Moxie Mom On Life and Kids

MOXIE MOM on Life & Kids

Idol Upset

Our family is buzzing with the latest network news: Kris Allen has won this season’s American Idol competition, and no one in our family can quite believe it (“No guy who spells Chris with a K should win,” my husband said). Leah, who has been tuning in to this show every week on our computer, is spinning. She was so sure Adam would win. So were we all. America surely got it wrong. So says I, the person with no musical talent whatsoever.

We got hooked on this season’s line-up back in January when we were at Disneyland and had three evenings of cable TV at our disposal. Just so happens that American Idol auditions were going on, the very early stages of them, and we laughed and laughed and looked forward to the next evening’s worth of bad performances and what Simon would say.

“Are these people delusional?” I asked (did I mention what a Simon fan I am?). “Do they not know they can’t sing?” Apparently not.

Kris can sing, but I do believe this is a case of good looks winning out. Kris is just so dang cute in a boy-next-door kind of way, while Adam is a little edgy with his guy liner and spiky hair. Even so, I thought the country was ready for Adam. And yet, when it came to voting off the cutie, the country couldn’t bring itself to do it.

Kris seemed shocked, and a little sheepish, when his name was announced, and yet that’s part of who he is and what makes him so likeable. He was pleased, too, of course. But I wonder how he feels today. A friend of mine, whose kids also tune in, says being voted #1 is overrated, and most often the #2, 3, and 4 singers do more with their singing prowess.

But maybe I know less than I thought. This Idol article points out why Kris came out the winner, so maybe there’s more to Kris than I give him credit for. Or not. This article describes the polarizing effect Adam had on people, and why Kris was the beneficiary. I felt embarrassed for him last night, but I’m rethinking that today. Adam will find his way, no doubt, and if there’s a place in the music world for the self-effacing nice boy too, I’m good with that.

American Idol’s newest fans will be keeping track. 

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Leah’s Car Washing Tips

A couple nights ago, my daughter listed the most environmentally friendly ways to wash cars. We never wash our cars so I’m not really one to care, but I did learn something.

1. The best way to be environmental is to use a professional car wash business. They are required to dispose of grey water properly.

2. If you’re too cheap to pay for a professional job, be sure to wash your car on gravel or grass. Both will act as filters for the water before it hits the water table.

3. Avoid washing your car on cement at all costs. The soapy water will run straight to the storm water drains. This is the least environmental option.

Since we don’t have grass or gravel to park our car on (Leah pointed out), we need to go to the car wash place.


“Besides, I’ve never been through a real car wash.”

Uh huh.

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Last night I took Ty to the library for some books on Montezuma (his choice) for a school research project. As we descended the steps toward the fountain, he said, “I used to think throwing pennies in the fountain was good luck. Now I know it’s just a waste of money.”

My little businessman.

When the kids were small and we trekked to the library for story time, the event of the day was throwing pennies into the fountain, as it is for most Bellingham toddlers. Life came to a screeching halt if we didn’t take the time to toss a good-luck penny and study where it landed. Judging from the number of pennies in the fountain (and it’s only May) the tradition is carrying on.

Without us.

Now my son is hunkered at the dining table reading from a history book written for adults. The Aztecs and Montezuma and blood sacrifices and Cortes. The bowed head, the creased brow as he tries to read unpronounceable names, the reciting of new information—it all charms me. He’s as cute now at nine as he was at three. It’s different, though, less innocent.

I miss the penny throwing.

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Ultimate Points

My mother-in-law called me a few nights ago from her home in Portland with a question. “What do you know about naked points? Are they really real?”

In our extended family, my husband and I are the resident ultimate Frisbee experts, with cumulative decades of play between us (though in recent years he is playing soccer, and I have been sidelined with my ankle). 

Anyway, the naked point. If you haven’t been keeping up with the news, the U of O’s ultimate Frisbee team is barred from nationals after a string of infractions, the latest being the infamous naked point, wherein all players on both teams get naked and play a point—just one—with parts flapping in the wind. One newspaper described a naked point as one team taking off their shirts and the other taking off their shorts and undershorts. Not quite. At least not the points I’ve seen (and no, I haven’t played any). The points were au natural all the way – both teams. Except for socks and cleats. The news from Oregon has generated a ton of online conversation (below the article), as well as its share of amused readers.

In defense of ultimate players, I will say everyone involved in naked points knows they’re risky, especially if the field the teams are playing on has neighborhood houses nearby. And most players are prepared for consequences. That said, I’ve never known anyone to get in trouble for it—it’s usually quick, reasonably discreet, as discreet as 14 naked people can be, and it attracts so much attention from the other ultimate games (tournament setting) that the ensuing crowd around the field hides any offending skin from potential uninitiated bystanders. (Ultimate players get hopped up about naked points, too.) But I sense the naked point was the proverbial straw, not the cause, for this team that, I must say, seems a tad out of control. I hasten to add that people who play ultimate do not normally play naked points. It happens, but it’s a random and rare occurrance. Tournaments are played fully clothed 99 percent of the time.  

Oddly, and I have to think coincidentally, Ty wanted to go to the park this weekend to throw the Frisbee (disc, I should say). He has never asked to go to the park to throw the disc. He and his sister openly abhor ultimate after too many years of entertaining themselves on the sidelines while Mom and Dad ran around and ignored them.

Not only did he want to toss the disc around, Ty actually wanted me to throw it so he could dive for it. Now there’s a boy after my own heart. (Really, I had no idea I cared.) I don’t know what got him thinking about ultimate because I don’t think he overheard our conversations about naked points, but even if he did I can’t imagine it would influence his choice to throw the disc around.

At any rate, I will quite happily shepherd him towards ultimate if this game is the direction he goes. Despite the recent negative press, ultimate is a great game, and the people who are play it are good, law-abiding folks who are also interesting and fun. If Ty ends up at a college where the students play ultimate, and he gets on the team, I say good on ya. And if he takes his clothes off to play a point, well, there are worse things in life. I will be the first to laugh if I read about it in the newspaper.

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