The Tragic Optimist

August 28 recap

Laugh of the day:

Overheard Zoe talking to her Sesame Street stickers in the car, “oh, Cookie Monster, what are you doing on my leg?  No, you don’t belong on my leg, you want to go on my cheek!”

Sin of the day

Forgive me other farm share member, I may have sinned against you.  While packing up our corn (fresh corn!  yay!) I noticed one of the ears had a cocoon or some really big, hard insecty thing inside it.  I couldn’t deal.  I put it in your box.  I didn’t take anything out of your box, so technically, you’re getting out more corn out of the deal, so maybe it’s not really a sin.  As an aside, now I have confirmation that the corn is pesticide-free.

Unexpected discovery of the day

Zoe and I were out running errands today and were in a mall in the suburbs.  As we were walking out, I noticed the floor tiles had a bunch of fossils in them.  Lots of very cool amonites (they look a little like swirly snail shells, but cooler.  I pointed them out to Zoe and she started hunting for them.  Some people have this gift that they can find fossils anywhere.  The geologist that I worked for in high school and college had that knack.  He literally stumbled over previously undiscovered dinosaur tracks.  Multiple times.  I never had that gift, I’ve only ever found the most common of fossils.  On the off chance that this skill is learned and not inherited, I figured I’d start training Zoe early.


  1. Yay for pesticide-free corn! Boo for finding out the hard way. 😉

  2. haha she is cute! bad cookie monster! i will forgive you for the corn, haha!

  3. geeksinrome

    I really believe you pointing out the obscure and hidden in everyday life will make your child more aware, curious and highly perceptive! Even silly things like “look at that tiny anthill” in the middle of a busy sidewalk is a way to teach kids that we are surrounded by hidden treasures and secrets ripe for discovery. I know it taught me to marvel nature and be more observant of my surroundings.

    re: fossils. if you ever go to Verona (Romeo and Juliet-ville) the city makes its sidewalks and walls out of this cool red stone that is loaded with gigantic “snail shells.” i don’t know if they would be amonites; they are huge like the size of a marching drum.

    • geeksinrome – They’re most likely amonites. When I was in Italy a long time ago (but not in Verona), we kept finding the sidewalks were paved with these rocks with gorgeous amonite fossils, and they can get to be absolutely huge. If the fossil is really good, you can see the chambers in the shells. The animal used them like a submarine – filling them with water to sink lower in the ocean, and emptying them to rise up in the water. They’re way cool.

  4. Your nightmarish Corn Incident reminds me of my youth-I was helping “shuck the corn” with my grandma and I peeled back the husk to find a huge black and gray worm curled around the corn. I was horrified. To this day I can not stand to eat corn on the cob. And I would sooner cut off my arm than “shuck corn” ever again.

    Good call! Wouldn’t want Zoe to have a similar experience. eew.

  5. Ann Z


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