I have a plant in my office that starts at the top left corner of a very tall bookcase, then crawls across the top of the bookcase, down the side, and then a few feet across the floor. I’ve cut it back a few times, but I tend to let it grow, mostly out of fascinated curiosity. How long will it possibly GROW? I hardly ever water it, and the room is dark this time of year due to an overgrown maple tree right outside the window. It somehow thrives in spite of this, and there is a very real possibility that the plant will eventually eat us or kill us in our sleep, which is why I named it Rick Moranis. (Well, the other reason I named it Rick Moranis is because of a miscommunication with Mike, wherein he referenced Little Shop of Horrors and I incorrectly thought he meant that Rick Moranis played the plant.) At any rate, having a plant named thusly is enjoyable for two reasons: firstly, it is oddly entertaining to refer to a plant by both a first name and last name, due to the feeling of formality it gives the plant, and secondly, when Mike says things like “Your plant is OUT OF CONTROL!” I can indigantly and coldly respond with, “HE HAS A NAME YOU KNOW.”

Our bedtime routine with Ellie is fairly simple, if a little time-consuming. We give her a bath, I feed her, and then (on nights when additional soothing and/or encouragement is necessary) Mike rocks her to sleep. He often sings the saddest song in all of Australia, The Pub With No Beer, as he rocks her. I can’t help but think that it is unwise to sing such a terribly tragic song to her right before she is expected to go to sleep, but I try not to micromanage Mike’s parenting.

There is a commercial that plays regularly on the Food Channel, advertising a new series in the Top Chef oeuvre called “Just Desserts”. In the commercial, a guy in a bow tie announces proudly and provocatively (and bewilderingly), “My desserts taste like Mom made them, and then someone slapped her in the face!” He then takes a savage bite out of a delicious-looking fruit tart. Between that commercial and the one for Loreal mascara that uses the non-word “millionizing” half a dozen times, I can’t help but wonder why having a minimum standard of requiring that statements made in commercials must either MAKE SENSE or ACTUALLY MEAN SOMETHING is just too much to ask.