Monday, April 27, 2009

Hello Wetus

Here we are at 18 weeks. It's pretty amazing to think about how much time has gone by. I can feel the early movements of our baby and it is an amazing tickly feeling from the inside. We have nicknamed our unborn child "The Wetus" because one night I was reading to Ken from a pregnancy book and the phrase "weight of the fetus" came up. I was so tired that I just said "...the wetus..." and we both knew that was its name. We have great fun talking about what the Wetus likes or dislikes. Ken regularly sings to the Wetus before bed. People have cautioned us that the name may stick if we use it long enough but since we're not going to find out what gender the baby is, we need to call it something. Today we had our second trimester ultrasound. This is the one where they measure EVERYTHING. While my apprehension going into this ultrasound was considerably lower than last time, that all changed once we were introduced to our sonogram technician who was an intern. I'm all for learning but it took an hour to do something that probably would have taken a practiced technician half that time. The Wetus was not cooperating and moving all over the place, granted, but she was really pushing hard on my tummy and it got a little fatiguing after awhile. But all in all, we got a good report and some more time looking at the baby. It's pretty amazing to see how active it is in there and to realize I feel very little of it at this stage. I know that will change.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Depeche Mode: Sounds of the Universe

My favorite band of all time, Depeche Mode releases their 12th album today called Sounds of the Universe. This is an in-studio live version of my favorite song so far called Come Back. Take a listen...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Nostalgia Tripping

For better or for worse, I save everything people send me. Letters, pictures, cards, drawings, notes passed in class… you name it. Tonight I finally sorted through this stuff with the intent to purge. Some I’ve been holding onto for years. Years. Letters my cousin wrote me in 1985, birthday cards from first grade, letters & cards from when I did an exchange in Japan in 1990, letters, cards and pictures when I went to college for a year in London 1994-5, correspondence from my Japanese host family and of course all the naive, retrospectfully regretful, tragically bitter-sweet or just plain bitter letters I’ve received from former boyfriends over the years. Now some are poetic, sweet and worthy of publishing, but some are obsessive, ridiculous and just plain “uggh”. While rereading, I found myself amazed at what these guys wrote. That I would inspire them to write such things—usually complimentary (and sometimes, not)—ended up making me feel like I’m reading someone else’s letters. Who is this crazy girl? Someone I only vaguely remember yet am. It’s a real mind bender.

I’ve been hanging on to all this stuff but I don’t really know why. There are things I’ll keep because of the sheer novelty of “letters sent.” Rarely do you write your feelings out with a pen anymore, but the other reason is the nostalgia and amazement I feel when I reread some of this stuff. It immediately transports me back to being 15, 16, 18, 21 and what was going on at the time. Events, people and places I’d forgotten have now been refreshed within the perspective of current day. It’s bizarre doing all this time traveling. Ken was doing the exact same thing last night going through stacks and stacks of old pictures he’s stored in the basement closet. The reason for all this nostalgia tripping: with room/storage being at a premium now with “the Wetus” on the way, we are going through all of our belongings and making sure we still really want this stuff around and optimizing our space. Next up is going through all the school papers and projects I also saved for some unexplained reason…

Simply. Unbelievable.

Click this link and prepare to be delightfully stunned--seriously.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxPZh4AnWyk

Meet Susan Boyle, international sensation and proof that you really can't judge a book by it's cover (so cliche, I know--but true.)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Baby Room Themes

Ken and I are just back from Sarah's 30th Birthday extravaganza which lasted all weekend. I have so much video footage to review, it's just silly because we packed a whole lot of living into one weekend. So I'm going to wait until I have a little more to show to talk about it. In the meantime, on the ferry ride today from Bainbridge Island to Seattle, Ken and I discussed pressing issues. Things that keep you awake at night with their importance and pivotal effect on life as we know it.

Yes, I am speaking about baby room themes. I find it interesting that some people have full-on themes for baby rooms. Winnie the Pooh, Peter Rabbit, Dr. Seuss, Sailing, Princess, Butterflies, Noah's Ark, Trains/Cars/Trucks, Sports...Clearly it's not for the kid--who will remember none of it--but it reflects on you as a parent and showcases your ability to be clever and coalesce around an idea. I got swept up in this fantasy years ago when I was dreaming of my perfect, imaginary children with my still unidentified husband. I thought it would be neat to have one theme be "under the sea" and other one "African savanna." Clearly these would work for either gender and you could find enough accessories for both everywhere. Now, I'm not adverse to utilizing one of these themes as we prepare for late September but I fear thematic synergy will suffer from my current lack of attention span.

But then I thought, what about baby room themes we don't hear much about...
So we compiled our list of (supposed) least popular Baby Room Themes:

Famous Fascist Dictators
Apocalypse Now
Taxes
Nightmare on Elm Street
Wednesday
Calculus
Cannibals
Weaponry of the 16th Century
The Spanish Inquisition
Natural Disasters
Definitive works of M. Night Shyamalan

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Why the Free Press is Important

Earlier this week, Karen and I attended a luncheon in downtown Seattle hosted by City Club and WSU Murrow College of Communication. It featured the 2009 Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award winners Helen Thomas & Bob Schieffer, who were on their way to Pullman to receive these awards and take part in the annual Murrow Symposium.

During a discussion with Kathy Goertzen, they expounded on the growing importance of a responsible, free press as we witness the demise of newspapers. TV and blogs don't count because one is just in it for the sound bites and the other has no accountability. (Depends on the day--which one is which.) It was fascinating to hear Helen & Bob recount their experiences in the White House Press Corp, dating back to the Kennedy administration.

What became so clear to me is how those White House reporters have a front seat to history and are really the only ones who are the eyes and ears of the American people within the isolated cocoon of the White House. We depend on their skill and scrutiny to interpret what is going on in our government. And while Helen Thomas may be in her 80's, she's as feisty as ever. That's the kind of person I want in there asking the questions.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Scenes from the Weekend

Girls' Night at the Sakai-Moore house on Friday. Ken playing his new Theremin.

Understanding the Economic Crisis 101

I know it's looking like once I announced being pregnant, it's all I'm going to talk about now, right?

Hmph. In my spare time I listen to a lot of podcasts and a good number of them are about economics & finance. I wrote in September about my interest in the topic and gave one link to a podcast I really liked. I have found several This American Life podcasts to be excellent primers to the problems the global economy is facing, explained in a way that normal folk can understand. The hyperlinks take you to the page you can listen to the streaming files for free or download the MP3 for $.95 each. It's worth your time and you can dazzle your friends and co-workers with your new found mastery of the subject.

The Giant Pool of Money* 5/9/08
(Housing market crisis)

Another Frightening Show About the Economy 10/3/08
(Credit market crisis)

Bad Bank 2/27/09
(How do Banks work and why they are in trouble)

Scenes From a Recession 3/27/09
A fascinating look at the affect the housing, credit & banking crisis has had in the lives of everyday people. Within this episode is a story about the failure and take over of the Clark County bank in my hometown of Vancouver, WA. Billed as "what it really looks like when a bank fails and is taken over by the FDIC."

*This particular episode was just awarded a Peabody Award for 2008.