31 August 2007

friday: metal

wall of discarded old metal containers: found at one of my favorite places in the world.

(for shari's week of natural elements)

30 August 2007

29 August 2007

wednesday: air

listening to air today because wednesday is all about air.

(for shari's week of natural elements)

28 August 2007

tuesday: earth

and you just know that these are ezra's hands.

and if we are talking about the earth today: did anyone else happen to see the lunar eclipse last night? ezra woke up at three in the morning with bad dreams and after I calmed him down and lulled him back to sleep, I heard something on the news about the lunar eclipse. I immediately shook poor ward awake and we ran outside together to see what we could see. there it was-- an eerily orange moon. all soft and glowy, it seemed to be floating just above the rooftops. I'm telling you, it was something to see. I love the idea that the earth was standing between the sun and the moon, casting a shadow on the moon.

I stood out there in my raggedy old nightgown with ward and I stared up at the sky. then ward brought ava down to see it too-- because you never know when you're going to get the chance to see something like this again. the three of us, we stood outside in the dark of the night and we stared up at the sky together. so clear, a thousand stars out and that strange, glowing orange moon.

oh, it was something to see. something to see.

(for shari's week of natural elements)

27 August 2007

monday: water

I wait for the waves to come swirling around my feet and when they do, I gasp. the northwestern pacific ocean waters are cold cold cold. gorgeous, but so icy cold. enough to send me running for the blanket, which I immediately sprawl out on. I stretch my arms and legs out until I am a giant letter X. I look towards the sun for warmth and I miss the gulf. I miss the balmy air, the quiet turquoise waters, the way the unrelenting heat forces bodies into the ocean. I am remembering how it felt to wade out into the water-- how my body took on the soft undulations, how the uneven slap of waves felt against my skin, how I let my arms float just above the surface. have you ever tried to stand still in the ocean? it's nearly impossible. I love that. then there's that spectacular feeling of forever. same brilliant feeling of infinity here on the west coast, though I can't help but miss the ocean that I know. I don't know this ocean. I can't imagine loving an ocean with waters so cold.

ava refuses to let the cold interrupt her happiness. instead, she embraces the temperature of the water with an enviable enthusiasm. I shiver just watching her and she pleads with me to join in. too cold, I yell out. she insists that it's not cold, that it feels good. you just have to get used to it, she says. and that is what I am trying to do. I am trying to get used it. I am trying to get used to everything. I am trying so hard.

I hear her laugh and watch her skip towards the water, watch small white waves cover her feet. she opens her arms wide and throws her head back. she is dancing now, oblivious to the cold.

(for lovely shari's week of natural elements: monday/water, tuesday/earth, wednesday/air, thursday/fire, friday/metal)

22 August 2007

eight things

the meme gods, they are begging me do this. they are waving their arms in the air and jumping up and down, trying to get my attention. they know I love a good meme, they know I am weak and cannot resist. also, I have been tagged by so many marvelous women to do this (first meridith, then mati then christina, then kirsten michelle and finally, jennifer). since I don't really believe in meme gods, I am doing this for the girls. but also because I can't stop with all the memes.

eight random things about me:

1. I am an extraordinary parallel parker. I mean it, I nail it pretty much every single time. I don't mean to brag, it's just something I can do. 'tis a thing of beauty, dear friends.

2. I don't like to go grocery shopping. I really REALLY don't like grocery shopping. I don't know why I feel this way. I love to shop for just about everything else (and thoroughly enjoy my weekly trips to the local farmer's market). for some reason, grocery shopping makes me want to lay down and cry like a little baby. I often wait until there's nothing in the pantry but half-opened packets of onion soup mix and taco seasoning before I finally admit defeat and cobble together a list. I am tormented by label-reading and price-comparing and what to make for dinner. sometimes I race through the store like a game show participant. just to see how fast I can get it all over with, just to make it more interesting. other shoppers do not appreciate this, I have discovered. but I do what I have to do to get it over with and I make no apologies. unless of course I take out a shopper or two in the process.

3. horribly guilty pleasures: gawker stalker, spongebob and pixie sticks.

4. I have never been camping. not because I don't want to or don't like it-- it's just something I've never really done. but I'd like to. at least I think I'd like to. actually, I'm quite taken with the idea of spending the night in a yurt. I'd never heard of yurts until I moved out here. don't you love that word? I do. I love the word almost as much as the idea of staying in one (maybe more). would sleeping in a yurt even count as camping? probably not, but I don't care.

5. I think I've mentioned this before but when I was eight, I had a lisp and had to go to speech therapy. I met my first boyfriend there. his name was dustin javorski and he couldn't pronounce his r's. we were impossibly cute together.

6. I love milk. but only skim and with a ridiculous amount of ice.

7. I think I would've liked to have been an art teacher.

8. I almost married my high school sweetheart. and then I met ward.

17 August 2007

photobooth friday

photobooth + gummy mustaches= just really so much fun.

this is the one where my mom looks like salvador dali. and she's holding that candy mustache in place with her tongue, you know.

ava chose The Stern General while ezra went for the The Frowny Bear. my mom (whose brilliant idea this was in the first place) settled on The Friendly Barber. personally, I would've gone with The Dapper Dandy. but that's just me.

I love how ava is already eating her gummy mustache. couldn't wait until we got out of the booth. and yes, that is my hand. trying to help mi madre out, for pete's sake.

such a great week with my mom here. so great. we've crammed something into every nook and cranny of our time together. almost exactly 24 hours left and you can bet it will be even better than gummy mustaches and photobooths.

come on, feel the photobooth noise:

kirsten michelle
forest tails

14 August 2007

self portrait #44

lost in a sea of pattern. wouldn't have it any other way.

(more over at self portrait challenge)

13 August 2007

we found the butter

inside a huge silver stock pot and way up high, in the back of one of the kitchen cabinets. I don't even want to know how he got up there. how did he get up there? how did he get his hands on a pot that I have to use a step stool to get to? I swear, I haven't had that big pot out in ages. I laughed out loud when I saw it and felt like taking a victory lap around the house. look buddy! I yelled. it's the butter! we found the butter! how in the world did you get up there? huh? HOW? he smiled that little closed mouth half-moon smile. I sorry mommy, he said. I din mean to, I SORREEEE! still with that half moon smile and me standing there, holding that tub of liquidy yellow goo, completely puzzled.

(if you're confused, read this and/or this)

10 August 2007

photobooth friday

sort of a bust, that last day we were all together. they were scheduled to leave the following morning and that monday needed to be more than just fun-- it needed to be something we'd always remember. but it was grey and windy, coolish and not at all like july. I'd been talking about the wading pool down at jamison square park like it was the promised land or something and that was what we were supposed to do that afternoon. and then maybe get ice cream and walk around downtown and talk about how perfect our last day together was turning out to be. of course, that's not at all what happened. as we made the short drive downtown to the park, the sky grew dark-- an angry, ominous sort of dark. and then all of the sudden, it started to blow and looked as if it might storm. well, that is just not happy wading pool weather. we drove right past that wading pool and the girls looked out the window with tears in their eyes. I could tell they wanted to cry. I did too. I love that stinking wading pool.

okay, so onto plan B. only I didn't really have a plan B. I just knew that it had to be something super fun, something really memorable. I called ward at work and blamed him for the horrible weather (right? because that seems fair) and then demanded he give me directions to finnegan's toys. five minutes later, we were parked and ready to brave the Land of Toys. the kids were wild with excitement and the moment we walked through the front door they rolled like marbles in all directions. everything had to be touched and squeezed. or sat on. or thrown. I breathed a sigh of relief but wondered how long we could all hang out in finnegan's before the whole deal turned sour. because sometimes a toy store will do that to a kid-- you know, somebody wants this toy or that one and can't have it, someone doesn't want to leave, someone has a meltdown. sometimes toy stores are just too much. but little toys were selected and purchased and that seemed to be enough to satisfy the crew. our departure was a miraculously smooth one.

on the way out, I spied the photobooth in the window of little finnegan's-- the smaller toy store just around the corner from big finnegan's. I had great plans for that booth, I knew it was there but didn't know if we'd be able to venture into yet another toy store without disastrous results. dare I tempt fate? I pushed for it anyway and dragged everyone inside.

I should say here that the wheels were already a bit wobbly-- which is what we (aka me, ward, nate and kendra) say when the kids are starting to fall apart and it's time to go home before they lose it and the whole thing turns into a big hot mess. the shop was so small and there were so many little toys all around. no one was really listening to anyone, adults were sweating and I'm quite certain there was plenty of whining going on but I pushed for the photobooth anyway because that is what I do. I knew no one felt like getting in but I couldn't help myself. ezra certainly wasn't having it. baby zaine wasn't ripe for photobooth action either and there was just no way all of us were going to be able to squeeze into that old school booth like we'd done in the digital one way back when. so it was to be ava and luxie in the booth. as they squirmed and wiggled and whined, I told them they would thank me for this someday. I promise you, girls. you will thank me for making you do this. I swear.

photobooth friday

will you just look at these two? classic cousin love, classic childhood, absolutely beautiful. somehow I always knew it would come to this, that a photobooth would save the day. well, in this case, a toy store and a photobooth but whatever. I know that they'll thank me someday for this, I know it. in fact, I am hoping that we'll be able to make this a yearly tradition. I am envisioning teenage cousins jumping in the booth together years from now and the very thought makes me ridiculously happy. I'll tell you-- I am just a little bit thankful for that stormy weather.

(p.s. thank you, kendra-- for watching the whole gaggle of littles while nate and I got into the booth together and sorry, ward-- for blaming the bad weather on you)

other cutie boothers:

miss jenny frecklewonder
ordinary madness

08 August 2007

to chew on

"the camera makes everyone a tourist in other people's reality, and eventually in one's own." susan sontag

07 August 2007

I am a girl who needs an assignment (part two)

the always delightful ms. superhero is offering up weekly photo assignments. as I mentioned before, I am a girl who needs an assignment so I was quick to jump on board. assignment #2: photograph something so close, it's hard to decipher what it is.

I heart automatic car washes. when the chips are down, get thee to the automatic car wash. turn the music up loud and imagine you are in another world. works every single time.

I am a girl who needs an assignment (part one)

the theme this month over at self portrait challenge is pattern. this excites me. so much so that I might have to make up a little song to sing about it. because assignments that are rooted in the visual, they suit me.

everywhere you look, there are patterns to be seen. such a nice game to play if you know how to play it right.

05 August 2007

photobooth friday

posted way late because we are all still looking for the butter. I'm telling you, we've looked everywhere-- under beds, couches, chairs, in toy bins, sock drawers and trash cans. ezra's story changes on an hourly basis. yesterday morning, we decided to call off the search, get out of the house and explore the city. which meant a trip to the farmers market, a ride on the streetcar and a stop at little finnegan's (where we bought hello kitty erasers, tiny wind-up robots and put ezra into the photobooth with a viking hat on his head). later that afternoon, the subject of the missing butter resurfaced. again, cryptic answers from a giggly, TOTALLY GUILTY ezra.

I know it's time to let it go. I know the butter (well, earth balance) will eventually turn up. hopefully when I'm in a good mood. hopefully on a day when I need a good laugh. and hopefully soon. but I'm having great difficulty letting it go because how does an entire tub of butter go missing like that? where could it be? it's making me loco.

which has me thinking of how crazy I get when I lose things. I lose things all the time-- mainly my car keys and cell phone but every once in a while, I lose something special, something irreplaceable. once, I lost my brother's wedding ring. on his wedding day and just moments before the ceremony was to begin. total nightmare situation for anyone, but especially if it's your first stint as maid of honor and the groom is your brother and he is counting on you (of all people) to keep your head on straight during such an important sort of day.

well, that ring-- it just disappeared. at least, that's what it felt like. the second I realized it was gone, I was a mess. I remember wildly dumping the contents of my tiny purse over and over and over again, all the time whispering no no no nooooooooo. I remember getting on my hands and knees in my floor-length dress, frantically searching the dressing room, the bathroom and hallways of the church, beads of sweat forming along my upper lip as I scanned every possible surface. then it was time for the ceremony to begin, which also meant it was time to come clean and tell The Bride. omg, omg, omg what would kendra put on nate's finger when it came time to exchange rings? I wanted to cry, my eyes were watering and I felt sick to my stomach. where could that ring be? where where where? when I lose things, I tend to repeat words. as in: where where WHERE? why why WHY? and NO NO NO. just seconds before I was to walk down the aisle, we asked my cousin if we could borrow his wedding band-- just for the ceremony. then I sped down the aisle at a most ridiculous pace-- step together step together step together in double, triple, quadruple time. I remember feeling nervous and stupid. I remember trying not to cry. more than anything, I remember thinking WHERE COULD THAT RING BE?

beautiful ceremony, yada yada yada. slight look of befuddlement on nate's face as kendra slips a yellow gold band onto his finger instead of the white gold one they'd picked out together. and then they were pronounced husband and wife (at which point, the sounds of the jackson five's ABC filled the sanctuary, a pleasant surprise to us all). in this moment, I was happy. I'd forgotten about the lost ring, that I still had to face my brother (and everyone else) afterwards. I knew he'd understand, I knew he would not hold it against me. still, I hated that I was the one responsible for losing his wedding ring. I couldn't stand the idea that this would be one of the stories they'd tell about their big day and that I'd forever be the flaky, flighty sister who lost the ring and then lost her head over it.

immediately after the ceremony, the entire wedding party (turned search party) convened in the back dressing room. groomsmen dumped make-up bags and pawed through pots of lip gloss and tubes of mascara. bridesmaids crawled around on all fours and looked under tables and chairs. pairs of wadded-up pantyhose were carefully inspected. kleenex boxes were torn apart. and the bride and the groom were there too-- when they should have been basking in newlywedded bliss and posing for photographs, they were back in that hot little room with me and everyone else, tearing everything apart, desperately hoping to find that ring.

and then I felt it. something cold and small pressed against my chest. I closed my eyes and slowly reached inside the front of my dress. there, near the bottom of my bra, was The Ring. it had been there all the time, nestled comfortably in the dark hollow of cleavage that I'd been so careful to conceal that day (because who wants to showcase cleavage on your brother's wedding day? I mean, really). time stopped just then, as the rest of the room realized that the ring had been recovered, that it had been with me all long (and in my bra, of all places). ah, just the visual my brother wanted on his wedding day, I'm sure. well, at least I'd found it, okay. unfortunately, that didn't change how stupid I felt. I then remembered having a conversation with a few of the bridesmaids about the ring. I was worried that I would lose it and joked that maybe I should cram it inside my bra for safe-keeping. that way I would know exactly where it was, I said. ha. obviously, not one of my better plans. really, how could I have forgotten that? how did I get through the whole ceremony without feeling that thing rolling around in there? how how how?

what this has to do with a lost tub of butter is... not a lot. except that I think I will feel just as relieved when that tub of butter is recovered. the moment the great mystery of the missing butter is solved will be right up there with the moment I pulled nate's wedding ring from my cleavage (in terms of personal triumph, that is). ah, but only the little viking knows the answer, folks. only the viking.


the whole self
pinky doll
eat more weggies

02 August 2007

I can't find the butter

ezra has done something with the tub of butter. when I asked him about it this morning, he seemed to know all about it. then, when gently pressed for more details, he said he 'don know where dat budder is'. kind of funny at first, but now I'm scared. I've been looking for the butter all day long.


01 August 2007

sometimes truth

"I have nothing to say And I am saying it And that is poetry." john cage