Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
But if you are going to be traveling this summer and it involves driving, here's something that does make the driving more enjoyable: a new gadget I call the "Marriage Saver" also known as the Garmin Street Pilot. You just type in your destination and a nice lady tells you (14+ languages, optional) when to turn and how far you have left to go. It's all based on GPS information that it gathers live via satellite. Last year we tried to navigate DC with a map & our wits and almost came to blows. But this year I insisted we opt for an GPS navigator in the rental car. Ken did one better and decided that we should just buy one instead. I love the Garmin.
The weather for the most part has been um, all over the place: 92 degrees with god-awful humidity to 85 with a nice cool breeze. I hear Seattle is perfect right now. I'm so glad we're missing it. Of all the cardinal rules of living in Seattle, the biggest one is "never leave during the 4 months of weather you tolerate the other 8 dreary ones for."
On Monday, we drove through Trappe MD and visited Dave & Carla, high school friends of Ken. We spent a delightful (but sweltering) afternoon at their farm. Ken got to ride a "blind" horse and be a horse to Katelynn, their daughter.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Sunday, May 20, 2007
This is Scott singing Hit Me Baby One More Time by Britney Spears. It's important to note that he did not need to look at the monitor for the words (since he knew them by heart). Thanks to all the brave souls/fabulous entertainers who made the journey to Ballard. We can't wait to have you sing with us again soon. For all the pictures from this event, click HERE.
And while Austin was a little shy on party night, this afternoon we continued the karaoke rampage...
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I am especially weary after this dark, dark episode of spiraling tragedy. Using the "nuclear option" to clear the deck for Season 4 was convenient but cruel. From the beginning, Season 3 has been about heavy handedness and jam-packed flashy drama within each episode. What happened to subtlety and quality of Seasons 1 & 2?
I'm just annoyed more than anything. I make time for this show, as well as read the blog, listen to the podcast, contribute to the forums & talk about the show amongst my circle of friends. But the stories/writing are getting sloppy and it's apparent in the last few months from comments on this your blog that your viewers notice. Maybe you should as well.
Friday, May 11, 2007
During my visit to Burlington to attend Mal's funeral Friday, I was asked several times "what do you do?" There's the obvious answer of my 9-5 job which usually brings a look of amusement, a nod of acceptance and some generic positive validation. For better or worse, I have embraced my "hi-tech worker identity" carved out of the last 10 years of my life. But if pressed to tell something more, I fumble a bit, reciting my other interests like footnotes--in a way that says they haven't quite make it into the main story of my life.
From grade school to now, it's been like climbing a mountain, head down, go forward, achieve, attain. Now that I'm part way up, I'm looking around wondering if I'm even on the right mountain. I guess it's just easier to go along with the tide of life sometimes. I do think about how idealistic I was when I graduated from college. I wanted to do something meaningful, exciting and impactful. And I started off ok but now... But now.
What I'd like to say to people is: I write books for children and make the world the a better place (in this way). The only problem is, I'm not committed to those things yet. Because right now I'm waiting for something else to happen first. Until then, I don't feel free to move, to make decisions, to put anything in jeopardy. So surely that must be the bigger pachyderm in the room.
Perhaps the elephants can hang out and have tea.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Thirty days to rewrite my second picture book manuscript, write the first draft of a This American Life submission, practice yoga, take dance classes, walk around the neighborhood, travel to the East Coast to see the in-laws and relax. Yeah right, relax. More tomorrow. It's time to go to bed.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Sunday night, we had a wonderful evening at their home, and even though they didn't know it at the time, something momentous happened that evening as well.
First, let me tell you a story. Back in October 2002, the guy I was dating convinced me to eat at his favorite Mexican Restaurant in Elma, Washington. This hole-in-the-wall, sanitation-is-optional, health-department-violation-in-waiting had become a local favorite since you could get football-sized burritos for $5. He ordered his usual veggie burrito, doused in ulcer-strength (but germ killing) hot sauce while I opted for the meat-laden, "no-hot-sauce-please" chicken burrito. I was able to eat about half of it.
Flash forward a week and you would have found me at Swedish Hospital hooked up to intravenous antibiotics after suffering flu-like symptoms for several days and having to call Amy @ 2:30 am on the fourth night, telling her that I wanted to die just to make the pain go away. I had to crawl on all fours to let her in the front door--the stomach pain was so intense. This was because I had shed all my stomach lining and could no longer absorb nutrients. I was literally starving. The doctor surmised I had contracted Salmonella.
That episode not only made me super paranoid about the cleanliness of food but from that point on, chicken was verboten. But do you know how hard it is to cut chicken out of your diet? It's in everything! Do you know what else happens? I became the most ridiculous dinner guest. Like J.Lo, I had a rider that preceded me to any occasion we were invited to. (And I used to give my step-brothers a hard time for being vegan/vegetarian...) Do you know how odd it is to be a meat-eater but not each chicken? People understand eliminating beef and pork but not chicken. And each time, I'd have to tell the story and people would listen wide-eyed and nod reassuringly that avoiding chicken was an understandable result of this experience. But seriously, how long was this going play out?
Back to present day, Shannon & Sean had been kind enough to ask if Lamb was ok (and unfortuately I'm allergic) so I sent back suggestions but I never said NO to chicken--and I take full responsibility for that. Shannon had prepared a multi-ethnic feast and the yummy, exotic smells filled the living room. In an off-hand comment, she mentioned we were having chicken and I froze. I hadn't told her. Oh my god, what was I going to eat? How awkward was it going to be when I mention this after all the effort she's gone through?
And at that moment, after four and half years of letting an albeit traumatic but clearly isolated incident rule my diet, I decided to just quietly go with it. And you know what? It wasn't a big deal at all. Rediscovering the texture of chicken in my mouth was a little odd at first but it tasted damn good. So why you ask, if they are such good friends didn't I say anything? Because I'd grown tired of being that freakishly fussy dinner guest. If these people can travel to 3rd world countries sampling the local cuisine and live to tell about it, I can eat some chicken.