Play on!

2009/01/31

We drove South on Hwy 183 today to Palmetto State Park to stretch our legs and enjoy the sunshine. Most of the greenery was gone, but it was still good to get out. My girls got a hold of my camera and some pretty silly pictures resulted. We'll call it art.



The most amusing part of the hike was the interesting fellows we met along the trail. We passed through four or five clusters of people dressed up in hodge podge medieval garb acting out battles and strategies of some sort. They seemed to be pretty embarrassed that we caught them in the act and would kind of freeze as we walked by, giving furtive glances at each other, waiting for us to move on by. After we were a short distance away I would hear them shout, "Play on!" Highly amusing to us modern folk. I tried to get a picture of them but I was to embarrased for them to do it close enough to really get a good shot. They weren't as well dressed as the monty python gang, but their rediculousness was certainly on par.

The Stuff of Thought

2009/01/30

The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature by Steven Pinker


My review


rating: 4 of 5 stars
Such a brain stretcher. Not one I would recommend unless you are seriously interested in semantics. But I really, really dug it. A lot of it was hard to wrap my head around, but I really did learn a lot and felt like just the act of listening to it must be doing good things for my brain cells. Really cool stuff.


View all my reviews.

I push buttons

2009/01/26

Tonight while I was hanging out my gracious hosts, their adorable two year old kept happily proclaiming, "I push buttons". And according to his mom he truly is one to find just about every button that he shouldn't push in the house and set about pushing it. He was very comfortable with his repeated announcement. Not embarrassed, not boastful, just comfortable. I push buttons. We should all find so much ease in our own skin. I kinda enjoy pushing buttons too.

P.S. I miss my babies. So much.

Blue Skies

2009/01/25

Oh! The skies here in Arizona! I forgot how amazing they are. It's been glorious weather here and the view out my friends' back yard here in New River is certainly enviable. The landscape made the 20 minute drive to church this morning a very pleasant experience.


Tunes for Traveling vol. 2

2009/01/24

Music is a mood based experience for me, so I try to be eclectic when preparing for a trip. Never know what I'll want to listen to. Here's what I've got this week:
  • Band of Horses
  • The Beatles
  • Ben Harper
  • Beth Orton
  • Bon Iver
  • Cake
  • Corinne Bailey Rae
  • Cornershop
  • Iron & Wine
  • The Jayhawks
  • Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins
  • LCD Soundsystem
  • Lisa Hannigan
  • Los Lobos
  • Macy Gray
  • Neko Case
  • The New Pornographers
  • Pearl Jam
  • The Police
  • Radiohead
  • She & Him
  • The Shins
  • Sigur Ros
  • Sufjan Stevens
  • TV on the Radio

Ready, get set, go!

2009/01/23

I'm off again to Phoenix tomorrow. And so begins the traveling time. February is often a busy month for us with Dave and Tessa both having birthdays, but this year we're really taking it to the stratosphere. In the next five weeks there are literally six whole days where no one is traveling or visiting or in some kind of transit.

So I'm off to Phoenix next week, then the week after I'm going to Las Vegas with my girls to visit my family there. (Yay!) Then after I get back our good friend Jacob is coming to stay to run the Austin marathon with Dave. After that Dave is immediately off to Chicago for a few days, only to return the same day his dad is coming to stay with us and celebrate Tessa's birthday.

Feel free to include supplication for my sanity in your prayers.

A fond farewell

2009/01/21

One of my favorite things

2009/01/20

Driving on a sunny and cool day with the windows down and seeing in my rear view mirror my baby's still babyish hand playing in the wind.

The Knight of the Sacred Lake

The Knight of the Sacred Lake (The Guenevere Novels Number 2) The Knight of the Sacred Lake by Rosalind Miles


My review


rating: 3 of 5 stars
I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first in the trilogy. It definitely has an interlude feel. The plot didn't have much volition on it's own and I really struggled to stay motivated. I still enjoy the concept of the books. I love Arthurian novels and like the twist this one uses, but this book was just not very well executed.


View all my reviews.

Be my friend

2009/01/19

I have gone back and forth since the inception of this little blog about the notion of a blog roll. The main reason I wish I had one is because I know I have benefited from others' and the stumble-upon way that I have found new and old friends through them. And so I've decided instead to add the "followers" widget to my blog sidebar. Please feel free to add your cute self to the list. You don't have to be a blogger to do so (or particularly cute).

I would also encourage others (especially those of you with private blogs - please, please!) to add the followers widget because then blogger/google will tell me when you update. Efficiency people.

Did I say that I like green things?

I spent over seven hours today in the front yard cleaning up our beds. 13 leaf clipping bags (I ran out) and one seriously aching back later the yard looks marginally better but it's still far from done. My beloved tree is on my list today for having so incredibly many leaves to shed.



I've never been much of a bath person, but I certainly enjoyed my jacuzzi tonight.

Saturday is a special day

2009/01/17

It's the day we go to the library! If I had a list of my favorite things that the government does, the public library would be way towards the top of the list. It is totally fantastic to me that we can go there every week and fill to brimming my sturdy library tote with all sorts of adventures and insight. Consequently, I think I need to get a larger library bag but I probably wouldn't be able to lift it if I did.

Back in the day

2009/01/16

I went to Walgreens today to pick up some antibiotics. Something about the pharmacy tech made me feel really uncomfortable about that whole "1976" that comes on the end of my birthday. I don't know if it was her slightly affected and all too youthful Asian ghetto vibe or just the fact that I find Walgreens old and creepy to begin with, but I felt really old and was all of a sudden concerned with how she was percieving me. Odd, yes. But I've been thinking a lot lately about perceptions and labels and wondering how I define myself anymore. And that got me to thinking about all the labels that I used to classify myself in childhood, high school, and college and how those labels have changed.

I remember being particularly concerned about categorical buckets in high school. I didn't really care what my labels were, just that I had some. I felt like it was very important just to have groups, categories that I thought I belonged to. Easy answer stuff that I could rattle off if ever quized. I remember selecting the personalization for my high school class ring and thinking it was a really, really big deal. And also remember feeling like I didn't really have the type of activites, hobbies, or badges that were appropriate for such cannonization.

So here's how I would have classified myself during those lovely teen years. They still aren't the kind of things you would put on a class ring or a letterman's jacket, but I guess I'm okay with them. A lot of them still hold true and hopefully a few have dropped off the list as well (of course to be replaced by even more awesome ones).
  • orchestra nerd (you will get no pictures posted of that one)
  • academic nerd
  • goody-two shoes (hopefully not a completely insufferable one)
  • naive and yet opinionated (I'm hoping this has morphed into open minded and yet opinionated)
  • hopelessly unathletic (one year of fighting for last place in track meets didn't remedy this)
  • kinda bossy (sorry)
  • attractive yet magically able to repel all potential dates
  • slightly socially awkward yet most of the time faking it passably
Now don't you want to be friends with me? I'm really selling myself here :-)

Out of the mouths of babes

2009/01/14

The girls are in the family room playing video games while I'm working on my laptop in the kitchen (and obviously having a difficult time concentrating). They're naturally excited and egging each other on. And then I hear Sylvie shout, "Welcome to the Jungle, baby!" Guess guitar hero does have a trickle down effect.


I think subconsciously I've been waiting for the day when I could post a picture of Axl Rose to my blog. Good day.

Context

I'm guessing there are one or two of you that haven't seen Xandy since these pictures were taken (on my wedding day in case you can't tell). Such cute siblings, eh?


Happy Birthday (minus one)

Happy Birthday to my baby sister (one day late). My mom sent me these pics of her yesterday and I just have to post them as a brag of sorts. She is awesome and I love her much. The babies of the family get everything, right? I mean really, an electric guitar for your 15th birthday! Rock on little sister.


Normal life

2009/01/13

I always seem to wait for special events to post something to my blog. At least a special thought or idea. Which just hasn't been happening lately. So instead here's a slice of "normal" life. I have my reservations about using that adjective (ever), but you get the point. I'm hoping this will eventually serve as a journal of sorts so we can't leave out the menial details, now can we?

Sylvie folding her laundry. Don't let the smile fool you. She kicks and screams about this one every week.



Tessa is home on a sick day. She's mostly just got a cold, but had a mild fever last night so she gets to stay home and stare at mom staring at her laptop.

In Defense of Food

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan


My review


rating: 4 of 5 stars
Such a fantastic book. A good chunk of it was common sense eating advice, but the angle he took it from really made it fresh. It is hard to debunk a lot of the "conventional wisdom" regarding eating and health, but he did a really good job of making me take a look at food and food science with fresh eyes. I would recommend it to anyone. I think we all understand the frustration with the changing fads and conflicting advice regarding what we should eat. It just doesn't need to be that complicated. I also love the notion that he presents that food is not just about a nutritional equation, but a cultural and communal experience that could even bring us happiness. A lot of his comments reminded me of Marion Nestle's What To Eat, which I also loved.


View all my reviews.

Again

2009/01/08

That was so much fun I had to do it again. What is technology for if not to entertain me?

Fancy!

Trying out phone blogging at the park. This is how lazy I am.

Good things about today

2009/01/07

  • Grape Nuts and a banana for breakfast. Breakfast is a simple pleasure for me and that's one of my favs.
  • I have lots of good music to listen to as loud as I want while I work in my lovely yellow office.
  • My house is (relatively) clean. Can breathe.
  • Got to go on a walk with the dog and my girls. It's 73 degrees this afternoon.
  • My girls are beautiful and healthy and smart and fun.
  • Finally found a yoga class to go to. So good to get out.
The list of not so nice things about today would probably be longer. But that's just because I'm occasionally a grump, not really an indicator of the balance of my life.