Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Sieved Christmas

My Dylan Thomas Christmas Essay (For AP Lang)

I must have five million memories of Christmas, but I think I’ve stored them in the section of my brain labeled “too obscure to remember clearly.” The Christmas traditions of fruit cake and candy canes, gingerbread houses with falling down roofs, tinsel on trees and popcorn strings, mulled apple cider served with cinnamon sticks but is really too hot to drink through the stirring straw, so I burn my mouth and hope that it will feel normal before I wake up the next morning--for me these memories don't exist, so movies and songs and stories that children read by the fire on Christmas Eve are not reminiscent for me, nor are they helpful in retrieving my own memories; the real memories are strange and sweet, shimmering away from me like decorative lights reflected on the wet street at night.

I can’t remember why I thought that it was Christmas, and maybe it shouldn’t count as a Christmas memory, but when I ran through the hallway down to the living room right after receiving my new tricycle, my dad asked me what I was doing and I said, “Where’s the tree?” He answered, “It’s not Christmas!” in a surprised, offended sort of way, like, “We only give you anything worth getting on Christmas?” Maybe it was my birthday, actually, but I decided to store it in the Christmas pile of my dilapidated memory center, so now it is more closely associated with absent Christmas trees and riding a tricycle through a silent house on an early morning, which is actually just like a Christmas morning.

I can’t remember why my parents let me go out in the middle of the night when Jarred came to wake me up because it was snowing. Normally that was the kind of thing that I would be barred from, going out in the middle of the night because it was snowing, yet I went, and we walked through town towards another friend’s house, and we soon had a group of teenagers glad to be young enough to enjoy snow by street lamps and deserted roads. While we walked in a line taking up the whole road, we ran down the street picking up snow to throw back at each other, while laughing and wrestling into the yards of people we did not know. After we were cold enough we watched a movie on a warm couch though I don’t remember which movie, I remember that my friend said my hair was soft and I felt my eyes close in sleep before I could decide what to do about his hand sitting lightly on the top of my head.

I can’t remember how old I was when I went sledding on the White’s steep hill by their house and Susan and I walked up to the top of the hill and rode double on an innertube without any handles. We spun around and around so I could tell only from the skyscape that we were getting too close to the trees; the thick whiteness of the cloud cover switched quickly to green as I felt us shooting over the ground off the side of the hill and down into the wooded area. We both knew instinctively that we were doomed and unable to work anything out so I grabbed her arms and she pulled in too, still I couldn’t feel anything underneath us until I decided that the best thing to do would be to close my eyes. I opened them after I was firmly on the ground, and laughed quickly when I saw that I was alright, but when I looked over at Susan’s face, we saw that she was not alright, also because she said, “Stop laughing. My forehead is hurt.” I looked at the ground and saw spots of bright red blood making little imprints into the snow, like footprints, because it melted down from the heat of her veins.We walked back to the White’s house and I felt sheepish about laughing and tried to show my empathy by saying, “I think my head hurts a little too”, but I was completely serious.

I can’t remember any Christmases in Hawaii except for the year that we were living at Adam’s house and my present from my parents came two weeks late; my disappointment in our Christmas day was trampled by the fact that I was away from my family, and that Jake's family had needed to celebrate a day early. I am a firm believer in actual day celebrations, because alternate day celebrations are just posing as “I’ll make it up to you” excuses. My only Christmas memory in Hawaii so far is tainted with mixed feelings of guilt and selfishness and some sort of self-belief in true celebration. We got the box from my parents, and in it were some random items that I am unable to recall, but were of course fun, because my mom sends political articles, endless varieties of rice and grains, and other helpful and useful goods that somehow express love through a box, but the special part of the gift was an ionic hairbrush. I used it dutifully even with my personal commitment to a 30-year-old brush, and Bekah mistook it for an antique when I left it in the Palmer’s trunk that was full of junk to give away. I hope there is a Salvation Army shopper with smooth locks of hair. With that one gone, I had to return to the use of my actually antique hairbrush, for which I have never been able to find a suitable replacement.
I can't remember any specific traditions that my family has for Christmas, although for several years my mom got a "honey baked ham" from the actual store of the same name, and we were never a traditional dinner type of family. We have lots of pictures from our Christmas dinners that are a medley of American and Japanese foods, because my mom wasn't really an American food cook. My dad told me that I used to try and offer seaweed to my friends and they would say things like, "What the heck is this?" which is exactly what my I was thinking when my mom first made a Tuna Casserole with potato chips on top: "What the heck is this?" One time we went to another person's house for Christmas Eve dinner, and I remember that they had turkey, and rolls, and all sorts of foods that you see in commercials, and it really does look very lovely. I can't remember why I felt so uncomfortable among all of those commercial but beautiful looking foods, cranberries and potatoes and gravy in a boat, but I thought it was weird that we were sitting there with other commercial but beautiful looking families with blond headed kids and sweet cherub cheeks.

I suddenly can only remember this Christmas we are in Hawaii, enjoying the sun and Wailele on Christmas Eve. Amaya tries to get in even though she has no swimsuit and we are sitting up above the pool. "Mammy! Mammy!" she calls out as Pam swims and plays peekaboo behind the falling water. Jake and I talk about the last Christmas I can remember before we have Amaya and apparently my good memories are tainted by the fact that he was depressed because that was the Christmas before his dad died, and we knew that it would be soon. While we work on gift wrapping and a puzzle, a tradition I've picked up from Ron and I love if only for that reason, Jake tells me about Ron's installations with presents he made when they were kids. At first it's a negative memory, because Ron spent all day working on it and the kids had to stay out of the room, but then his voice picks up when he says how his dad made a city of Bethlehem and a train and even a nativity scene all made of wrapped presents. I have no right to the memory, but I enjoy recreating it and having a small piece of Jake's childhood to share with our growing family. We open presents with Amaya in the morning, and the Jacksons (Mike and Bryan) show up to play with her and presents while we eat Christmas french toast. Everyone plays ping pong and jumps on the trampoline while I tidy up for our upcoming Christmas dinner, when everyone will be here again. Suf Jean Stevens says that he gets That Creepy Christmas Feeling, and I agree, and like him, I enjoy it. I can feel that it is starting to pass as the day wanes; I miss it already.

The memories reflect light and I enjoy them as I walk in our neighborhood on Christmas day's night. Jake takes pictures of snow under walkway lights, and my dad just enjoys the brisk air but I burrow my face down into my jacket. This is Jake's first real time in snow, because he's never made a snowman and he tries to build it like a sand castle, dropping snow together and packing it in. I laugh at him because you really do roll it up like you see on TV, and he thinks that's silly at first, but soon he's rolling huge snowballs all over the yard and the snow is ruined, but he looks happy when he sits down on top of one because it's too big to move anymore. It seems like no one lives here, among all of these lights, trees, snow, and houses, but we walk here in the silent night of memories I can't quite remember.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Cookbook Cravings

Lately I've been trying to figure out how to combine literature and food into a master's program. American cookbooks as literature? There must be someone as crazy as me who has done this. Anyone know of something? If I was a filmmaker I could make a movie about food, and no one would think I was crazy. "Waitress" was perfect. If you haven't seen it, do. I've never been a huge pie fan (I've only recently gotten a better handle on baking), but I'm dreaming of pies from that movie. I hope there is a real recipe for Lonely Chicago pie.
I bought Harumi's "Japanese Home Cooking" this last week and have looked at the whole book three times already. I keep planning meals, but when I went to Shirokiya today to get some ingredients, I seriously blanked out because I was so frazzled from spending 45 minutes trying to find a parking space, and the length of the lines in the store. I bought 3 packages of shiso leaves, natto and red miso, some food for lunch and got (insert appropriate expletive) out of there. Now that I'm home I wish I'd picked up about 10 more things. Including rice. And when I got home I realized I accidentally bought shiitake natto, and I hate shiitake. Oy.
I also came across a blog called "Kitchen Wench" (http://www.insanitytheory.net/kitchenwench/) when looking for a bi bim bap (my new food obsession-- but I need to get a stone bowl somehow) recipe. I made a pretty good version last week, and even Jake liked it.
http://vegetablejapan.blogspot.com/ This blog is by a Japanese vegetarian woman. It's quite awesome, even if her pictures aren't as delectable as kitchen wench's.
When I was in Shirokiya, wandering past all of the specialty made items for convenience eating, I really wanted to jump on a plane and go to Japan. Can you have homesickness for food?
And is there really any question why I have not lost a single pound in the last 18 months? Sheesh.

My Presidential Candidate Quiz Results

Here's what I got on my quiz results (selectsmart.com) for a presidential candidate. I'm quite surprised that Colbert came after Hillary Clinton, because I just plain ol' would have voted for him if it came down between the two. Research on Kucinich tells me that I apparently support legalizes marijuana. Hmmmm. Obama's the closest match, and I'm a bit relieved that this is so. I'm definitely surprised to see Romney after McCain, really. Apparently Romney and I don't agree on gun control, health care, civil liberties, and immigration. Sarah's the one who encouraged me to do this, and I'm pretty sure she's going to call me a liberal whore. :)

1. Theoretical Ideal Candidate (100%)
2. Barack Obama (79%)
3. Dennis Kucinich (75%)
4. Al Gore (not announced) (70%)
5. John Edwards (69%)
6. Wesley Clark (not running, endorsed Clinton) (68%)
7. Christopher Dodd (67%)
8. Joseph Biden (62%)
9. Hillary Clinton (62%)
10. Bill Richardson (57%)
11. Ron Paul (56%)
12. Michael Bloomberg (says he will not run) (53%)
13. Alan Augustson (campaign suspended) (51%)
14. Mike Gravel (49%)
15. Kent McManigal (campaign suspended) (40%)
16. John McCain (36%)
17. Rudolph Giuliani (34%)
18. Alan Keyes (33%)
19. Elaine Brown (33%)
20. Chuck Hagel (not running) (32%)
21. Mitt Romney (32%)
22. Mike Huckabee (27%)
23. Newt Gingrich (says he will not run) (26%)
24. Tommy Thompson (withdrawn, endorsed Giuliani) (25%)
25. Tom Tancredo (25%)
26. Sam Brownback (withdrawn, endorsed McCain) (22%)
27. Fred Thompson (19%)
28. Duncan Hunter (15%)
29. Jim Gilmore (withdrawn) (13%)
30. Stephen Colbert (campaign ended) (11%)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Humor Us

When we were passing by Angel's Ice Cream today, I said to Jake, "You could go get pake cake, if you want." I have some sort of obsession with making sure that my husband has sufficient treats at all times.
Jake said, "No thank you, I think I have enough caloric intake."
"I think it should be pronounced cal-or-ic."
"How 'bout 'cal-or-iffic.'"
"Or 'cal-or-tast-ic.'"
"Cal-or-ageous." He paused here. "But that would be like if you were eating slugs and bugs and stuff. That would be calorageous." Pause again. "Or calorazy."
Jake says I don't laugh enough at his jokes. But I do think he's pretty funny, bad jokes and all.
Later he made Amaya go into fits of giggles (real belly laughers) by making a sucking noise and then moving towards her in an intense fashion. I think it would have made other kids cry, but she's definitely a Jackson humor fan. She danced her legs up and down real quick and squealed with all her teeth showing. Since Amaya laughs at all of Jake's jokes, he probably doesn't need me around as much.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Comprised of Compromises

Now that I've been teaching high school for 5 years (on my 6th), I'd have to say that I've compromised myself in the following ways:
1. I praise any paper that has an actual thesis statement (implied or direct)
2. I actually think the bloopers at the end of their video projects are funny
3. I read adolescent literature regularly (except Harry Potter or Twilight)-- I haven't sunk that low just yet.
4. 90% of the documents on my computer are handouts for class, not poems or essays
5. I let my students write their short stories in any genre, even science fiction
6. I sometimes take my students' movie reviews as valid advice
7. I no longer bake cookies to bring to class, I just buy them
8. I let my students use my computer to print out their essays during class
9. I no longer go into my 5 minute lecture as to why "gay" is terrible as a descriptive for stupid things. Now I just say, "Yes, that's very homosexual" whenever they say it.
10. I expect much less out of a D student than I did 5 years ago.

I'm sure more will come up in the next year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Written in a quick fit

Pic sniped from Adam-- Sorry, I didn't ask permission
How to Jump Point

Jesse stepped up behind me and moved right off the edge. This was his fifth or sixth jump in a row, but I had lost count. Christian huffed a little behind and said, as he passed, “You’ll feel better if you just jump. The longer you stand up here, the harder it gets.” Then, ‘plip’, he moved the air over any possible safe zone and started free falling as he turned end over end in a quick flip. His feet split through the water and he sank beyond sight. When he surfaced he looked back up at me. We were both treading, he in water, and me in decision.
When Jesse came up again, he started to put on his shirt. “Wait,” I said. “Go down there so you can show me how to get up.”
“You really going to do it this time?”
He jumped, again (eighth? ninth?), and at once he was looking back up. For some reason I thought that time would cease right there, and maybe I could just stay up here, waiting, treading, stalling. Christian was already behind me again and offered to count.
“Ok. Fine. Yeah.” I breathed in hard, and when he reached three, my feet seemed to detach from my body but I had the slight sensation that I was moving forward, and then,
It’s here that I always feel stuck.
When you lift off from that position, where your feet forget how to return to your last step, you hover for a moment, as if to emphasize your hesitation in making this decision. You’d probably never notice it if you were the type to just charge, but if you stand up there, deciding, imagining, resisting, then that moment beyond taking it back is torturous. You wonder if you’re doing this for pride or thrill. Then you see your foolishness, because in one second, either gain will be forgotten.
From there I almost felt myself rise, impossibly, in the air, and next there was the drop where inertia keeps part of your body in place, but the weight is forced to follow gravity. When I hit the water I realized I’d forgotten all about feet placement. My natural instinct was to sit slightly. Reaching for the surface I only felt stinging skin on my left side. My breath shook in and out of my lungs to skip lightly away from the shock.

Standing here again in the moonlight I can hear the wind fighting the ocean to be heard. I followed the group here, and even if I had told myself that I could back out at any time, I had also led some people to believe that I was planning on jumping tonight. For a while we are all quiet, watching a few people leave shirts on the rocks, discard slippers, and fall into the ocean. The people leaving our platform always make more noise than we do; when they are gone the loss of voice is replaced by wind. I notice the light bouncing off our faces and start humming, pushing the notes out into the air a little. A boy who followed me here is humming too, and so is another one a little ahead of us. The wind is so loud that I can’t distinguish our notes from the mesh of ocean and air voices. I can only feel that there is music carrying past my ears, but no one seems to notice. I smile a little.
Walking up to the edge we watch a friend preparing to jump, and suddenly we become excited and nervous. I say something like “You’re crazy! Look how dark it’s getting!” The clouds pass over the moon and we can barely see our outlines. As I look down to the water I see a gaping black, but one that feels vast and close at the same time.
She yells back to me, over the chorus of music in our surrounding air, “I’d rather not see! Then I can pretend it’s not high at all!” She jumps quickly with her long legs trailing out behind so I can barely imagine what it looks like at the finish. For some reason I can’t force my mind to bring her legs back underneath her and straight into the water, so instead I picture a flip—at least then she makes it into the water in a comfortable position. I suddenly realize that I am going to jump, and I’m going to do it right away. The boy who followed me starts protesting: “I’m not going to jump. Are you going to? There’s no way I’m going to jump.”
“Yeah, I am.” I start taking off my shirt.
“Please, don’t jump. Then I’ll have to jump.”
“Naw, you don’t have to jump. I’m going to.” I get into position, and for a second I wonder how long I am going to stand up there. Wind sings again in my ears, even a little faster when I’m in that moment of upward motion, and when I start falling I picture that blackness, and wind, and music reaching up towards me. I swear it makes a move to catch me.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

1, 2, 3 Abracadabra, Baby Sleeps

Every book I've read on the subject of sleep training makes it sound like babies want to sleep, and it will be natural once you help them out. It seems like mothers of successful sleepers feel the same way, and some of them imply that Amaya is manipulating me because she doesn't sleep. So, I finally decided to bite the bullet and this week I've been sleep training, using the famous "cry it out" method, which is a complicated structure of routines, sleep inducing activities, scheduled cycles and feedings, limit setting, and eliminating dependence on sleep associations. Now, I've been studying faithfully all books on this subject for some time now, so I'm pretty familiar with every possible method. I still optimistically believe in "The No-Cry Sleep Solution", but due to my own parent-centered schedule and other factors, I don't have the time to invest in it (which sounds like months to years). Besides, Amaya will be in my mother's arms next Thursday for 5 days (4 nights), and I know full well that she will be implementing her own version of cry it out.
I settled on the method detailed in Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems, written by Ferber, a sleep specialist at the pediatric sleep center.
We've had a lot of established, tried and true routines and cycles for a while now, so really the only change in our routine is the limit setting at night, and elimination of sleep associations. I've had way too many people convince me that crying it out is a pretty quick process, and babies adjust to it naturally. Even my friend, Rachel, who I just verbally laid out the process for sleep training 3 days ago, implemented the whole thing in a 2 nights and her baby is sleeping soundly.
As you may have guessed by now, Amaya is not.
In fact, we've done some major back paddling. Amaya has been enduring (read 'rejecting') sleep training for 5 days now. She has taken 1 (40 minute) nap in that time (she cried over an hour for each of the other nap times), and cries for hours each night. I have not given in at all, meaning, I haven't helped her to sleep any of those times, but she wakes up multiple times and just yells and cries, especially at 2 am and 5:30 am, which is when she decides she is done for the night. Yelling and crying might be bearable, but she couples this with jumping wildly up and down in her crib, and 4 times now we've come into the room (when we decide to end the nap without her taking it) and her mouth has been bleeding, with stains smeared on her stuffed animal, pillow, sheet, and shirt. She also sports a bruise on the bottom of her chin.
The other terrible part of the whole situation is her extreme neediness during these days. Many parents I've talked to report that their children are so happy to have slept on their own and show no ill-effects during the day. She will hardly even go to any other person (even Jake) and with me she cries and cuddles, which would be cute, but severely interferes with her normally bubbly personality. She has decided that the only things she wants to do are read books and watch movies. When she wants to read a book she cries while she runs over to the bookcase, cries while she runs back, and begs to come back up on my lap. When the book is over, she wants to read it again. In fact, she becomes so upset that the book is over and that she might have to separate from me to get another one that she thrashes around and flips the pages until I start reading again. I think I've read "Mommy Loves Me" about 30 times in a row more than once now. The wants me to hold her so she can fall asleep, so she gets very upset when I put her down. I think she believes I'm performing some ancient Chinese torture techniques. Sleep deprivation. She has developed a feeling of terror towards the bedroom, and any time I walk by or come close to the bedroom (or say 'nap' or 'sleep' or 'night'), she goes into fits. She won't relax during our nightly baby massage, diaper change, bottle feeding, because she knows what is next. When I go into the bedroom for any reason she immediately wants down and runs crying to the front door, like she wants to get as far away from her bed as possible.
Ferber actually has a lot to say about children with real fear, physical reactions, etc. He suggests first that it is a parenting problem, so I've tried to look at our situation using his suggestions and case studies. But the more I read it, the more I realize that Amaya may be one of the ones that he refers to as "real sleep problems", meaning that the anxiety associated with sleeping and separation are more clinical cases. This makes me feel even worse, because am I really going to take Amaya to one of these sleep centers and sleep specialists? It seems kind of crazy.
I'm not sure which of us is going to break first.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Holiday, Schmoliday. Every day should be Halloween

Lots of good pics today. I stayed up until 2 am on Halloween eve making sugar cookies, and my AP Lang kids decorated during class. They kept complaining about how gross the icing tasted (My firm belief: icing always tastes gross, unless you put on a thin layer, and then let it DRY completely), but then placing layers upon layers on each cookie. Pretty gross. Maybe I shouldn't encourage it.

I love Halloween. There's just a little more "pace" in the air. It's a good excuse for breaking out of the ordinary.

Here's Lucas in his Halloween costume. "Olympic Swimmer." I considered whether this would be considered a bit risque for my "family oriented" blog, but I just think it's dang funny. I am glad that he chose the shorts speedo vs. traditional, however. And here are his shoes on Halloween.

I wanted to put up some pictures of Amaya, but our camera card won't read. I'll edit the post later.

We went down Naniloa and up Moana street. When we finished, she had about an inch of candy at the bottom of her small bucket. It was then that I realized how seriously I must have taken Halloween when I was young. How many streets did I hit? How many hours was I out there?

Amaya loved walking around in the dark and saying 'hi' to everyone who passed. She was still full of energy when we got back home, despite a torrential downpour at the end of Moana street. My skirt got soaked, and the oreos in her candy bucket got soggy. Although we don't give her candy, she knew full well that it was something that she would want, and immediately would ask me to open every candy that went in. She didn't get any, but even at home she kept bringing things to Mike and asking him to open them. When we stopped at a house that handed out oreos (not in the package), she of course immediately ate one (How does she even know?) and I thought, if I am taking her trick-or-treating, doesn't that also mean that she's going to get some candy? Otherwise I should probably just not participate and she can complain to her friends when she's a teenager that I'm a total prude. Except she probably won't say "prude." She'll say "gay," specifically because she knows it bugs me so much.

Here's Andy the Banana. And Travis the pot head. Andy said that the banana costume was just for me.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Blue Bubble

"It doesn't hurt," he said.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Scapegoat Wanted

I was in trouble a lot yesterday, and it got me thinking that I'd like to hire a professional scapegoat. This would be someone I could refer to by name any time blame was needing to be placed. Not only that, this person would gratefully accept the blame, apologizing to any and all parties for his/her involvement, and could keep me out of focus for any responsibility I played in the incident. I could escape guilt free, breathe my sigh of relief, and let go of the stress associated with being in trouble. People might even be happy to shift the blame onto this other being, and view me in a light of compassion for having to deal with and transfer the accusation.

The first incident involved "postsecret", and I can't remember where I heard about it but I think it was on someone's blog (see how I didn't point any fingers?). I told my class about it and one of the parents e-mailed me, my principal, and visited my classroom within the space of about 4 hours. She went on and on about how she could have my job over this, but she was trying to be nice about it and let me have this mistake. Just once. Oh, and thank me for doing a good job, but, oh boy, just wait until other parents hear about this. My teeth were on grit for most of the day. I can't wait to see what she thinks of some of my literature choices.

The second incident involved me, as a department head, and how I had gotten involved in a coworker's supposed directions during a state required writing test. The report was that she had told students to write in cursive (something she requires in her class). She denied the accusation, and it turned into something much bigger than necessary. I was in trouble because I knew who the accuser was but refused to tell her who, and because I had passed the problem along to our principal, since I knew I would be in trouble about it if I had been the one to deal with it. I had to deal with it anyway, turned out.

Jake just took Amaya on a hike so that I could get some work done. I suppose I'll need a scapegoat for this too. Any volunteers?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The 3 Envyings

  1. 1. House Envy: I've discussed this with several friends at some point or another, but now I've got it bad. I'm not even envious of a specific person in relation to this subject, but I'm coveting a house. Although right now the possibility is based on a number of ifs, we've walked through a house which is semi-close to our price range. I know, amazing. Most people who know anything about Hawaii realty would probably say do it, but it's more complicated than that. We've made lists of why and why not (long lists) and I don't really feel any closer to a decision. Again, we're still riding a lot on the scientific principle of guesstimation, so we may be spinning our wheels a lot for nothing. Well, not for nothing. A whole lot of stress is something I guess.

  2. Since I've had Amaya I've been envious of women who say things like, "I still weigh 5 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight, and it's been 2 weeks since I had my baby!" These same women (seemingly) do not exercise regularly, eat chocolate, and have babies who sleep through the night. These women also tell me: "But you look fine, really. I just can't believe this gut that I'm still carrying around." I do eat chocolate, at least, to keep my mouth busy instead of screaming at these women.

  3. This is probably why #2 exists. I'm envious that Bekah can go to the local "Family Mart" and buy soft serve. 'Hokkaido milk' flavor is my favorite, followed by 'sakura'. Japanese people know how crucial it is to have a bakery, a cake shop, and soft serve available on every street corner. Genius.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Today, I'm 27. I expect a lot for my birthday, but not necessarily from other people. Sometimes other people play into it, but it's not really dependent on friends, family, etc. I have an expectation that the universe is supposed to deliver some sort of vibe on your birthday. This can play out good or bad, but the vibe, that's what I expect. Like, if something bad happens, say, I can't find my cell phone and I forgot to tell Jake that I get out of school early today and I waste the whole precious hour and a half walking around school with my crate full of papers and my lunch bag, then that's the vibe from the universe, acknowledging my birthday. Or, if the card from my parents shows up on the exact day of my birthday, therefore relieving me of the temptation to open it early and ruin the feeling of birthdayness associated with opening presents, then that's also the universe (yes, both of these scenarios did occur today). I kind of enjoy the game, and if I receive acknowledgment of my birthday from the universe, I appreciate it. Otherwise, it just doesn't feel right.
This picture is the message I got from Lucas Hancock today. It's nice of him to remember. He also remembered to tape my pens together and my computer mouse to the counter. Good ol' Lucas.
The other thing that happens every year is that I worry that I'm getting older faster than I'm getting things done. During the year I hear statistics about how most people have written a book, gotten famous, discover quantam physics, all before they turn 30, and I think, 'oh, it's okay, because I'm 26,' but every time I have a birthday, all in one day it's 'oh, it's okay, I'm 27', and it doesn't sound as convincing. People who are older than me (99% of my friends) hate it when I say stuff like that, of course, so it's double jeapordy. I've always been considered kind of accomplished for my age, and I hate to think that I'm old enough now that what I've done is expected for my age. I liked it better when I was a little ahead of myself. Pretty soon I'll be a little behind. I think parents don't realize how much being ahead becomes part of your identity when they're pushing it onto their children. I think I'd rather have adjusted at the time when it was appropriate, because being whiny at 27 just isn't as cute, and no one feels any sympathy for you anyway.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Serious Conversations Overheard at School

"You know if yoah wife listens to classical music yoah baby come out smaht, yeah?"

"So I'm going wait till my wife is sleeping, brah, and put headphones on her belly and blast heavy metal, cuz. Then when my baby comes out he's going come out with one mohawk!"


"..and then, when he's coming out..." *here the boy mimics the baby coming out of the birth canal with his arms outstretched and making the hard rock satanic signs with his fingers, and immediately switches to air guitar, hopping around the room*

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Smelling Sleep

I'm more of a taste person than smell, but since Amaya's come along I've come to appreciate this new sensation. I have few smell memories before having her. The good ones: an ex-boyfriend, who somehow represented "woodsy" without cologne, and the other is of the smell of wrist corsages I received concerning high school formals (probably the most important part really). I remember the flowers better than the dates, and I have more than one smell memory of whiffing the rose mix over a now anonymous male shoulder.

Amaya has opened up a drawerful of good smells, and I get to appreciate them daily because she needs us to fall asleep. Many parents look down on me for letting her share our bed and requiring our presence for most of her sleeping moments, but now that I'm looking at the edge of 15 months of babying, I see how little there is left of close smelling.

Last night she woke at about 2 am, scooted over, and looked straight into my eyes. She smiled very sweetly and babbled a few words. She fell asleep moving her lips and touching my face with her fingers. When she falls asleep for her naps these days she throws her arm around my neck and snuggles in really close for kisses. She'll move her face back and forth to get multiple cheek kisses and laughs a little at how many she can get. I can't really imagine her adoring me as the years go on. Very soon she'll want her own bed, own room, own face space.

Baby sweat, right at the back of her neck, is becoming very appealing as a perfume. Then there's the after bathtime smell, and I swear soap never smells that sweet on any other person. Bedtime smells usually come with lavender and chamomile lotion.

Just before bed yesterday she found her way into the semi sweet chocolate chips while I was washing the dishes. She had a good handful and a few "Mmm!"'s when Jake pulled her away. When she was falling asleep she smelled like chocolate, which is just about the perfect smell: sweet, earthy, and warm.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Words, words, words

Hamlet's reply has always been a favorite of mine, and I take it to prove(not in any context of the play) that randomness has an appealing rhythm.

Amaya still babbles pretty constantly, and I love the cadences of her voice--something I might describe as "lilting", even if I'm not using it correctly. She doesn't use many actual words, but I have a suspicion that she learned some other language in the womb. She's speaking English, but just what it sounds like through the uterine lining.

She brought me a stuffed bunny today, and I said, "It's a bunny!" She replied, "St uh mun ee!" Then we were looking at Enzo's picture on the blog and I pointed out "Enzo!" She replied, "Enzo!" I swear. I couldn't get her to say it again, though.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Me Tube

I've recently found myself hooked on you tube. It's fascinating to me how fame is a self-propelled act on this program--and I most enjoy scanning through the musical contributions. I have this half crazy thought that maybe I could create a musical number that would be enjoyed by many, and I might solicit channel subscriptions and comments with promises of personal attention to each and every viewer. Unfortunately, my dream of a guitar solo and song writing sits in the corner of our apartment inside its case. Nonetheless, I feel inspired. To do what? I guess, express my inspirited new attitude towards you tube.
My other new interest coincides with the creation of this blog. I read the Palmer blog, Bekah's blog, and now Kaity's, and I've decided I want in. Otherwise I feel like some sort of peeping tom who enjoys living through the next blog posting. Already I have edited both of my entries twice, and I like the idea of living editing.
Of course, I haven't told anyone yet that I'm writing one.

Elodie - Tommy Wallach - Webcast #15

Webcast #6 - Valentine's Day - Synaesthesia

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Blog Philosophy

I've decided that entries in a blog must be short, in order to be interesting, but there's nothing that says that a short blog is necessarily interesting.