The Cambrian

Lady Tie Di:

(Note: This is an experiment — like my son, who texts on his phone, e-mails on his iPod while listening to music and seemingly does his homework, I’m going to break my silent bubble and run music while trying to write this column.)

I had one of the more entertaining evenings last night that I’ve had in quite some time. No big deal to some, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

In this day and age of high technology and sensory overload, we had what could be called simply “good clean fun.” My son had a couple of friends over for dinner. We had a lively conversation over a fare of grass-fed beef tacos.

We were cracking each other up with tricks like trying to touch your tongue to your nose (without cheating like I did by squishing my nose down with my fingers) and odd noises we could make. I then remembered a book my mom gave me years ago. “Mouth Sounds” is just one of those silly things that has withstood the moves and upheavals I’ve seen over all my years here, remaining on my bookshelf until last night when we took it down and dusted it off.

After thumbing through the pages and studying the various instructions for making robot noises and all, I dusted off the flimsy plastic film of a “It’s a square record!” — still intact — and placed it on the turntable. Some snaps and crackles, like most of my well-loved vinyl collection but we still got a kick out of it.

(Note: I’m having a really hard time not singing along to Blues Traveler or wanting to dance to The Dixie Cups right now…)

Meanwhile, my son was setting us up to play—gasp — a board game! Boys against girls, we played a full game of Pictionary. That’s right, pencils and paper and drawing and guessing —What a hoot! I’ve always loved playing games, and it’s so nice to have the opportunity to play with these fresh young, bright kids.

I was impressed first and foremost by the willingness to play, but also by the imaginations! Too funny! I must say I picked up some good ideas about conveying certain concepts, “I’d draw a mushroom, then a room and put an X through the room for ‘mush.’ Just a thought.” Clever.

When I was a child (OK, answering the bink of my e-mails while typing is one thing, but every funk song Pandora Radio plays pulls me right away … only … 40… more … words) my mom encouraged us to play games. Sometimes she just challenged us to pick a word randomly out of the dictionary and use it in a sentence or give a definition, and the others would have to guess if that was right or not (early version of “Balderdash”).

It was refreshing to see these young people willing to put some thought and energy into a “good ol’ fashioned” form of entertainment (yes, they also played Wii) with an old fogey like me. I appreciated it and loved every minute of it. Zachary even wants to start a movement to do this every Wednesday! Bring it on! (Note: Now I can go dance! I’ll stick to one electronic thing at a time!)

E-mail Lady Tie Di, aka Dianne Brooke, a member of the Coast Unified School District Board of Trustees, at tiedi@att . net, or visit her Web site at