Friday, May 17, 2024

7 Quick Takes about Opening the Mail, Discovering Compliments Inside the Criticism, and What It's (Probably) Like to Raise Edgar Allen Poe

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


Is there a chromosomal reason for why males open envelopes like this?

Looks like it was decimated by a gorilla in a display of dominance.

Whenever mail comes for my husband or any of our three boys, this is what I see on the counter afterward. (Yes, I realize this means I need to teach them how to clean up after themselves as well as how to open an envelope like they have opposable thumbs.)

I suppose I have to pay attention to make sure my girls aren't doing this, too, but I'm pretty sure this is a gender-specific problem and not a parenting issue.


This week I've been making way too many unscheduled car trips for my children.

I've been driving them to school in the morning when they miss the bus. I've been bringing them forgotten items/lunches/instruments. (I normally say no to that kind of thing if it happens too often, but they're spacing it out among them so it's a different kid every time.)

One day my 12-year-old called to ask for rides home for her and her three friends, and yesterday I found myself taking a 30-minute round trip to a bagel shop in the next town where my high school senior locked herself out of the car while skipping class. (It's okay, she actually has permission to leave the building and go wherever she wants during her study periods.)

I've been giving them a pass because they're a little burnt out by this point in the school year, but come on.


While I was practicing with one of my Spanish language exchange partners, I butchered an irregular verb and he told me that's an error that a 5-year-old would make. 

In his defense, (1) it didn't sound as mean as it looks in writing and (2) he only said that because he knows I can do better.

Nevertheless, my immediate reaction was to be really annoyed. Like, "Look, I'm well aware that I talk like a kindergartner but thank you so much for pointing it out."

Then, I recognized the factual accuracy of his statement and just laughed and said, "Lo sé, lo sé" (I know it, I know it). It's true.

Then, I realized something. Did he just say 5-year-old?! Because I used to speak Spanish like a 2-year-old... that means I'm improving!!

Learning a second language is a rollercoaster of emotions.


After a long hiatus, I've started working out again this week. I decided to do Pilates, mostly because I think I need the core strength.

Pilates is weird. It doesn't look hard at all, until you get on your mat and attempt to do it. You're not sweating like in an aerobic workout, but it is SO HARD. I felt like crying the first day, but it gets better every day.

I've also started stretching every morning and night, which I think is really good for me. I'm very inflexible and I've actually noticed it getting worse with age, and I worry about becoming a brittle old twig person where things just start snapping off if I don't start doing something about it.


My 2nd grader brought home an original poem from school that he'd composed, typed up on the computer, printed out, and then illustrated.

It starts out great. In the first few lines he appears to be setting the scene for a serene contemplation of the twilight hours, and after that... I have no idea what is happening.

Starts out like a Frog and Toad  story, ends like Saw III.

The phrase "Well, that escalated quickly" comes to mind.


It's the week before my 12-year-old's school play, when things really ramp up and they double the amount of time they spend in rehearsals. I know because of the frequent emails from her drama director saying BRING DEODORANT IT IS VERY HOT BACKSTAGE  in all caps, italicized, in neon flashing lights.

Which is exactly what I would do if I was crammed into a humid cafetorium every day this week with dozens of sweaty middle schoolers, and I'm pretty sure that teacher is not getting paid enough.


A video came up on my YouTube feed called "Clean or Be Slapped," and you can't not click on something like that, I don't care who you are.

I loved the intro, which really did make me want to clean. (Luckily, the feeling passed.)

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Unknown said...

Yup I'm going to go take those blinds out and clean them like I've been thinking of doing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenni, what Pilates videos are you doing and can you recommend? I feel like I'm starting out again but haven't found a workout series yet that I like

Fiona said...

Hi Jenny, what Pilates videos are you doing and can you recommend? I feel like I'm starting up again but haven't found a workout series yet that I like. Thanks in advance!

Jess said...

I've just decided to get back into Pilates too - starting tomorrow :) I usually look forward to reading your new post every Friday or Saturday, but have somehow missed it for the past few weeks (it's been a crazy few weeks)... so tonight I have several posts to read, what a treat :)

Jenny Evans said...

Fiona: I searched for "Pilates workout" in YouTube and watched literally the first video that came up... but it seems good! I've been doing this one from Move With Nicole: