Monday, May 26, 2008
Well, so yes, I had a birthday, too, and it was very nice. I was going around saying I didn't need anymore birthdays, thank you, and then it occurred to me that what if something happened to me and that was the last thing people remembered me saying? It wouldn't be so funny anymore. So, that's okay, I'll take many more and I'll like them. Ashley promised to be the sole diswasher for the next month, a gift I would never dare have wished for, and Theron gave me the mirror and comb compact he got in his Speed Racer Happy Meal, also known as "the worst prize ever". Dads and Moms also did things they didn't have to, but I do appreciate it though they do so much for us year round it really isn't necessary. Most surprising, my intern made me an accordian book for keeping a scrapbook of my crafty ideas - I was speechless, it was so unexpected.
The boys and I went out for a lovely French dinner in Silverlake. We had mussels, and steak, and ratatouille, and escargot. Theron kept saying how it was Not Normal to eat snails! but we split them 3 ways and he ate his share, happily learning to master the tongs and fork. The ratatouille was very good, but we didn't see the rat chefs who made it. I think they were at my work eating the electrical cords and plastic ant traps.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday Theron had a dentist appointment to get a cap. We walked in and Theron ran to the room. They sat him right away and before I could ask the receptionist what I needed to do he was reclined in front of the video screen, being offered a choice of gas flavors (he chose strawberry). I asked the dentist what does the gas do to him, I've never had any. He said, "Oh, it's like having a margarita or two". Then he says, "So when he gets the shot instead of this", and he stabs at the air with his finger making an evil face, "it's like this", and he pokes me gently in the arm. I thought I might have a nervous breakdown having to overhear the procedure, but I didn't have to worry. He was flying high and the worse part for them was getting him to stop talking. They were telling him all kinds of crazy stories, like we're going for a hike around your tooth and then we're going to put a silver hat on it. Theron was like, "Whaaaaaa....? Whooo Hooo! Sponge Bob's coming on!!!"
Friday, May 16, 2008
Coming to pick up Theron from the afterschool program: another child, not mine, is in the Time Out chair; another child, not mine, is crying. My child is reading a book by himself and glowing with the aura of good behavior. On the way out the door he tells me when Daddy dropped him off today the goodest thing happened because Daddy stood up to the big boy who was harrassing him this week. That's all his says but he radiates bliss recalling his Daddy's defense.
On a lighter note: I love music. For discovering new music I love Bolchas Gratis. From Itunes I love the podcast from KEXP Seattle, Music That Matters. It's like getting a new mixed tape every week. And I love the International Mixtape Project, where you get are randomly assigned a recipient - you make them a mixtape and someone else makes one for you. I've sent and received cds from right here in LA and as far away as Ireland.
I love the library. My favorite recent read was a true story, The Zookeeper's Wife, by Diane Ackerman. During the war, Jan and Antonina Zabiniski, keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, were able to shelter Jews in the house and also in the enclosures originally meant for the animals that had since been confiscated or killed. Theirs was a home where everyone was welcome, animal and human. Several wild animals were raised in the house: lynx cubs, hyenas, a muskrat who built a nest in a stovepipe, a badger who learned to use a chamber pot. People called it the House Under a Crazy Star.
Jan found ways to get into the Ghetto, sometimes under the guise of collecting scraps for the animals, and he was able to distribute food and pass messages. Sometimes he was able to get people out. Antonina ran the house and kept watch over the Guests and the animals, maintaining secrecy even from her own maid. Their young son helped. Because of the public nature of their jobs and home people would come right in often without knocking, such as Nazi soldiers looking for supplies or information. At one point during the war Russian soldiers come in and start robbing the house. Antonina, alone with her son and newborn baby girl summons up enough rememberance of Russian to tell him, "Not allowed. Your mother, your sister, your wife". The soldier tells the men to put everything back and gives her a ring.
Ackerman is able to tell the story using Antonina's journal, interviews the Zabiniski's gave following the war, and by interviewing their son, Ryszard (Polish for lynx). Touching and heart-stopping.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
For several months Theron's been playing an online Pirates of the Caribbean game. One can earn several different types of weapons and for what seems like ages he's been just dying to get a crew together to go to Cuba for a voodoo doll. It is all he talks about. Well, finally this week he got his wish, and oh man, if you ever wondered if you wanted or needed a voodoo doll you should talk to this kid. I know he's excited because normally when he goes on and on about something and I don't at least try to make convincing sounds of interest he'll stop to tell me that I'm only pretending to care and now's the time to make it real. In this case I don't even have to nod my head, all I have to do is direct his little body to the next destination, allowing me to save up all my fake enthusiasm for Ultimate Boxing. (And Ashley saves all his fake enthusiasm for cute Japanese dolls) (And I love him for it).
So great is the excitement that I've been asked to make a voodoo doll. I told him I'd have to think about that, I can just imagine the parent/teacher conference. He has already asked me about this so many times I had to tell him that he would get his answer in a week. And everytime he asks me about it I will add another day to the wait. So I had lunch with Naomi today and started to tell her this story. I only got as far as saying that he had earned this new weapon when Naomi says, "Oh, do you want a voodoo doll?" And I said, "Wait - you have one?" and she says, yes, she had bought one for a gift but now she was just looking to get rid of it. So sometimes the universe decides these things for you. Thanks to some totally random story telling he'll get his doll MINUS the pins but if he gets caught using it for evil, it's out of here.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
The week prior to Ashley's conference in Denver was excruciating as he had to assemble and coordinate assembly of swatchbooks of archival material for a workshop. Then he was off and Theron and I held down the fort. Theron helped plan the dinner menu. For instance, one night we had Rice A Roni, fried eggs, and sausage. He thinks his new job should be as the recipe-a-nator.
Friday I picked him up from school, drove directly to LAX, where we picked up Ashley at Terminal 7, put most of his luggage in the trunk, then headed to Terminal 6 for our flight to San Francisco. Our friends Kati and Geoffrey are in the States (from London) right now because Geoffrey's documentary, The English Surgeon, was in the San Francisco International Film Festival. Ash and I watched the film today at home and it is so beautiful. Really no wonder it is receiving such high acclaim. It won top prize in the Canadian Festival Hot Docs, last month. We had hoped to have dinner with them Friday and breakfast Saturday, but Geoffrey and Henry, the surgeon, had a busy Q&A session after the screening and Kati and I couldn't make our cell phones cooperate with each other. She says she can send and receive texts with her sister in Finland, but couldn't get anything from either me or Geoffrey. When she's complained before she's told "Well, it should work" and that this is the British answer to everything.
We stayed right off Union Square at the King George. We had a really nice little room with a very bright and cheery bathroom. Looking out our window at the rooftop across the street we saw what appeared to be really big dogs. I thought, oh look, sheep, ha ha, because I didn't have my glasses on, but then we heard bleating.
The next morning we had breakfast with Kati while Geoffrey and Henry were being interviewed, then we went back to their hotel for a little visit.
Now I'm going to show something very embarrassing that I will call From 80's to Ladies. I'm making this first picture small because Kati hated her hair even back then, and the picture doesn't have to be any bigger to see mine - it can be seen from space.
And now...23 years and 75% less hair
It was a sweet but short visit as they had to start driving north. Theron shook hands with the men and told Henry, this brilliant neurosurgeon, that he looks like Alfred the butler from the Batman movies. Henry graciously accepted this observation as the compliment it was intended to be.
We had a super fun time in the city. I haven't been there in so long and sometimes I forgot it wasn't New York. We went to SF MoMA where there are some fantastic photography shows up and then we actually spent a long time in their store which is the very best museum store we've ever been in. It was so good that we even went in the one they have in the airport and spent even more money.
We went to Chinatown.
We walked and walked and shopped and shopped and then we took the Bart to the airport. It was just a short trip, barely a day all together. If it weren't for the opportunity to see Kati and Geoffrey I don't know when we'd ever have arranged to make the trip, but we'll be going back. The flight is inexpensive and only takes an hour. A terrific time was had by all. And now it is back to real life again.