Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Why Does Halloween Suck in Somerville?

I grew up on Shepard Street. It wasn't a particularly kid friendly street. There was a grade school down the street. But not all the houses had kids. About 1/4 of it is owned by Radcliffe and is undergraduate housing. But every kid in the neighborhood pretty much trick or treated in a loop that stayed within a couple blocks of our houses.

Now, in Cambridge everybody flocks to certain streets where they close down and turn their blocks into Halloween parties. We walked over there today and it was awesome. Crescent street was lined with jack-o-lanterns. They had pirate movies being projected onto the side of the garage. A guy in a scary mask stood in front of a cauldron and distributed candy out of a severed head. (My kids did NOT partake in his treats).

But because of these Halloween block parties, kids don't trick or treat in their own neighborhoods any more. It's really devastating for the older folks and empty nesters over here in So So. We made an effort to hit the decorated houses on the way back and people were really disappointed in the lack of kids. We were the only family that they had gotten by seven.

I think the crescent thing was awesome. But I wish there was a way to keep this tradition vibrant in the adjacent neighborhoods. I suppose we could try to throw our own block party. I'm mulling that one over, because I clearly don't have enough going on in my life (NOT).

Oh, and Eric did NOT wear a costume again this year. If he didn't look like me and Rich, I'd wonder if he was switched at birth. Of all the things to be completely immovable about, a Halloween costume? COME ON! I don't make him eat broccoli or enter the house through the same door as me when the mood strikes him. But if I could make him wear a costume, I would. He almost refused to trick or treat because he thought we were going to somehow foist a costume on him. Sneaking him into his Patriots jersey is not so much of a viable options because he's cottoned on to the fact that people will interpret it as a costume.

In some ways, I applaud his refusal to succumb to peer pressure. I think this will serve him well in the long run. But DAMMIT. I want cute Halloween costume pictures to moon over when I have a spotty lumpy teenager living in my house.

Sneaky Veggies? What's the point?

I've been watching this Seinfeld cookbook brew ha ha with a bit of a jaded eye. Jessica Seinfeld, wife of our King of Nothing, Jerry Seinfeld published a cookbook with such gems as (I kid you not) spinach brownies and mac and cheese with pureed squash hidden in the sauce.

First of all, there is nothing I could feed my son that he would eat that's complicated enough that I could 'hide' a vegetable in it. He doesn't do red or cheese sauce, and I find the concept of spinach brownies so revolting that they may as well be labeled 'vomit brownies.'

Kids can be perfectly healthy eating next to nothing and only crap. It's one thing if they're over or under weight, but if they're not, leave them alone. The human child is designed to get by on pretty much anything we feed them. The point of healthy eating for kids is not just nutrition but to build good habits that will last a lifetime. If you're being sneaky about it, what's the point? You have to go to a lot of trouble kicking your kids out of your open floor plan kitchen so they don't see you putting the squash in the macaroni or the (makes me nauseous just typing about it) the spinach in their brownies. They're not developing good eating habits, and they are probably no more or less healthy than they would be otherwise.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Bacon Dispensing Handrier at the Franklin Park Zoo