Monday, April 28, 2008

Blast from the pasado

Does anyone remember this bilingual kids show on PBS in the 70s? I couldn't recall the name or much about it other than the carnival at the end of the show. And the theme song. I loved the theme song.

Thank god for the internet. Ray found a 'Villa Alegre' MySpace page, complete with theme song! La la-la la la la la la La la-la la la...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Want these

I think I might need these puppies. But will I regret it almost immediately? Will they be soooo April 29, 2008? I mean really: red plastic Croc heels that could be hosed down after brain surgery or a muddy romp in the garden...a solid trend in fashionable footwear? Hardly.

I don't care. I want them.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I love lists. I like to make them, I like to cross things off of them, and I like to find them. I recently found a short list I wrote for Ray on the day I was admitted to the hospital last summer.

Bring --
Diane Gabaldon book on table
Frank Gehry video
Puzzle book
Carrots & peanut butter
Cereal bars

I'm going to put this in August's baby book so she knows what was on my mind the week before she was born. Interesting that the laptop was optional but the carrots and peanut butter weren't.

Wednesday guilt

I have this knack for feeling guilty for silly things. Case in point: today.

On Wednesdays I have childcare for August, which means I have the bulk of the day to myself. This is a great luxury, and it originated when I realized I could no longer go to school and lab with August in tow. She was getting too rowdy to get anything done.

Since January I've been spending most of Wednesdays at school, trying to figure out some imaging software, looking up and reading journal articles, lunching with school friends, auditing a class, taking care of stuff for next fall. I am not enrolled right now, so all this was just to keep my brain moving, keep current with the peeps, and maintain my primary non-mom outlet (i.e. sanity).

Today, however, I'd like to get some other stuff done. For example, I stopped for a manicure after dropping August off. Then I went to the car wash to thoroughly vacuum out my car, Armor All it, and give it a good scrub on the outside. Now it's 1 pm, I'm still at home and trying to decide if I should continue up to school after dropping off the busted vacuum cleaner, or if I should play "hooky" today officially.

Why feel guilty about this? I don't know. Maybe because one professor believes that I'm spending some Wednesdays working in his lab on software that I now think is too complicated to try to learn by spending a couple hours once a week. Maybe because I'm auditing 1/2 a class (I don't make it to Monday's sessions) being taught by a friend of mine that will be somewhat useful for next year, or at least remind me of all the stuff I've forgotten about from last year.

Never mind that I somehow never have enough time to get much research reading done, which is probably how I should be spending most of these days. I guess I feel like I've committed to spending this day in a certain way, and maybe that's not the best use of my time. Or maybe these are all good uses of my time, spread too thinly over my one daytime of freedom.

Okay, okay...I'm wasting time. Maybe the guilt is at least partially legit.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

So let me get this straight

In this country, I can go buy a handgun and bullets over the counter, but they won't let me buy decent cold medicine anymore?! Bitter!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Today's top 10 topics

1. I have cold #423.

2. Letter: "I am pleased to inform you that we have recommended to the Graduate School that you be admitted Autumn quarter, 2008 to pursue your academic objectives here at the University of Washington."

3. My aunt's memorial service was nice, with the exception of some oddities,, strange eulogizing: " then I realized that I needed to file quarterly taxes, but my husband didn't think I could do this on my own, so then my business closed, but I thought maybe I could still teach piano lessons..." AND "She was in so much pain at the end. I hope my parents never have to go through that."

4. We're watching Juno tonight. Finally!

5. Made Nigella's Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake but replaced 1/2 the butter with applesauce. Stay tuned for results. **RESULTS: very good!**

6. Sammy is really showing her age more. She went for a ride in the car and needed help getting in and out. She'll be 15 on May 6.

7. Ray went to the grocery store this morning and brought back a bouquet of sunflowers.

8. I am anxious about starting school and having enough time for August and Ray and seeing friends and working out. I will need to become more efficient with my time on campus.

9. Ray has brined a chicken for dinner tonight, and it's now cooking with mushrooms and dried apples.

10. Last Saturday I got a sunburn, and this Saturday it snowed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What I should be doing

I was chatting with Jana last night about hidden talents. I think about this sometimes: everyone probably has some unknown natural skill at something they've never tried, or would excel at with a little specialized coaching. For example, Jana could be a top-notch ballroom dancer and I could be an amazing motorcycle mechanic. We may never know.

I recently got back my genetic testing results from Qtrait (I got lucky and took advantage of their beta testing deal) and learned some interesting things about myself. Some things were positive, some not so positive. Some confirmed what I already suspected and others were a bit of a surprise. One of the surprises: I have several somewhat uncommon genetic markers to be a "power athlete." Yes, it's true. Something in my DNA says that this pudgy person should have been working out and competing since the get go.

Funny thing is, I have, but with all the will and determination of a indecisive "grass is always greener" personality, a lack of confidence and some uncooperative muscle groups. I played soccer for a few years starting in grade school, but stopped because I lacked confidence and wanted to spend more time in the pool. I swam competitively for a few years, but had to give it up because of overuse injury to my deltoids. In college, I played lacrosse, but confidence and a torn ankle tendon kept me from going all out. After that I pretty much sat on my ass and got pretty decent at it, with the obligatory trips to the gym.

I finally picked up swimming again several years ago now. Whatever was going on with my deltoids had long since resolved itself. I really enjoy it, and even when I'm pretty out of shape, I still feel somewhat in sync in the pool.

So anyway, what these genetic results are telling me that it's not too late to go all out. I should really take advantage of these genes and maximize my potential in this areas, as best I can anyway. Maybe this line of thinking will light a fire. If I can get some good habits going now, and pair them with some big goals that usually work well as motivation for me, I will find ways to stick with it as my schedule really ramps up this fall.

Meanwhile, Jana, does Qtrait test for ballroom dancing proficiency?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Go Team Holiness

The Dalai Lama spoke to a nearly full stadium at Qwest Field today. It was a really exciting see the Dalai Lama up close and hear him say some eloquent yet simple things with humor and humility. Thanks for the Lama hook-up Sooz! (Is it wrong to use 'Lama' and 'hook-up' in the same sentence?)

What was funny was the level of stadium-ness surrounding the event. The usual peanut and kettle corn vendors were on hand outside the stadium, and inside I believe you could get hot dogs, pretzels and french fries, just like any game day. It would've been funny to bring along and wave one of those puffy #1 fingers, and have some guys paint their faces and beer guts in yellow and red. Gooooooooo Holiness!

The best thing, however, was the guy hawking tickets on the corner for the Mariners game a few hours later: "Got tickets right here. See a double header: the Dalai and baseball!"

Friday, April 11, 2008

This post rated D for Disgusting

I've learned from other bloggers who are parents that there comes a time when you can't help but write about something just nasty about child-herding. I also understand all the better why everyone's favorite blogger Dooce frequently references tequila as an important item in her parenting toolbox.

August just caught a cold. She had a hard time sleeping last night because of a disgusting runny nose, and required Ray and I to take turns rocking her back to sleep every hour or two. By 2:30 am, we gave up and had her come sleep with us. As soon as she hit our bed, her juicy tears of discomfort turned into what sounded like an enthusiastic narration of a cooking show, apparently in Portuguese. This continued for 20 minutes before we all fell into a fitful sleep.

This morning, she was understandably tired and irritable, fighting the Evil Tissue of Doom every time it came close to her nose. But it wasn't until noonish that things got bad. She had a dirty diaper and when I unwrapped her diap to get things cleaned up, I realized that the poop was primarily outside of her diaper, up her back, in her clothes, etc. Somehow the poop ended up all over the changing table, on previously clean clothes, and in her hair (why, oh why didn't we get a bald baby). I juggled the clothes, wipes and beast the best I could to minimize the seemingly viral spread of poo. Just as things were under control, I picked August up in my arms and she peed on me.

Not having a chance to change or deal with the puddle or poopy pile in the baby room, I ran her into the kitchen with the baby tub. Bathing was thankfully uneventful except for the spilling dirt from the potted plant August grabbed on the window sill (clearly my fault for putting it within reach). Hey, people pay large sums for a mud bath.

Once out of the bath, we both got dressed while August continued to fuss. Maybe she's hungry, I thought. I prepped her rice/oatmeal cereal and avocado/sweet potato mush. She took a few bites like she usually does, then decided it was a better use of her time to spit the following bites at me. Not just raspberry with food in her mouth, but forcefully spray cereal across the tray and onto my clothes and hair. Oh well.

Naptime never looked so good. Same for tequila.

Needs a caption

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Do not stash a mouthwash sample pouch in your purse alongside a fine tipped mechanical pencil. There is such a thing as too much minty freshness. I now have the best smelling money in the country. And while most cell phones have video capabilities, I now have one with smell-i-vision (spearmint channel only).

Baby Cousin

Welcome Anita Mae!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Almost 8 months

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Faith restored

What a relief.

1. As of this evening, we have two great daycare options for this fall. And to think a few weeks ago I was hinting at not starting school until winter quarter as childcare in Seattle looked either bleak and depressing, or so in-demand that waiting lists average 2 years.


2. America crowned Holly the winner of "Make Me a Supermodel" after being the clear leader all along, even though the show up until now had been a popularity contest for three whiny boys.

(How am I going to live without reality TV on Bravo and BBC America this fall? And how the hell did I become such a junkie for this kind of television? Ah, this is a post for another time.)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Pathetic example of a devotee

I love Jane Austen. She is definitely my favorite author.

But here's a sad confession: I've never read Sense & Sensibility. Even sadder, I thought I had until I turned the subtitles on the latest movie version of the book. I thought to myself "The subtitlers keep spelling Edward Ferris's name wrong." But it kept happening -- "Ferrars" -- until I realized that's how it's actually spelled.

I guess to the American ear, the British pronunciation of Ferrars sounds like Ferris, and this combined with Ang Lee's excellent adaptation of the novel 10 years ago (which I've watched fully 12 times, probably more)...well, I though I'd been there/done that on the book.

Picked it up yesterday, started it last night. It's like lunching with an old friend after years of email conversation.