Thursday, November 30, 2006

Courage, The Perfect Post

The Original Perfect Post Awards Each month Lucinda and MommaK host the Perfect Post Awards for bloggers to honor their favorite posts of the preceding month. For November, my Perfect Post Award goes to Lara* at Life: The Ongoing Education for her seven-part series chronicling the dramatic recent events in her struggles with depression.

SwingDaddy and I visited her during the week she was in the hospital. It was heart-wrenching to see a friend in so much emotional pain, and she is turning that pain into beautiful writing that hopefully helps in her recovery, as well as being inspirational to others.

Be warned that this isn't lighthearted content, so you may want to set aside a quiet moment to read (unless you have small children, in which case I know you will never have a quiet moment.) Part 1 of her series is here.

Lara, thanks for sharing. We are wishing you well!

*Lara has chosen a nom-de-blog, so I've updated accordingly.

In an unrelated note, SwingDaddy made it home safely from his trip, and that leaves me free to process the remaining 1700 emails in my work inbox before I move to a new and exciting job (at the same company) tomorrow. Whee!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Vegetable Games

I sleep with the light on when SwingDaddy isn’t here. It’s not because I’m afraid of the dark. It’s because I always think I can do one more thing before bedtime, and he usually takes the notebook out of my hand and turns off the light when I'm already asleep.

He’s traveling for work, so I’ve been going it solo this week. Q keeps looking for his Baba (daddy) when we go into our home office (which is a distinctly colder room without all of his computers running) and knocking on the shower door to see if he’s inside. We ran an errand at SwingDaddy's favorite store, Fry's Electronics, and Q yelped, "Baba!" as soon as he saw the sign in the parking lot.

Q and I are entertaining ourselves with vegetable races, where he tries to cut up his Peel N Play veggies faster than I can stick them back together again. He's quite a pro now, even with the brocky (broccoli) and cotty fwowa (cauliflower), which are the trickier pieces to manage.

We miss you, SwingDaddy. And we're running out of vegetable games, so it's a good thing he's coming home soon!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cosmic Balance

Nanny J reports that Q has really been thoroughly enjoying his Mandarin music class. He knows the order of activities, so, he anticipates his favorite parts and stands up, waiting for the teacher to bring out the drums, and later, the triangles. There are enough small bells, drumsticks, and other props for all the children to play at the same time, but, they have to learn to take turns with the special instruments.

By standing up before she goes to get the drums, Q is first in line to get one. Hmmm, clever boy, to think on his feet. He’s not entirely selfish though. We had a major moment of parental pride last week, when another little boy didn’t want to wait and started to cry, so Q turned around and gave him the drum!

Of course, to balance things out, he almost bit a child who got too close a couple days later, but Nanny J was quick enough to pull him back. I suppose it’s fair that when you think you’re the mother of the cutest baby in the world, you get a moment of “you are SO going to be an only child.”

Monday, November 27, 2006

Boomberry, Zoomberry

So, we have this pretty tree in our front yard.

See, pretty berries.

Not so pretty on the ground.

Especially after they get squished. Yuck. We swept and scraped them up this morning, but it'll be just as bad tomorrow.

Our Christmas card order arrived in the mail today. I opened up the box and showed the photo to Q.

Lady M: Who's in the picture, honey?
Q: Broom!
Lady M: And who else?
Q: Baby and broom!

Clearly, his father and I rank much lower on the scale than the magical broom. Thanks, Fiona, for loaning your broom for our family picture.

I'll stomp on those berries for you, Mommy!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Karaoke Superstar

We have a new karaoke star in the family. I didn't catch a picture because I was still sleeping, so we'll have to make do with this excellent contribution from my dad.

Thanksgiving morning, SwingDaddy and I awoke to some music playing in the other room.

Lady M (listening to Q's voice with heavy reverb): Did they drop the baby down a well?
SwingDaddy (hearing the echoing giggling): Well, he seems to be having a good time down there.

Nanny K had introduced Q to the habit of singing into a hairbrush, and now this was his first shot with a live microphone. Joy! My folks said that his face lit up with excitement, and he happily sang along with them. I fear that he's inherited the ham gene from us.

There have been some serious and meaningful posts these last days in the blogosphere, so if you see my wrist in the next few days, you might think the worst. But don't worry, it's just that Q had very sharp toenails this week.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Home Again, Home Again

The shadow of our car with the bike on top as we drove up I-5 this afternoon.

After four glorious mornings of sleeping-in and endless splendid meals, all thanks to my parents, we packed up and drove home today. Heard along the journey.

SwingDaddy: It's time to get in the car. Would you like a cookie?
Q: No! No! No cookie!

Q: Music? Music?
Lady M: OK, let's turn on the music.
Q: Donna! Donna!
The little dude loves Madonna's new album. He got into some Aerosmith tunes too.

Lady M (calling parents to let them know how the drive is progressing): Thanks for everything, love you!
Q: Ama, Agu, bye! Bye! (pause) Music? Music? (pause) Cookie?
SwingDaddy: Nice try, bud.

G'night, y'all!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Three Things We’ve Learned During This Holiday Week

1) Remembering to pack the baby’s new toothbrush can make one feel smug, but leaving the toothpaste at home greatly lessens the effect. At least we brought his shoes this time.

2) Bribery with cookies is better than being stuck at a freeway rest-stop because someone is unwilling to get back into his car seat. We have a fresh box in reserve for the return drive tomorrow.

3) Johnson & Johnson’s No More Tears ® baby shampoo only causes no tears if your baby doesn’t open a bottle over his head and directly into his eye.

Wish us luck on the drive!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

LaDainian Tomlinson, Thanksgiving Master Chef

It is little known that along with his football duties, star runningback LaDainian Tomlinson is quite the master of the vegetable stir fry.

Q thoroughly enjoyed the excellent Peel N Play vegetable set from his Ama and Agu today. Earlier in the day, he needed quite a bit of help to “cut” the velcroed eggplant and carrot apart, but by evening, he was wielding his toy knife with aplomb.

We also squeezed in a trip to the Wild Animal Park between vegetable slicings and had a grand Thanksgiving dinner.

I hadn’t realized how many of the bloggers I read are Canadian until the Canadian Blog Awards came about and everyone was nominated! So a note to Canadian readers today – I think you guys have it right, celebrating Thanksgiving in October. It’s better to spread out the two biggest travel-to-see your-family holidays to maximize enjoyment.

(Aside: A completely unrelated piece of trivia for Canadian friends. The best show I saw on my last trip to New York, The Drowsy Chaperone, was written and composed by Canadians. It’s the first such musical in twenty-five years to make it to Broadway from Canada, and boy, is it a blast. Returning to the Thanksgiving theme now.)

I’m grateful for so much this year, but nothing means more than my loving family. All the best to you and yours.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Way Past the Slippery Slope

Once upon a time, this hypothetical new mother had a young baby who was just starting solid foods, and she thought, “My baby is only going to eat organic produce. My baby isn’t going to watch more than 15 minutes of educational TV a day.”

Are you done laughing yet?

We are way past the considering the slippery slope and lying at the bottom of the hill, wondering what happened. On our road trip this week, we resorted to bribing the baby with a cookie to get him back into his carseat for the last segment of the drive. For shame.

My weak attempt at rationalizing is that at least the cookie was a gingersnap, and not a chocolate-dipped Oreo. Ginger is a sort of vegetable, a natural thing, practically a health food.

We were doing well on the TV thing for a while, just watching a little PBS Sprout at bedtime. Then football season started, and the little guy started watching Monday Night Football with Daddy. Last week, he got sick, and we needed keep him from being too active to prevent coughing. Out came the DVDs and lots of Sesame Street. Sigh. Well, he must be getting something from the hours in front of the “Meet the Orchestra” Baby Einstein DVD, because he’s been playing my dad’s guitar like it’s a double bass.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Beginning His Career as a Recording Artist

Q learns about headphones. Ooooh!

Too tired to think or write. More tomorrow instead.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monumentally Self-Absorbed

In the last two weeks, I've had both a friend and an acquaintance check themselves in to hospital psych wards. Holy cow.

At first, I didn't think I'd ever known so many people with mental health issues before, but I later realized that no, I certainly have known plenty. However, they were mostly in denial, creating a very unclear situation.

In contrast, a psych ward check-in is certainly a clear indication that something serious is afoot. As I listened to my friend about how she felt, a few slow gears in my brain started to turn. I have a new lens with which to look over my past and realize that there are at least three people dear to me who have suffered depression in the last few years.

At various times, they described feeling unwell, lethargic or sad. So, I cheered them with funny stories, or created ludicrous solutions to the problems that made them laugh. Everyone has a couple of bad days now and then, right? And sometimes they didn't call, so I assumed they were busy, rather than unable to motivate themselves to pick up a phone. I didn't get it. I DIDN'T GET IT.

I was providing the kind of encouragement and support you give for a sprained ankle to people who were suffering something closer to paralysis.

I was just oblivious. I generally think everyone is just fine. Sure, we all have some bad days, but a couple of laughs, and we'll get past it. Depression, the serious stuff for which movie stars need fancy pills, was something I thought was pretty rare until not too long ago. At a mom's group gathering, several women were weighing the effects of their different medications. These were ladies I knew and respected, and they all had a meds regimen.

Could it be that a whole lot of folks are struggling? Uh, yeah.

I've reached out to two friends (and will see the third in a week) to say that I'm sorry I didn't see the depth of what they were or are facing, but I do now. I'm really sorry.

And if you need something amusing after this post, go create your portrait as a South Park character. Thanks to HBM for the link!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Highly Flexible Priorities

I'm usually all about the importance of education and encouraging children to learn. However, parenting has taught me that you pretty much have to wing it for lots of things. The other day, Q was munching raisins, and much to my delight, he was counting them.

Q: One!
Stuffs raisin into his mouth.
Q: Two!
Another raisin.
Q: Free!
We know what he means here, and he puts another raisin in his mouth.
Q: Fowah!
Q: Fi!
Mommy is torn between celebrating her child's math skills and the need to tell him that he needs to chew now and not keep counting.

This morning, I had another conflict of priorities. Q and I went to watch SwingDaddy's bike race. It was an ideal race to watch, since the cyclists were doing 30 miles of laps and we'd have many opportunities to see them, unlike a road race where the bikes zip by once, and then you go home.

Q was wearing his new fuzzy hat and being friendly, since he was surrounded by bikes, which are the most fascinating of objects, after guitars and brooms. (Does the boy know how to choose 'em or what?) I was playing with the rapid-fire action setting of our camera, and getting a few shots here and there.

There was another mom watching, sitting in a comfy field chair, nursing her six-week-old firstborn under a warm pink blanket. She kinda looked like Kristen Chase, tall and elegant. We exchanged greetings, and she observed me intently as I chased Q up and down the sidewalk, off the street, out of the flowerbeds, and back across the parking lot.

"Wow," she said. "I thought that it was a lot of work to nurse and change mine. It gets really aerobic later, huh!"

Q chose that moment to make a break for the street, so I only had a moment to nod before I hauled him out of a pile of leaves and back to the sidewalk. The cyclists flew by a few moments later, SwingDaddy leading a sprint at the front of the peloton. Sadly, I didn't have the camera ready, but I figure my first responsibility is still to keep the little dude from getting smooshed by a car. Photography duties come a distant second.

We waved at the cyclists, and Q learned to yell, "Go!" at them. As soon as they were past, he'd start calling sadly for his daddy. "Don’t worry, he's coming back! In three and a half minutes exactly, in fact."

The new mom laughed with me after each lap, as I tried to console him. It was nice to have a moment of companionship with a stranger, each holding a little one.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Our dance mentor and his wife threw a great party tonight, and it was great to see so many old friends. I wore a dress my mom found for me and got about a million compliments. I have never received so much admiration for a real-life outfit (not a stage costume). Thanks, Mom!

We performed our crazy mazurka number and had a good time. The group photo was taken on someone else's camera, so I hope I can get a copy soon. Time for bed.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Healing Power of Cuteness (Oh Yeah, and Laughter Too)

So many people I know are recovering from various ailments that it's time to share smiley things. First, I've written about cute anthropomorphic food before, and even ordered some adorable plush steam buns, so you should be prepared for the latest from the Japanese Phone Accessory Superstore: It's Wasabi! You know, the spicy green stuff that you should never, ever mistake for guacamole when you eat your sushi.

Plus, here's Maffy, from Marshmallow Land.

For a laugh, check out the Helsinki Complaint Choir. Lady O forwarded the link to me. I love hearing the everyday complaints made into music, especially how different they are in the Finnish culture.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Etiquette of Charitable Giving (or Can I Give These Hostess Donettes to the Homeless Person by the Freeway Underpass?)

So, what does a person do with a bag (minus two) of chocolate-covered Hostess mini donuts that she thinks taste like cardboard?

Throw them in the trash?
Give them to someone who would eat them?
Eat them anyway?

Is it insulting to give a homeless person food that you don't like? Even if he/she is holding a sign saying that "I am hungry?" If a friend liked something I didn't enjoy, she could certainly have it without offended feelings on either side.

I had a colleague who ate the spear pickles that came with my lunch sandwich every day for two months. They were individually wrapped, so they didn't contaminate the rest of the sandwich, and I didn't ask the deli to stop packing one for me, since G enjoyed them so much.

Of late, our charitable actions have been mostly writing checks to the local and national organizations we support. Effective perhaps, but also somewhat removed from reality. My donut situation is just a silly example of a bigger question I'm pondering over how to best support the many groups – poverty-fighters, cancer-researchers, arts fundraisers – in which we believe.

Anyhow, SwingDaddy believes that it would be a taunting action to give someone the mini-donuts, because they look like food, but aren't actually edible. Thoughts?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Latest in De-Poopification

SwingDaddy and I joke about needing to go "de-poopify" the baby's dirty diaper. This week in response, Q looked me quizzically and said, "poo-poo-fy?"

Yes dear, your job is to poopify, and we will de-poopify. And there's a new ecologically sound way to take care of it. Our friend, Oat Man, stopped by to say hello tonight before he embarks on a national roadtrip to make a series of videos about the environment.

He recently interviewed the founder of gDiaper, the flushable, compostable diaper. They feature six cheerful colors of pants, ranging from Gumdrop Purple to Grassroots Green, and an absorbent insert that goes down the toilet without clogging. We're not going to make an immediate change to our routine, but I really like knowing there are some alternatives available to our Pampers standby.

In other news, Q is still sick and a bit barfy. I ran out to get some Pedialyte Popsicles tonight, because I'm afraid he might start getting dehydrated. Poor kiddo.

And I should clarify: I don't have Lyme Disease. What I have is an overactive imagination.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Kindness of Bloggers

The lovely Mir introduced me to Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks at BlogHer last summer, and I've since enjoyed reading her site and admiring the photographs. Love Thursdays was one of her blogosphere innovations, and now she's developed the idea of the Kind Blog.

By posting this badge, I'm declaring that in addition to humour, intelligence, wit, sadness, snarkiness, passion, exuberance, peace, stillness, excitability, anger or any other emotion you may witness on my site:

1) I will never intentionally hurt any other people, whether I know them or not, whether they blog or not, whether they're celebrities or not, either through my words or my images. It's just not my style; and

2) I hope that by the time you've clicked away from my site, I've helped in some way to make your day just a little bit better.



Yeah, what she said.

I've never been one for public confessional ranting - it's just not how I work things out. So, I try to be funny and lighten my spirits that way, even on a tough day.

Monday, November 13, 2006

N is for Nebulizer

A couple of visits to the doctor's office in the last two days has given us new knowledge of children's literature.

All About Scabs

The ABCs of Asthma, illustrated by our favorite page, N is for Nebulizer

And The Three Little Hawaiian Pigs and the Magic Shark, which is a seriously weird retelling of The Three Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf. Note that the shark is wearing flip-flops.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Hostess Snack Cakes, Lyme, and Croupy Croup Croup

We spent the morning taking Q to the doctor to confirm a diagnosis of croup. It seems to be a lighter case this time, so I'm hoping we won't need to go to the ER tonight.

We did however need to use the spare sets of clothes I'd packed for both Q and SwingDaddy in our errand bag, since I suspected he might be a little barfy after medication. My Mommy Instincts are not as finely honed as most, but occasionally, I come through with the right stuff.

In other medical news, I have a bug bite and thanks to Dr. Google, I'm certain I have Lyme Disease.

SwingDaddy points out that this is highly unlikely since Lyme Disease is carried by ticks, and ticks are generally found in the outdoors, rather than in malls, computer labs, or artificially surfaced playgrounds, which are my usual haunts. I took a picture of the red spot on my arm, just in case he needs to show it to the coroner later.

He is now trying to convince me that chocolate covered mini-donuts, which I purchased in a moment of weakness today, are an effective antidote against Phantom Lyme Disease. I have a longstanding craving for Hostess Ding Dongs, which as the company website states, are "enrobed with chocolate coating, with rich and majestic crème filling." Sadly, when you bite into one, they taste like cardboard.

We've decided that what I really want is the platonic ideal of a Hostess Ding Dong, not the actual thing, so I've stopped buying them. The mini-donuts also fall short of expectation, so I'll have to get rid of them tomorrow.

Sorry for such a wandering topic line today. It's hard to concentrate when you're hearing Beaker singing "Feelings" in your head because your child wanted to see the video over and over again.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Boy and His TMX Elmo

Q scored amazing amounts of love and attention from two sets of grandparents last week, plus some cool toys. He's a lucky little dude. Besides the magical guitar from Ama and Agu, Grandma D and Grandpa managed to acquire the sold-out TMX Tickle Me Elmo, and here is the pictorial tale of Elmo's entry to our household.

Oh boy, it's Elmo!

It's really Elmo!

I can't wait!

Here he is. Why are you tickling him, Daddy?

Make him stop convulsing!

The whole point of TMX Elmo is that he laughs so much that he falls over and tumbles around. Q was not so amused. He picked up Elmo and stuffed him back into the box.

When we were visiting with friends last week, he got really upset when their little girl tripped and fell over. So maybe he was being empathetic and afraid Elmo was hurt.

The adults waited until Q was asleep to try out Elmo again. This thing is hilarious. We were all laughing as the doll giggled and tumbled around. The next morning, Q was happy to carry Elmo's box around, piping "Elmo!" periodically. When we asked if he wanted to take the doll out of the box, he said, "No!"

After a few more days, he's let Elmo out of the box.

He's grown very fond of him. But we haven't turned the "tickle" switch on again. We'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Hi Y'all!

Using correct spelling and proper grammar is important to me. Oops. A blog is a probably a terrible place to say that, since you're going to point out all my errors now.

A couple of months ago, a kind friend pointed out that I had written "pouring" instead of the correct "poring over the document." I was embarrassed, but really grateful, since I like to get things right.

Sarah at Tomato Nation (she's the one who shaved her head when her readers accepted her challenge to raise $30,000 for an education charity) takes copyediting questions regularly, as well as requests for advice on boyfriends and cats, and she recently published a list of grammatical pet peeves. I was horrified to find that I've been typing "ya'll" instead of "y'all" for years! For shame. Check out the list – it's pretty amusing.

In other news, Q had a pretty hyper time in gymnastics this morning. He was literally rolling on the floor, laughing.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

More Pictures, More!

I used to think that if the money fairy showered us with riches, and we moved to a mansion with live-in staff, I'd select house musicians before a gardener and butler. After reading about these doting parents though, I think that maybe we'd need our own photo-journalist first.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Brilliance and Snot

A couple of weeks ago, the marketing team at work was short of product experts for a trade show, so I volunteered to drive up to Moscone and help staff the booth. I picked up badge and logo shirt (which actually came in women's sizes this year, thank god, so it fit reasonably well) and stood around on the plushy carpet, giving demonstrations of products to whoever stopped by.

I also got the chance to give a presentation in the "theater" of the booth, a little stage in front of a sharp flatscreen TV. I wore the mic, flashed the slides, gave the spiel, and it was kinda fun! The audience at the show was pretty small, but they clapped politely, and I was glad to have had the experience.

It made me think about those magic moments of accomplishment.

For instance, I love delivering a really sound presentation at work – to be prepared with the right material, engage the customers, and for them to ask intelligent questions.

In dance, all applause is good, but there are some moments that stick in my memory as special high points. For one number, our mentor praised a "brilliant" moment we had carefully designed. In total contrast, one dancers' girlfriend reported that a dude sitting behind her at our performance commented to his buddy, "This is f---ing cool!"

I have a new kind of major accomplishment to add to the list. The feeling of immense satisfaction when I succeed getting a really big piece of snot out of my child's nose.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Yum, Baby

Don't worry, we didn't really let the big cat eat Q.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Not Always Smooth, But Doing Fine

I suppose you've read last week's news about the top U.S. evangelist who was busted for buying crystal meth from a gay hooker he's been seeing for the last three years. The whole sordid story just makes me wince and wonder how on earth a man who preaches the sanctity of marriage (between only a man and a woman, at that) can behave this way.

And in a horrible trainwreck-y way, you gotta wonder how exactly one apologizes to a spouse for having repeatedly hired a hooker, even if it was really only for a massage? Do you buy her a diamond ring, like Kobe Bryant? Fancy car? What is in alignment with Christian values?

One summer in college, I briefly dated a player. He was handsome, used to getting who he liked, charming, and clever. At some point, we had a tiff about something inconsequential, and I later found a bouquet of roses on my desk, along with a handwritten note of apology, each paragraph illustrated with a multi-colored drawing. I was flattered, gave him a hug, and all was forgiven.

Not long after, his landlady answered the phone when I called, and she addressed me by the wrong girl's name. I think she did it on purpose, as her way of warning me that he was bad news.

Much later, when I was dating an entirely better species of human being, I realized that sometimes, someone who apologizes beautifully is someone who has apologized a lot. And not for a good reason.

I kept that artful letter for a long time, because it made me more conscious of social graces, and the social "smoothness" that is so prized in today's sound-bite, media-trained world. Handling delicate feelings in the PTA power structure, apologizing for damaging a relationship, or strong-arming a relative into hosting Thanksgiving dinner for 20 – managing to do those things smoothly isn't easy, and doing them poorly looks and feels terrible.

However, smooth takes practice, and there are some things for which you might not want to be too practiced. Maybe you value directness over playing a political game, perhaps you'd rather change a holiday tradition rather than make someone an unhappy host, or you rarely do something that requires a deep apology.

And that's just fine.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

It's a Small Chair After All

Q has been basking in the attention of my parents for the last few days. Here, he's moved his little chair (a gift from Lady O) right up to the glass so that he can have a good view of Agu grilling dinner outside.

Ama and Agu brought him his very own guitar (Baby 'tar!) which has thrilled him to no end. This morning, he prepared to conduct a sing-along with Buff and Kissy Cow.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

About Those Newts

When our friends, Ms Redowa and Husband, got married this summer, they put their creativity to work and a good time was had by all. The venue did indeed include newts and a trampoline, which everyone seems to want to hear more about, so here's a little bit more about their special day. Sadly, I have no picture of either (too busy holding the child for the former and too dark to capture the latter.)

After following the directions on their wedding website (and on the invitations sent only to those who specifically requested a paper copy and that were printed on locally-produced 100% post-consumer-waste recycled cardstock), we arrived in the middle of a glorious grove of redwoods to find a beautiful pond and a dance floor just beyond.

A tolerant friend's son captured eleven newts (or the same slow newt eleven times) from the pond during the course of the evening, and I managed to not lose my cool cred by insisting that he take a wet wipe from my diaper bag before joined the children's table for dinner.

Table is not quite the right word; Island is better, as the children decided to eat on the small float that the Mexican-Cuban quartet has used as their stage earlier. Q was fascinated by the guitars, and one musician was kind enough to stop by and play a special ditty for him. I think this was the first time we heard Q say, "'tar!"

After enjoying appetizers served on disposable plates made of biodegradable potato starch and a lovely dinner on more conventional china while reading the carefully labeled ingredient lists for vegetarians, vegans, and folks who had food allergies, we danced, watched performances of Scottish/German/ Indian fusion dance, and zipped over to the cake cutting.

There was even a separate wheat-free cake for those who were gluten intolerant. All in all, we were incredibly impressed by the thought and care that went into the planning of the Purple Wedding, and indeed all the weddings we attended this summer.

It was dark by Q's bedtime, and we headed through the trees to our car. In the distance, we could barely see vaguely bouncing shapes, but the happy sounds left no doubt that the children had found the trampoline. If we'd gotten there while there was still light, you wouldn't have been able to tear Q (and SwingDaddy and I) off it! Fortunately, we started baby gymnastics class that next week and Q's been getting plenty of bounce time since.

As for newts though, we're leaving those guys alone for a while.

Friday, November 03, 2006

What Kind of Artist Are You?

A couple of years ago, I was watching an interview of Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) in the delightfully thorough special features of The Lord of the Rings DVDs, and he described his other projects – a gallery showing of his paintings, a newly published poetry book, an album he was recording that would include some of the other LOTR cast members.

I remember my initial reaction – "Geez, guy. Pick one! Are you an actor or a painter or a photographer?"

I couldn't possibly feel more differently now. I get it. When you're a creator, you create. It doesn't matter what medium.

I used to write dances, which is how I think of choreography. Now that it's easier to get time late at night on my computer than it is to arrange a babysitter, studio space and a dozen dancers, I write blog posts and essays. I still love writing dances, but slowly, I've rechanneled a lot of that energy into writing words and taking photographs.

We'll see what comes next.

Photo from