Snap, crackle, pop


So I tweaked my ankle this weekend. I'm thinking this is a belated 32nd birthday present from my body. The year I turned 30 I had some serious dental work to take care of. Then 31 brought an asthma diagnosis. Not to mention the belly fat that has appeared since I began my forth decade here on the planet. Anyone else seeing a pattern here?

Don't get me wrong. I'm generally okay with this getting older thing. I am WAY smarter than I was a decade ago and in all the right ways. But really! No subtlety going on here with the aging and stuff. And yes, I realize that by posting my petty complaints I am welcoming much worse stuff to be visited upon my ungrateful self. Better take my vitamins.

ACL 2008

The Austin City Limits Festival was super fun. It was pretty hot at times, somewhat dusty and crowded, but in general it was really great. No naked people in the mud or anything. Only a slight hippie vibe, just enough to make it Austin. You can see a brief history of the festival here. We took the girls with us Friday and left them home on Saturday since that one was going to be a late night. There were an incredible number of shows to choose from. You can see all the shows I caught in my sidebar. Plus Dave's back today to see some more and I'm doing my best not to be jealous. There were some acts that I really wanted to see, but it was just too much for me to go back for the third day - especially with the girls in tow. Just sun tired and in serious need of a quiet day. That is something that needs to be remedied at home, not in the company of 65,000 other music fans.

Off to play for the day


We bought our tickets before we even moved. Seriously big fun. Way too many choices.

TV part two...

To round out my TV post, here's a new list. Anyone else have favorites that they were sad to see go?

TV that I miss:
  • The Gilmore Girls - But as of yesterday I own it all on DVD. Yay!
  • The West Wing - I've been feeling lately like I'm in the mood to watch these again
  • Northern Exposure - The best ever, ever, ever
  • News Radio - I heart Jimmy James
  • Alias - Although I couldn't even watch the last season. This one stuck around too long. Coincidence that Michael Vartan was gone the last season? I think not.
  • Seinfeld - Of course
  • Friends - Reluctantly added to this list

Not much has changed


The Book Thief


The Book Thief The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Totally loved this book. The narrative style really sucks you in. The subject matter is tender, but handled with enough humor to make it all the more readable - and human. Definitely a classic.

View all my reviews.

Time for some serious vegetation

Anyone else excited for fresh fall TV? TV is a love hate thing with me. I wish I wasn't so sucked in. I wish I didn't have an obsessive need to follow a show through to it's conclusion - or until I hate the characters so much that it's not worth the aggravation (ER is a case in point). But I do enjoy TV. Here's what we've got on the DVR this Fall. Is it sacrilegious to include TiVo in my nightly prayers? Anyone else willing to share favorites?

Every Week Gotta Watch It:
  • Heroes - I'm skeptical about this season. They need to prove it to me.
  • Chuck - Still fun and entertaining, but I probably wouldn't die if I missed an episode. I'm kind of sick of the endless ways they invent for the chick to be half naked.
  • Pushing Daisies - So charming and quirky. Probably will get canceled just to spite me.
  • The Office - !!!!! - Yes, that's five exclamation points. It probably deserves more.
  • 30 Rock - This one gets better every season. I'm loving the political stuff and pretty much else anything else that falls out of Tina Fey's head.
  • The Simpsons - An institution. 'Nough said
  • Project Runway - My guilty pleasure
  • What Not To Wear - I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm almost done with this one. I've been watching it way too long and it's getting old. Yes Stacy, we know you ooze fabulosity. Get over yourself.
  • Lost - Even though it's not on right now. Definitely a must watch even though I'm to the point where the confusion has put me in a place where I don't even care what's going on any more.
Catch It When I Can:
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - Definitely makes my day better when I can catch it.
  • SNL - This is when I'm really grateful for TiVo. Usually takes about 15 minutes to watch the good bits.
  • Austin City Limits - Super cool. Especially since now we're Austinites!
  • Bill Moyers Journal - I need to make this a higher priority. It's so great.
  • Frontline - I record them all and eventually they get watched.
  • 30 Days - Not always as informative as they pretend to be, but certainly thought provoking and entertaining.
Other Stuff Hanging around the DVR:
  • The Colbert Report
  • Dirty Jobs
  • How It's Made
  • Man vs. Wild
  • Deserving Design
  • Get Fresh with Sarah Snow
  • Myles of Style
  • The Dog Whisperer
  • HD Traveler and the like
  • Random nature shows
  • Scrubs
Deserving a Category of It's Own:
  • Lots of sports


I've been asked a few times what the title of my blog refers to. I don't know if there's an exact answer, but there is a fuzzy idea in my head. It most directly refers to a U2 song, which I love, but the lyrics of that song don't really relate (no, I do not do drugs). It has more to do with the place and pace of my life. There is a lot of runaround for the mother of young children. Well, it's probably more universal than that. But I am constantly searching for that quiet moment, that place where the clatter of life falls away and everything makes sense. And sometimes you have to make that moment for yourself, regardless of the situation you are in. I'm sure it is obvious to all that know me that silence is not one of my fortes, but I have come to appreciate it more and more as I get older. Just as Vrksasana (tree pose) was such a challenge for me when I began practicing yoga and now it is one of my favorites. Stillness, balance, quietude - all things I search for.

Sunday drive


Went for a Sunday drive today out west and took a walk along the nature trail at Longhorn Caverns State Park. Lots of rocks for young legs to scale and interesting bugs to poke with sticks. We didn't go into the caverns, but they look really cool and we'll certainly make a return trip to see them soon. Lots more pictures over here.

It was warm in the sun, but pleasant on the mostly shady trail so I am officially excited for the cooler weather. Knock on wood. Many years in Phoenix taught me not to be overly anxious about the cool down lest I jinx it with happy thoughts.

Home again, home again, jiggedy jog


Got back to Austin late last night. It was definitely a long week without my babies. But it was wonderful to see friends in Phoenix and reconnect with people from work. I was completely and fully negligent in my ambitions to photo document my week. Every time I would drive back up to New River, where I was staying with friends, I was struck with the beauty of the desert. Each time I would tell myself that I needed to stop and take a picture. (Tomorrow, tomorrow...) And of course I should have taken pictures of those people that I came to see. I always tell my girls, people are more important than things. But alas, no photos. C'est la vie. Thanks so much to all those that extended their hospitality to my homeless self, especially my fantastic friends the Dents.

The Street of a Thousand Blossoms


The Street of a Thousand Blossoms The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
The characters in this story were what really kept it going for me. It was wonderful to see them change and grow throughout the expanse of the book. I love narratives that take place over the course of a lifetime. The context of the book was also very interesting for me. Beautiful story telling.

View all my reviews.

Follow the River


Follow the River Follow the River by James Alexander Thom

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
I think my review of this book is based more on my personal preferences than on the actual merits of the book. Just not really my cup of tea. The story is pretty amazing and the concept of it is very inspiring, but the endless detail was just not interesting to me.

View all my reviews.

It's hot here!


Here in Phoenix. It's strange and nice and fun and more all wrapped up into one. I am so glad to see everyone here, but how do I put a price on how much I miss home? I am negligent with the camera etc so I'll just point you to my friend Audra's blog for pics of my fun Saturday night out with some girl friends.

Goodbye Austin, hello 100 degrees


I'm off to Phoenix tomorrow. A week long commute to the office. This is the longest I've been away from my babies and I'm sure to miss them lots. They may or may not miss me since having Daddy to themselves is a coveted treat. So here's some pictures, more for me than anyone else, so I can smile when I look at them while I'm away.






Politics: I'm not really polite anway


My friend Audra posted yesterday about discussing politics at home with her kids. I was initially shocked at the notion of not discussing politics at home. Dave and I talk lots about politics and the state of the world at home. Most of the time not directly with my girls since they are so young, but definitely with them around to hear their mom become fiery and irate. But then I realized that I do shy away from political discussions with lots of my friends because I am worried about offending, or getting worked up and irrational about it. So in the interest of full self disclosure, something this blog has helped a lot with, I will come clean about my political leanings. I'm sure none of it was a secret anyhow.

I don't consider myself a Democrat per se, but I am certainly not a Republican. I first started following politics in the run up to the 2000 presidential election. Read tons, watched all the debates, got worked up about it all. I was seriously opposed to George Bush, a big fan of Al Gore. I actually voted for Nader. (I certainly thought he was a good candidate, but I didn't vote for him to win. I wanted him to get to the 3% threshold of the popular vote so the Green party could advance.) Anyway, I've been flummoxed ever since how George Bush won and amazed at the destruction he's caused in his two terms in office. I don't think either of the two major parties are inherently good or evil, but the Bush administration, and the Republican party along with him, have taken the destruction and disregard for Truth (with a capital T) to a level that I find reprehensible.

I don't think I am as informed as I should be, but I do pay attention when and where I can. My inputs vary and I consider them to be balanced, but taken as a whole I can see that they sit left of center. I read Time magazine almost every week. I love the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I totally love Bill Moyer's Journal and would recommend it to anyone. He actually thoughtfully consider topics and rationally discusses them - what a novel idea! I love Frontline. I listen to NPR in my car. I watch Meet the Press on occasion. I read The Sun, which while not purely political in nature, has expanded my point of view on many topics. I like to watch news documentaries like the stuff the Dan Rather and Ted Koppel do now rather than watch the nightly news. I skim the AP news headlines.

I am frustrated when people base their entire vote on one or two hot button topics. Topics that are manufactured for the express intent of creating such a reaction. I loved Al Gore's book, The Assault on Reason. While there is some Bush bashing that you may or may not appreciate, the core of the book is about the "manufacture of consent" and how the modern political machine has dumbed us down about bought our votes. How our democracy is actually fragile thing and not guaranteed, but something we must fight for. (And I mean fight by educating ourselves and taking control, not fighting with guns and bombs. I'm not here to talk about the war today.)

I wish someone could satisfactorily explain to me why most Mormons vote Republican. This comment is not intended to push buttons. I really don't understand. I feel like I missed the memo that explained all of this. I don't understand how the Republican party got cast as the moral choice. We've all seen what they've done lately, right? And again, I'm not cheering for the Democrats. But what they have to say makes more sense to me in this decade at least. I will be voting for Obama this fall. I can't say it's an overly informed vote. I haven't read his position papers or listened to all of his speeches. I do appreciate his vision, his clarity, his smarts, his rationality, and his charisma. McCain lost my vote a long time ago with his ardent support of the war in Iraq - war I have never agree with. And his loss of mojo for lack of a better term - he was a much better candidate in 2000. He seems like a total cowboy, the thing I have come to detest in George Bush. I would prefer a president who has articulate, rational, nuanced thought and not just ideas that sound good as "talking points". So honestly I haven't informed myself as well as I could about this election with my decision already made. I guess I just cast myself as a hypocrite since I just railed on one issue voters. So I'll throw in the environment, the economy, wage and labor issues, foreign policy, and health care as additional reasons I'll be voting with the Dems.


Short or long?


I am in desperate need of a haircut. I always tend to go too long in between trips to the salon, but it's always so much worse when I have a short, precise style. So I was thinking about my hair and went to my scrapbooks to find some examples of the extremes I've had over the years. It was a bob in early college, and after getting married grew it out into a long boring and not terribly attractive place that I held on to for a little too long. I chopped it off in 2000 when I was 23 and have had mucho styles since then. Most of them variations on the same theme, but there were occasional departures like the pixie cut that I still totally love. So here I am above at the University of Utah just after I graduated in 1999 - right before we moved to Phoenix. And below is right near my 26th birthday. Pardon the pre-digital camera fuzziness.

Sanity part two


More stuff for my list...
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
  • Symmetry
  • Carefully arranged asymmetry
  • A quiet moment of meditation and prayer to start my day
  • Color
  • Intelligent conversation
  • My trees
  • My blog

Sanity is a good thing


I'm in a list-y mood today. Here's a list of things that keep me sane (mostly). In no particular order...
  • Church
  • Yoga
  • Books
  • The people living in my house (although they also contribute in the opposite direction on occasion)
  • Dark chocolate
  • Walking outdoors
  • Music
  • TV (Yes, I love TV. Sometimes a girl just needs to veg)
  • Microsoft Excel
  • My smart phone
  • Sleep

Front yard adventures


Here's a picture of the beautiful spider that has taken up residence in our front yard. I found her when I almost stuck my face smack dab in the middle of her web while weeding on Saturday. I went back today to see if she was still there and she seems unharmed by our encounter. At the time I didn't know if she was dangerous so I let her be and left that corner of the yard. Since then we've found out that she's a common yellow garden spider (common, really?) and harmless. Her body is probably an inch and a half long and including the legs she spans about four inches.

Here are some more shots in my beautiful, if slightly overgrown, front yard. The beautiful blue flowers grow outside my dining room window. One more reason to buy a table and actually use that room.

Till We Have Faces


Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is one of those books that I'm sure I could read over and over again before I had unraveled it all. It was wonderfully told and didn't leave me disappointed for gems. I had wondered throughout the whole book when the title could come into play and it was so wonderfully done. Great book.

View all my reviews.

Big rocks, little girls

Back to Barton Creek Trail this morning, this time with the fam. The girls didn't really want to be there until they discovered the dry creek bed with all of the lovely boulders to climb on. All of sudden it was the best place ever.

Sylvie has decided to become a trail runner just like her dad. The funniest part was her little mouth hanging open and the audible panting. She is a speedy little thing.