meets puss.
[please note video contains some puss cuss,
so turn it down, folks.]

happy thursday!!

think pink:

napping against breast cancer - what's not to love? "fur" realz, y'all - purina cat chow is raising/contributing funds for komen for the cure via a cat nap for the cause campaign.

visit, "like" the page & register to take a 20-minute cat nap for the cause, & purina will donate $2 to komen per registrant, up to $150,000 [plus the company's 2010 contribution of $200,000]. click. zzzzz. cure.

happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purrrr.

image sources: toscarboroughfair @ etsy.comwallpapers go

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

a dozen things about you @ twelve.

twelve years ago today,
my firstborn [aka, big girl]
was first born.

even though i know other
older & wiser mamas
will scoff,
this girl can't help it:

i feel a little old,
being the mom [no longer the mommy]
of an almost-teenager.

but it's not all about me.
it's all about you, big girl.

so here are a dozen things about you
as of 10.19.10.

today, you:

love the sea, dark chocolate &
boxy tees, just like mom.

hate being petite.

are a vegetarian.

are a little paranoid.

are reading the warriors series
[by erin hunt].

like to pay for things yourself.

sing super-loud behind closed doors,
believing you can't be heard.

prefer veggies over fruit
[& often have carrot sticks
for breakfast].

actually need a cami-bra,
& think you're too young
for romance.
[yes. yes, you are.]

still love your red specs
[the same pair since second grade].

still cry whenever you're
tired, hungry, overwhelmed,
confused, frustrated, upset
or otherwise distressed.

still listen to us.
[i know it's temporary,
but i like it.]

happy birthday, my pie.
what a blessing you are.

think pink:
h. gilbert welch, m.d., thinks our pink-thinking may be a little too rosy. "pursuing health, ironically, may require that we not pay too much attention to it," claims dr. welch. are we too aware of breast cancer? click here to read welch's list of breast-cancer concerns, put into perspective.

image source:

a june worth remembering.

the pearls were her idea.

that's what barbara billingsley's epitaph should be.

billingsley, who played the archetypal fifties mom june cleaver of leave it to beaver, had what she called 'a hollow' in her neck, & thought wearing a strand of pearls would cover it up on-camera.

the pearls, which she wore in almost every scene of the show's 234 episodes - including while gardening - became her trademark.

barbara lillian combes was a los angeles native.

her dad was an assistant chief of police.
her mom was a knitting mill forewoman.
they divorced before barbara was four.

barbara was voted "class queen" in high school.

she worked on broadway & as a model.

she had only one major film role, in 1957's the careless years.

leave it to beaver debuted on cbs the same year, but was quickly cancelled.

abc picked up the show the following year & stayed with it for five seasons.

barbara was raising two boys of her own
at the same time she was mothering wally & the beav.

she was married three times. the first finished with divorce, the other two husbands died.

pigeon-holed as coyingly domestic, barbara had trouble getting acting work once the series was over.

she both spoofed & honored her milky maternal image with guest appearances later on in life.

she spoke jive [in 1980's outrageously hilarious Airplane!].

another potential epitaph.

barbara died saturday at the age of 94.
do you think they'll bury her in her pearls?

think pink:

supporting someone as they battle breast cancer is vital for them - physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually. but it can sometimes be difficult or uncomfortable for you. click here for seven of the best ways to support the scrappers & survivors around you.

image sources:,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

a real diva worth remembering.

ok, so i'm not so much an opera buff.

i do like puccini.
& moonstruck is one of my favorite movies of all time.

but i've never been to a real-life opera.
& i've secretly turned off
npr's live broadcast of the met
on many a saturday afternoon.

nevertheless, i've heard of joan sutherland.

i guess a woman nicknamed "la stupenda"
by puccini's people
is likely to have been heard of,

even by non-opera fans the likes of me.

dame joan sutherland died this week at her swiss home,
at the age of 83 following a lengthy decline.

she was australian, the daughter of a studied mezzo-soprano
& a tailor who died on her sixth birthday.

her mother trained her until she was a teenager.
a little later, she trained under pianist, vocal coach
& conductor richard bonynge.
oh - & they got married, too.

it was bonynge who persuaded sutherland
to sing a coloratura repertoire.
she became a key force in the revitalization
of the early-19th-century italian opera
of the bel canto ["beautiful song"] style -
an approach to singing exemplified by
evenness throughout the vocal range
& exquisite agility.

in 1959, sutherland debuted
what became her breakthrough role -
as donizetti's "lucia de lammermoor."
her 'mad' scene garnered a twelve-minute standing o.

sutherland was among the
first ladies of international opera,
singing in almost fifty operas,
performing close to 225 times at the met,
recording dozens of albums,
winning two grammy awards,
being dubbed dame commander of the british empire,
& being called "the greatest voice of the century"
by colleague & friend luciano pavarotti.

sutherland retired in 1990,
following a stellar 40-year career.

she spent her 20 years of retirement
gardening, knitting, needlepointing,
occasionally judging vocal contests
& holding master classes,
& spending time with family.

sutherland leaves behind her husband of 56 years,
their one son, Adam, his wife, Helen,
& two grandchildren.

& the angels sing. stupendously.

think pink:
the breast cancer resource centers of texas puts together an annual fundraising calendar, featuring beautiful young breast cancer survivors modeling art bras created by austin-area artists, celebrities, & families/friends of survivors. click here for your 2011 art bra calendar.

image sources: wikimedia italia, novasblossoms.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

midweek wow.

is anyone else totally burned out on political commercials already?

ah, midterm election season, when a middle-age liberal's fancy turns to thoughts of canada ...

here's another reason to consider the land of the maple leaf: dominic lacasse, "l'homme drapeau" or, en englais, the flag man.

oh, canada!

think pink:

over 1,900 men will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year, & one in six cases will be inherited [compared with only 5-10% of women's cases]. click here for tests he should pursue & other potential risk factors.

image source: cdnuniguy's photobucket

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

season of change.

i can feel it coming.

some sort of seismic shift has begun
within the tectonic plates of my life.

with my body.
with my work.
with our [my husband's & my] creativity.
with our kids.
with our relationships.

it's like the universe just became bored
with the lovely little landscape of my
personal snowglobe,
has picked it up, & is about to start

so while the little flecks of white plastic & glitter
currently covering the foundation of my life
still lay fairly undisturbed, i feel the need
to document what it looks like & why
it looks good to me just the way it is.

10 things i love about my life today.

1. seeing my husband perform. he's a musician, a singer/songwriter/rhythm-guitarist with a band of over 30yo. i fell for him as a fan, & still thrill watching him up on stage & listening to his plummy voice. *swoon.*

2. big girl's crunchiness. our almost-12yo vegetarian/environmentalist/animal activist. her granola tendencies can be trying & tiring, but you can't deny her well-developed sense of justice & compassion.

3. little boy's eye. our 7.5yo artiste. he checked out an all-dog version of cinderella at the library last week, & upon first seeing the canine princess in her ballgown ensemble [thanks to her fairy dogmother], his assessment: "the dress is pretty, but the hat's just too much." hello, project runway?

4. my dog sentinels. our pups sit directly behind me almost all day long, alternately gazing out my office window & alerting me to potential dangers [a neighborhood cat, the ups guy, etc.], or napping soundly. they're super cute.

5. my cheerleading squad. my recent entry to become a national ivoice for ivillage didn't make the grade [boo!], but i discovered how much & many people around me think i'm amazing & believe in me [yay!]. huge slab o' awesome.

6. the weather. we're actually experiencing an autumn season for austin, which is practically unknown in this below-the-mason-dixon-belt section of the country. long britches in september? get out! [& we have been.]

7. our family routines. rituals & traditions we do now that sadly won't last forever ... weekend whataburger breakfasts, duck pond visits, playing bat-&-ball, the family bed, themed hallowe'en costumes.

8. my three words. my almost daily status update on facebook almost always begins, "my three words for today:", & it's become rather a trademark for me. i like it. [see? three words.]

9. our home. is big, beautiful, full, comfortable, sometimes messy, often with disorganized spots, a work in progress. [i've read that the way you describe your home is reflective of your inner life ... so, how do you describe your home??]

10. the anticipation. something's coming ... something good? as scary as looming change may be, i may be ready for a smidge of 'new', a little shakeup. just be gentle with us, please, universe. shake with care.

think pink:
if you read your sunday funnies religiously like i do, then you probably noted many of the comics had been pinkwashed last sunday, 10.10.10. the rose-colored panels were part of cartoonists care!, a movement by more than fifty king features' cartoonists to observe breast-cancer awareness month.

the accompanying website,, offers an opportunity to contribute to one of eight breast-cancer organizations, or to bid for an original drawing.

image source:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

for the cure.

this is what she looked like when we first met.
tall & lanky. dark, bobbed hair. ready to dance.
& maybe kick a little ass along the way.

this is what she looked like before the diagnosis.
before the surgeries. before the chemo.
before her hair grew back the first time,
salt-&-pepper & a little curly.

before the fleeting remission.
before bad news followed by worse news.
before the permanent port beneath the skin of her chest.
before the tattooed eyebrows.

before the dehydration signaled
the beginning of the end.
before our last, glorious afternoon together,
her: larger than life itself,
me: scrambling to keep up.

the next day, she took ill again,
took to her bed & never got up.
never returned to jazzercise or central market
or life, or even to hospice.
just slowly, slowly broke down
before our sad eyes, fighting all the way.

still trying to kick a little ass.
that was irmtraud.

we had a connection, fast & deep,
unlike any other friendship i've known.
i still don't know where it came from
or how i came to deserve it,
but it was something special.
a true & unique gift.

i hate you, breast cancer.
[my children would remind me "hate"
is an ugly word. but you're as ugly as they come.]
it's unimaginable to me how many
millions of people have holes in their hearts
just like mine
because of you.

i can't eradicate you.
but i can walk
to honor my dear friend,
& my aunt & my late mother-in-law
& all the other women who touch my life
& have been touched by you.

i can walk
to help raise money
to support people who may be able
to eradicate you. someday.
the sooner, the better, you bastard.

i can walk
shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand,
with my friends & my family
to show there's strength in numbers
& in life & in love.

i can walk
& feel blessed i'm still here
with my friends & my family,
holding hands, breaking a sweat,
taking a deep breath.
& another.
& another.


i will be walking the komen austin race for the cure 
one month from today.
please consider supporting me in my fundraising efforts
for the cure with just a $5 contribution.
click here to visit my page for the cure. & thank you.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

are you there, reader? it's me, grateful kristen.

reveal: i don't believe anyone reads this blog.

ok, not anyone at all
occasionally, someone will click over
from one of my facebook posts about my latest blog posts
& comment about it on fb.
or i'll run into a friend who says something nice
about my blog & how they enjoy it.
or once in a blue moon, someone will actually comment here.
a few times, it's even been someone i don't already know.

but i've got no evidence to date to indicate that
anyone really reads this with any sort of consistency.

maybe i've just got an audience composed of
thousands of lurkers.
but i think i'm mostly just out here on my own.

[cue anthem from fame.]

[god, i'm old.]

i always say this blog is a labor of love,
something i do just because i love to do it.

i love to write in my own voice
about stuff i'm interested in.

but to be real about it,
i want people to read me.

i want to create a blog that gives
& little slices of everyday joy
[whew - i was beginning to sound
like reverend jesse jackson for a minute]
to readers.

so i'm exploring how to get there from here.

i'm boning up on blogging
& how the people who do it so well
do it so well.

& a couple of times already, i've come across
this piece of wise counsel:

thank your readers.

& i immediately realized i've never
ever thanked my readers

because i didn't believe i had any [remember?].

so now, here -
like the children of the book/movie
"the polar express," who can hear
the jingle bell ring only if they believe -
i'm choosing to believe you're there,

& i'm saying thank you for being there.

thank you. thank you. thank you.

& if i hear the faint tingaling
of a whispered "you're welcome,"
then at last, i might really believe
you exist.

& it will be like magic.

we're always proving who we are
always reaching for that rising star
to guide me far & shine me home
out here on my own

think pink:

helzburg diamonds has designed a line of jewelry - called
love, help & hope - especially for people connected to breast cancer [& who isn't somehow, nowadays?]. some of the pieces are quite lovely, & for the next year, helzburg will contribute $5 of every purchase to susan g. komen for the cure, with a $100,000 minimum guaranteed.

image source:

Monday, October 4, 2010

the family bed.

lately, my favorite time of day is nighttime.

around 9p, to be exact.

because lately, our evening routine with the kids
is jammies, teeth-brushing/face-washing,
& mom & kids pile onto the master bed
& mom reads a chapter aloud [currently, rufus m. by eleanor estes].

i love our shared booktime.
but the best part comes when i close the book.

first, little boy mutters, "cuddle,"
& he scoots over to me & we spoon,
while big girl pets kirby [above, imitating art],
our boy dog, who likes to hang upstairs with us
& listen to booktime & have his tummy rubbed.

a few minutes later, little boy calls for
dad downstairs, & dad & daisy, our girl pup,
come up & pile onto the master bed, too.

so all six of us are up on the tempurpedic
[luckily, it's a king].
then, the dog fight begins.

but it's not a real, mean fight,
it's just the dogs playing like dogs.
stalking one another, jumping on & off the bed,
wrestling, trying to pin each other,
chewing legs, biting cheeks, tugging collars.

it's mutt mayhem, let me tell you.

& it's quite a show.
but the dogs aren't content to just let us
observe & delight & goad & root.
oh, no, they crave audience participation.

so in-between bouts, they bound over to us
& walk all over us if we're lying down
or jump up on us if we're sitting up
& madly lick us all over no matter what we're doing.

our bed buzzes for about ten minutes
like a memory-foam beehive of wacky activity,
accompanied by a soundtrack of
faux snarling & uncontrollable giggling.

eventually, the dogs begin to take breaks,
with their big pink tongues lolling & panting,
& a parent declares it's time to go to bed,
& the crowd dissipates, off to their respective next-spots.

big girl in her bed with a book.
little boy on his pallet with his guys [& clifford, of course].
mom & dad on the couch, in the chair,
to catch up on mad men & modern family,
dishes, laundry & filing.
dogs downstairs in their living room beds
to nap until it's time for their real beds.

all that craziness just before bedtime
is a no-no, i know.
but it's just so dang much fun.

many days, it's the best time we have together as a family.

to paraphrase mr. ray charles,
the nighttime is the right time
to be with the ones you love.

the huxtables thought so, too ... remember??
[go to 4:30 for the best part:]

think pink:
a new vaccine is under development with the potential to stop many breast tumors ...
click here for more.

Friday, October 1, 2010

think pink.

ok, so rather than my typical "celebrate the everyday"
wacky-holidays-of-the-month post for the first,
i'm honoring this month - national breast-cancer awareness month
by reminding you, dear readers, throughout the month to

think pink.

your first-&-foremost reminder: the in-the-pink color change of my blog!
isn't it just so la-vie-en-rose? [love that edith piaf torch song.]

at the close of my every october post, i'll include an item
intended to bring to mind for a moment what women are
"celebrating" all month long -
healthy breasts, if you've got 'em;
your good health, if you've got it; or
still being here, just as you are.

so, in addition to my new girly colorway,
here's a little friday fun for you ...
definitely pink. definitely girly.
definitely breast-friendly.

drift away for a couple of minutes with munchkin mila,
& have a wonderful weekend!!

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