Mighty Red Pen

April 3, 2011

Jesus Christ!

Filed under: At home with MRP — mighty red pen @ 7:50 am

So, speaking of rainforests, I got a little tutorial on a creature called the basilisk lizard. Among other things, it’s known for it’s its ability to walk on water. You and I might get why that leads to it often being called the Jesus Christ lizard, but S. (age 7) had his own special explanation.

S.: We learned about the basilisk lizard today. Did you know it could walk on water?
MRP: No, really? That’s interesting.
S.: It’s also called the Jesus Christ lizard. Do you know why?
MRP: No, why?
S.: I guess because when you see it walking on water, you say, “Jesus Christ, that lizard is walking on water!”

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March 31, 2011

Not your mama’s rainforest

Filed under: At home with MRP,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 6:42 pm

So S. (age 7) has been studying the rainforest in school. They’ve been learning about some pretty interesting things, for example, exploring all the different kinds of rainforest-inhabiting creatures, such as sloths, monkeys, and snakes. But I had no idea just how fascinating the rainforest was until he brought home this word search puzzle this week. Apparently, they’ve also been studying the Giant Tropical Rainforest Ass.

Man, there’s so much more to the rainforest than I ever imagined.

July 6, 2010

Summer reading, had me a blast

Filed under: At home with MRP,Lit review — mighty red pen @ 1:20 pm
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So, as you know, I’ve been taking on some light summer reading such as What Is the What? Dave Eggers’ book about the conflict in southern Sudan and, currently, Blindness by the recently deceased José Saramago (what can I say? Death inspires me). Next on my list is another by Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (if I can tear it out of Mister MRP’s hands). Good beach reading, huh? Perhaps it’s just marginally better than plopping down on the sand with some of the stuff I read during the spring, such as McCarthy’s The Road. (Although I did take on the blockbuster Official Bookclub Selection by Kathy Griffin. Don’t hate.)

So I guess what I’m saying is, MRP needs help! What’s on your summer reading list? Is everyone going to be reading Eat, Pray, Love before the movie comes out, or have you already covered that?

June 14, 2010

The well-mannered meerkat

Filed under: At home with MRP,Kidspeak — mighty red pen @ 8:05 pm
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A conversation about manners, in which D. (age 4), learns about homophones:

D.: Do meerkats’ mommies teach them manners?
MRP: No, meerkats are animals. Animals don’t really have manners.
D.: But meerkats have manners, right?
MRP: No, not really. No manners.
D.: Meerkats have manners!
MRP: No . . . [a light dawns] . . . oh. Meerkats live in Meerkat Manor, but they don’t have manners.

March 1, 2010

Ode to the uvula

Filed under: At home with MRP,Kidspeak — mighty red pen @ 8:04 pm
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Scene: The kitchen at la Casa de MRP. The sound of scampering as D. (age 3 1/2) rushes in:

D.: Mommy, can you show me that dangly thing in your mouth?
MRP: My uvula?
D.: Is that what yours is called?
MRP: Yes.
D.: What about the dangly thing in my mouth? What is that called?
MRP: Also a uvula.
D.: Oh. [pause] Is everyone’s dangly thing in their mouth called that?

As an aside: Have you ever really looked at your uvula? Considered your uvula? Said the word uvula over and over again? Ever felt that it was about one letter away from being a totally dirty word? And looking it up in the dictionary doesn’t help. Merriam Webster defines it as “the pendent fleshy lobe in the middle of the posterior border of the soft palate.” Um, ew.

If anyone knows the function of the uvula, I’d like to know. I have a feeling that question is just around the corner.

February 2, 2010

Now that’s the value of a public school education

Filed under: At home with MRP,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 5:31 pm
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Scene: La Casa de MRP. MRP and S. (age 6 1/2) review a packet of materials that he’s worked on recently in his first grade class. Among them, this:

MRP: What’s this?

S. : That’s editing.

MRP: What’s editing?

S.: It’s when you cross out a mistake and write the answer above it.

Did you hear that, everyone? They are teaching the children editing. In school.

I can’t wait for the next lesson, which I’m certain is going to be “How to Wield Your Red Pen.”

May 25, 2009

I say banana . . .

Filed under: At home with MRP,Kidspeak — mighty red pen @ 4:35 pm

Scene: MRP hands D. (age 3) a banana.

MRP: D., can you say “banana”?
D: Bawana.
MRP (trying to help): BA-NA-NA.
D: BA-WA-NA.

March 11, 2009

Now you gotta kiss me

Filed under: At home with MRP,Kidspeak,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 7:25 pm
Tags: ,

Recently overheard at la casa de MRP: a number of schoolyard taunts that I haven’t heard since I was a kid running around on the playground in my Zips and Toughskins, and half my classmates were named Jennifer and had long hair and the other half were named Brian and had bowl cuts. These were uttered by S., age 5 1/2:

Miss me, miss me, now you gotta kiss me
Liar, liar, pants on fire

And my personal favorite flashback:

Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater

So here is my question. I didn’t teach these to los niños, I haven’t said or heard these in decades. They learned them on the playground at school. How are these schoolyard taunts handed down through the generations? Is it from one big brother to another? Are they written on the bathroom walls?

If you have a favorite schoolyard taunt you remember, let’s hear it!

March 2, 2009

Mondegreen for a snowy day

Filed under: At home with MRP,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 2:23 pm
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Mommy! There goes the snowcloud!
–D., age nearly 3

Overheard at la casa de MRP—where we are knee deep in snow . . . again—when the snowplow went by. And you know what? It kind of did look like a snowcloud.

February 9, 2009

Mmm, braaaaiiiiinnnnsss

Filed under: At home with MRP,Lit review,Overseen — mighty red pen @ 8:13 pm
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janeaustenzombie1In honor of D. (age nearly 3), who scared all of his preschool classmates by running around with his blankie on his head moaning, “I am a zommmbbiiieeee!” MRP is declaring today Zombie Day, with two tasty zombie tidbits (no, not brains) to celebrate.

First is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith (June 2009, Quirk Books). It’s a reimagining of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice . . . but with—that’s right—zombies. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that myself.

According to Christopher Shea of  The Boston Globe:

“As our story opens,” continues the unimproveable publicity copy,

a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry?

Like the original, the expanded version begins memorably: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

amd_zombie_signs2Wow. Okay. So that might seem like a tough act to follow but there is more zombie fun from our friends at Today in Awesome, who shared “Midwest Road Sign Prank Warns Drivers of Zombies”:

Look out, drivers—undead ahead!

Officials in several states are unamused by a recent rash of pranks targeting electronic highway signs.

In Collinsville, Ill., east of St. Louis, hackers changed a sign on Interstate 225 Tuesday to read “DAILY LANE CLOSURES DUE TO ZOMBIES.”

If that wasn’t enough to convince commuters of an impending zombie apocalypse, other signs reading “CAUTION! ZOMBIES! AHEAD!!!” and “THE END IS NEAR!!!!!!!!!” may have done the trick.

The signs are a bit dramatic with the punctuation, but mostly, they’re just funny.

Photos from The New York Daily News.

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