Tag Archives: Felix/Martha

Felix/Martha goes a-nutcrackin’

The Snowflakes in the grand finale to Act One of Oregon Ballet Theatre's production of George Balanchine's "The Nutcracker." Photo: Blaine Truitt Covert.

As regular readers may recall, the Small Large Smelly Boy (a.k.a. Felix/Martha) is a lover of the ballet. Not so much contemporary dance — at 13, he’s a classicist at heart — but definitely the ballet. That made a trip to this year’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at Oregon Ballet Theatre a command performance, so off we went on Wednesday night. Mr. Scatter had asked Felix/Martha if he’d like to blog about the experience, and he declined. But in the car on the way downtown, Mr. Scatter struck a deal: Write five sentences about the show after you’ve seen it, and I’ll write the post. Done, with a bonus Sentence No. 6. To maintain the verity of balance, Mr. Scatter decided to confine himself to an equal number of segments. Felix/Martha’s sentences are in bold, Mr. Scatter’s in more quotidian light face. Final performances are Thursday night and Friday noon.

By Felix/Martha and Bob Hicks

1. The music is brilliant, better even than the dancing. The story is compelling, and the mixture of it all — plot, dance and music — forms an arguable masterpiece.

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Following up on a point of business

Medical practitioners from the 1918 flu pandemic. Mrs. Scatter got a flu shot just last week and now she has the flu. What gives?

By Laura Grimes

Dear Everyone Who Isn’t Felix/Martha:

My son is a champ.

(For anyone who missed yesterday’s big disclosure, read this first or risk a spoiler.)

After posting yesterday, I had to wait not-so-patiently for Felix/Martha to come home from school to read the special message meant just for him. It was pouring rain, and he was completely soaked.

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Getting right to the point

A cheap die-cast Roman catapult with a built-in pencil sharpener costs only a few bucks and can be found at any tourist trap in London, but it earned Mrs. Scatter enormous clout with her catapult-loving son.By Laura Grimes

Dear Felix/Martha:

Remember that time when I was halfway around the world and I would write sneaky blog posts that would not-so-secretly reveal exciting news? Remember how I would slyly tell about the special presents I was bringing home, knowing you would be thrilled? And how you would come home from school every day and go to your computer, read the daily post and instant-message me, while I stayed up really late in my time zone? Remember our silly game of including lots of exclamation points? Remember how you instant-messaged me that you were in the middle of reading that day’s post (I thought, Oh, good, here it comes … ) and you innocently chatted away and then you wrote … “You got me a catapult?!!!!!!!!!!”? I loved that moment. Remember how fun that was?

Yeah, well, this isn’t one of those times.

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Thankless holiday sets off an alarm

We might have to fall back on this because we're resorting to Plan B and planning our Thanksgiving meal at the last minute./Wikimedia CommonsBy Laura Grimes

Here at Art Scatter World Headquarters we are counting down to the day of the Grand Unsealing of the Pickles* by telling all our embarrassing and disastrous tales of Thanksgivings past.

For some reason, giant black clouds hover over us this time every year, though we always manage to have a wonderful holiday.

This year, we had planned to drive to the Olympic Peninsula to spend several days with relatives, but our trip was canceled when 6 to 12 inches of snow dumped there and roads turned treacherous,** Felix/Martha came down with a nasty cold (which isn’t like him), and the half-wild She Cat, who usually disappears for days and eats god knows what, badly injured her front paw and is camped out on a fluffy blanket on the couch.

This morning, the He Cat made barfing sounds on the dining room rug. I grabbed him around the middle (not so good) and was juggling him (also not good) while unlocking the front door, when his whole body convulsed and a wet hairball flew out of his mouth and landed on the rug near my feet.

Thank you, Thanksgiving.

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Thankless holiday goes up in flames

This oven looks freakishly like Mr. and Mrs. Scatter's old one that caught fire. Many thanks to the Small Large Smelly Boy (Felix/Martha) for the splendid design that cleverly covered up the baked-on grime on the bottom. Wikimedia Commons and Felix/Martha

By Laura Grimes

Two days to T-day!

Mr. and Mrs. Scatter love planning Thanksgiving dinner, even if it’s just them and The Large Smelly Boys. They love writing up the menu, ferreting out the special recipe file, taking stock of ingredients, making lists, shopping, splaying out the bounty.

Then on Thanksgiving day, they put on music and start chopping. They put out a nice spread of appetizers and pour some wine. They both happily bustle around the kitchen, nibbling and testing. The big feast is a time of thanks, good food and good friends, but, really, it’s the long, slow process of getting there that they savor. Basically, it’s Norman Rockwell meets Currier and Ives, if only their paintings could also convey the cozy warmth of a fuzzy blanket and scratch ‘n’ sniff cooking smells. Yes, that’s exactly the Scatter household on Thanksgiving day.

WAIT A SEC! WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! Back up to the “splaying out the bounty” part.

A handful of years back, Mr. and Mrs. Scatter were at this point in the process, a few days before T-Day. They had just finished the exhausting list-making and marathon shopping. They had just unloaded all the bags and set out all the food.

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Felix/Martha: Hippo Barfday to you!

Delivering greetings in a birthday suit.

By Laura Grimes

It happened. Art Scatter World Headquarters is now the official home to not one, but two teenagers. Yes, today is Felix/Martha’s big-kid birthday. Forget sending sympathy cards. Better yet, send a life raft.

In that spirit, and as a little present, here is one of Felix/Martha’s favorite stories.



Felix/Martha, barely 3 and totally bare, dabbles in water trickling from the faucet. The scene? The bathroom. Upstairs.

“So, you want to play in the sink?” He likes the idea, and I like it that I can take a shower and keep an eye on him.

I fill up the sink with warm, soothing water and search out the toys that he requests. Cups, funnels, all the ducks and all the frogs.

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Uranus, also called “the gas giant”

Today’s post is brought to you by the Small Large Smelly Boy and his science report, which he read out loud at school today. Mr. and Mrs. Scatter have not changed a word.


An image from the Hubble telescope in 1998 shows bands, rings and moons around Uranus. Wikimedia CommonsBy Felix/Martha

Did you know that the diameter of Uranus is four times that of the Earth’s? In fact, Uranus is so big that scientists have decided to name it after a Roman deity. According to legend, Uranus is the father of several titans, and it has much unkempt power – when Uranus’s power is let loose, disastrous things happen.

Uranus has a very strong gravitational pull, which means Uranus is very attractive. Many things are drawn to Uranus, including 27 moons orbiting around it, which were originally named after windy spirits, but now take the names of characters from Shakespeare’s plays. Scientists seem to think it important to associate Uranus with famous literary works.

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The Oscar goes to Large Smelly Boy!

Briefly, the stories I could tell .../Wikimedia Commons

By Laura Grimes

Dear Mr. Scatter,

Thank you for cleaning the little black skillet before bailing again. It is duly noted that you mentioned it before you left and again on the phone. Please note that I have performed my wifely duty by appreciating it out loud. Now if you could just solve the little matter of getting the man-children to stop eating and requiring fried eggs, we could keep the little black skillet clean and our marriage contract would not be necessary.

No. Wait. That’s not what I meant.


The jig is up with the Large Large Smelly Boy. We’ve been found out. Even though he hasn’t deigned to read the blog for months or have any technological connection with me besides texting when he needs a ride, he was looking at my computer screen while I was logged on to the blog, and he wanted to know about a recent comment in a post. I think his question went something like, “What was that about Nancy Farmer? Deliciously disturbed? Leather lampshades? What’s that all about?”

I said, “It’s in a blog entry. You can read it. Here.” And I clicked. Then I turned away and started to leave. I paused. “Sorry I’m sending you to Greenland.”

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Kid lit, chapter 1: The costume party

Sorry it didn't occur to me to take a picture of the wild T-shirt before I took it apart.

By Laura Grimes

Several vignettes about kids and books have been pin-balling about my head for months, but two things this week got the mojo going: a goofy T-shirt and a fake mustache.

You only get one this time, though. I’m intent on cleaning up the hell holes around the house and the other night I came across a small bright purple T-shirt. Size 7. It was covered with colorful buttons, shiny Mardi Gras coins, pipe cleaners and assorted gunk from the craft bin. All this was attached with miles of masking tape.

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