Recently in Ellen Category

I want to be...

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I just randomly came across a note on my phone where I had saved this. I'm not sure what year this is from, though...

Ellen: do you think, when I grow up, I could be a director?
Me: you can be anything you want.
Ellen: when I grow up, then, can I be a dragon?
Katie: when I grow up, I want to be a caterpillar.

Let's see if dreams really can come true...

Pumpkins...for science!

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It's time again for da carving to commence. This year, we did all our carving on sunday after I was away at the Sea Witch Festival, in Rehoboth Beach, DE. For the first time in years, I dressed up for halloween. When I get some of the good pictures from others, I'll post a few.

However, this post is all about pumpkins! We sort of went into this year with vague ideas at best. Ellen and I planned a Portal pumpkin, which i envisioned as a 3D thing with cutout sides. She did almost all the actual work--I just designed it. I thought it came out pretty well, as you can see below (unlit and lit versions):



Katie did everything herself. She found a Yatsuba picture of the girl holding her hands over her head and yelling. Unfortunately, the hands are indistinct, so it's hard to see them as hands, but I still liked it. She did do the entire thing herself, though, so she gets lots of credit for that (lit only):


Finally, I wasn't actually sure I'd do a pumpkin this year, but discussing an idea with Katie made me want to try to do a completely carved out, bas-relief pumpkin. Essentially, letting the shape of the thing come out from the pumpkin. I'm not sure it really worked, but it came out reasonably well anyway (and didn't take the 8-hours the Matrix one did last year...)

So, my entry this year, Katie had named "Identity Crisis", which I loved (several angles of unlit, and one lit):





So, there's this years crop. Hope you enjoy!

Two recent kid conversations

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I facebooked these, but I should have blogged them and then had them post to facebook, but regardless, these two were too funny to not post on the blog for future reference.

Both of these were tonight at dinner.

Katie Conversation:

Katie: "what movie are you talking about?"
Me: "silence of the lambs"
Katie: "what's it about?"
Me: "a serial killer."
Katie: "poor lambs"

Ellen Conversation:

We were discussing a meat dish that was very tender (a slow-cooked mexican pork dish). She pronounced that "meat was the only thing that got better with entropy", and ultimately therefore "slow cooking was chaos theory in action."


When Ellen gets bored...

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This is the sort of trouble she gets into. This was, apparently, when she decided Old Navy had gotten dull...


All the World's a Stage...

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Amazingly, it's been 3 months since my last blog entry. I think that social media (Facebook and Twitter, mostly) are to blame, as smaller entries tend to just pop up on there in the ephemeral way that only a Facebook post can be. Comment on it today, forget about it tomorrow...

That said, however, I wanted to blog to recognize something worth remembering--Ellen's first real foray into the theatre. Last night, Ellen had a small, but front-and-center role in the success-for-your-soul musical "Damn Yankees" at her school. She played the "radio voice", doing a very good, very rapidly delivered play-by-play as Joe Hardy and the Senators beat the Yankees to finally propel the woeful Washington team to the pennant (as if.) Looking like a cross between a deer in the headlights and a well-dressed statue as she waited, center stage, to deliver her radio patter, Ellen shone in the way that only someone who is an extremely good public speaker can. She clutched her mic for dear life, waived her hands for emphasis as she neared the end of her delivery, and looked as intent as if she were actually calling the 7th game of the world series. Mel Allen would have had a tear in his eye, if they weren't rotting in the ground somewhere. Perhaps he did anyway. Who knows with eyes?

Her relief after the show was almost as intense as her performance itself, a broad grin on her face when she popped from the stage door to the cheers of her friends. To my eye, though, it was that wonderful support of her friends that stole the night. Ellen can be something of a shut-in (I'm being kind here...) and to see her basking in her friends' obvious affection, beaming with triumph and belonging, is what made the months of work worthwhile.

You did a great job, kiddo, and we were very proud, as always.

Party Time

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This past weekend, we celebrated Ellen's 13th Birthday with dinner on Thursday (her actual birthday) and a sleepover for a bunch of her friends on Saturday night. It was wonderful seeing her with her friends. We rarely see her with a group of friends, and it was clear that her friends are a really nice, LOUD bunch of girls. We couldn't be happier at the sight.

I made fried chicken for our "picnic in January" and this time I brined the chicken before breading/frying. Let me tell you, if you've never brined chicken for frying, it's definitely a good idea. It was the tastiest fried chicken I've ever made.

I also made a cake, something that has become a bit of an annual thing much like my pumpkins. I had the idea back in August and it came out very nicely, I think. It's a half of a Companion Cube from the video game Portal.


And, of course, the proud birthday girl with her cake:

A Legal Warning

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I came upstairs to find 3 signs, penned hurriedly in marker, upon Ellen's door:

"Notice: if at any point in time you are in my room, and attempt a comeback by interrupting me whenever I try talking, you will be forcibly removed.
"And, you will not be allowed in for the rest of the day (unless absolutely necessary)."
"The latter also applies to any situation in which the former may occur."

My 12 year old lawyer.

Kim's reaction? "Stop using so much tape!"


This year's installment of the annual Meyerson pumpkin extravaganza yielded some interesting results. We had planned on 2 pumpkins--I was going to just help the girls do theirs--but decided to add a third with me taking over the one Ellen was going to do. Good thing, too, as it took more than 5 hours...*rolls eyes*

To be honest, though, I think Katie's pumpkin came out best of the three, but you can be the judge.

Ellen's was the simplest, and only took a short time, but came out pretty cool. You have to know the video game Portal and the geeky comic it's based on from Penny Arcade, but anyone who does will instantly recognize it.


Katie also chose a video game theme, the Big Daddy from one of her favorite games ever, Bioshock. She did an amazing job on this one, and did everything herself. All I did was tape the pattern down and cut the top open.


I'm not sure people will recognize my entry, but I'll leave you with a clue...

The Matrix Has You.


Here's a slightly darker picture of mine. I couldn't decide which one I liked better.


They Grow Up So...Odd

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We flew down to North Carolina (via Norfolk, VA) for a vacation with both "families" for the first time. So Ellen, Katie and I are in the airport, and the topic of a Simpson's episode came up. In this episode, Homer is waiting to buy a gun (long story) and everything he sees looks like targets, including some little ducklings walking across the street in a neat row. Ellen said "I'd shoot the ducklings first!" with such vehemence that I had to ask why she would shoot the little ducks. She replies "Because they grow up and become geese!"

Katie and I just started laughing, and then Ellen did too realizing what she said (although Katie didn't miss an opportunity to say "Uh, Ellen, they GOSLINGS grow up to become GEESE. Duh."

The Doctor is In

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After watching the last episode of season 4 of Doctor Who, I was reminded how much I liked this show and decided it would be a good show for Ellen. We watched the first episode of season 1 ("Rose") today at lunch and she loved it. It's so up her alley--clever, sci-fi'y, and funny. I got a big thumbs up when it was done. Maybe we'll watch another episode later.

When the episode started, it was a little creepy and she didn't know what to expect, so all of a sudden I feel a hand reach out looking for mine. Too cute.

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