Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tail End

N: ...blahblah...last three weeks of summer vacation.
H: Three weeks!?! But I want to go back to school now!

I reported that conversation to office manager at the kids' school and she informed me that school cannot start until she's done with her paperwork--so Hannah's now offered to go in and help with paperwork. She really wants to get back to school.

j (from the backseat of the car): I just read something without trying to!
N: Wow, that's awesome! That means you're really getting to be a great reader.
j: But.... I don't want to know how to read.

I don't quite know how to convey how devastated he sounded.

My summer home renovation project is nearing completion. That's another post though.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Start Somewhere

Future Astronaut, originally uploaded by nrbp.

Today in the car I asked if anyone knew what had happened 40 years ago today.

J: Me! Me! Pick me!
N: Yes, John, then.
J: Men walked on the Moon.
j: (tuning in) What? Today? Why didn't anyone tell me? I would have wanted to watch that on NASA TV.

Monday, June 29, 2009

So Many Parentheses

Wedding photography (speaking from my vast experience, hah!): fun, but a whole lot of work. I enjoyed myself for the most part (I love taking pictures), but it was hot (ceremony was held outside, high-noon, no shade) and I was close enough (through ties to most of the folks in the wedding party) to the center of activity to get pulled into some of the tensions. And I came home (tired) worried about my performance--doubting, in particular, that any of the shots of the ceremony had turned out well.

I didn't feel like going through the more than 1200 images I had had to scramble to store in 3 different places (long story with 2 heroes: my over-packing and my knight in shining armor, John). I knew I had some wonderful shots (a child mid-laugh; the bride's reflection in a mirror; the groom biting his lip; the bridesmaids scolding one of the flower girls in unison--this is where I shine), but those weren't going to be enough if I had botched the shot of the bride and her son walking down the aisle, the exchange of vows, the kiss--the things one hires a wedding photographer (one who knows what she is doing!) to document. At lunch, a friend went on and on about how beautiful the ceremony had been; I couldn't remember anything beyond how unusually fast my battery was draining and how that (stupid) guy's head had been in the way when I was trying to get a shot of the ring bearer handing over the rings.

(Figures, the one and only time I was without my camera over the weekend a family of river otters went swimming by.)

However, one does what one has been paid to do. And one discovers, to her utter delight, that things could be worse. I'm no wedding-wizard, to be sure, but there's not much I wanted that I didn't get (and I'm confident the bride and groom will be very happy).

(Given the right set of circumstances, I'd even be willing to do this again.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

With excitement like this, who is needing enemas?

First: name that movie! We watched it with the children last week and they loved it.

Second: Hey! I know! I should blog more! Or, well, at all.

So. Summer. Here we are again. The kids are out of school. John is not teaching, but, as Jonah pointed out the other morning, "Dad's not really getting a summer vacation, is he?". University politics and budget woes don't take a break for the summer.

I am about to shoot my first wedding. A couple of friends asked me if I would do this for them some time ago and the big day is Saturday. They are getting married at a neat spot, right around the middle of nowhere somewhat East of here. We are camping out there Friday night; the kids are beyond excited; I need to get camping and camera gear together.

Other summer plans? No travel. Possibly some more short camping trips. Swimming lessons for the kids. Painting the dining room. Cleaning the barn. Blogging.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Suddenly, it was Inauguration Day

We moved the television downstairs yesterday so that a couple of friends and I could watch the inauguration from the comfort of the living room couch like civilized folk. [Incidentally, I've been wanting to paint the salvaged piece of furniture we are using as a TV stand up in the bedroom for some time now and this proved to be the perfect opportunity. Also, the paint color? New Hope Grey.] I'm a sucker for pomp and for circumstance and for peaceful transfers of power even when we haven't been waiting for this day for so long; it was moving, delightful, fun.

Do you think "tis the gift to be simple" was meant in part as a tribute to the outgoing president?

I think all of the classrooms at the kids' school kept their televisions on until 10am (that's 1pm DC time). When I asked Jonah about watching Obama become president today he said that yes, they had, that he watched Yoyo Ma play the cello and that he liked getting to watch TV while they were doing their work. "Then," he told me, "we got to watch the workers tearing down our old playground. That was FREAKIN' AWESOME!"*

Heavy equipment scooping up pea gravel and yanking out metal structures; he will not soon forget what he saw on the day Barack Obama became president.

*For the record, that is not an expression we use in this household. When I relayed this story to his teacher, knowing she'd find it amusing, she said: "That's public education for you."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election Season

Winter :: Super Tuesday 2008 :: California Primary

H: Dad, who did you vote for?
J: Well, I don't have to tell anyone who I voted for, but did you have someone in particular you are hoping I voted for?
H: Ummm, yes, but I can't remember her name.

Spring :: Partisan Politics :: It comes down to one or the other

The kids and I are sitting at the table working on some project or another; NPR is on in the next room.
NPR: Blahblahblah Barack Obama blahblah.
j: Barack Obama. I like that name. (pause) What is Barack Obama?
N: Hannah, do you know who Barack Obama is?
H: He's a man who wants to be president.
(long-ish pause)
j: But I thought only womans could be pregnant.

Summer :: Convention :: Brainwash with care

In a speech at the Democratic National Convention, the phrase "Barack Obama is right, John McCain is wrong" is repeated many, many times. Jonah latches onto this and fits it into just about any conversation--whether or not it has anything to do with the topic at hand. I limit our exposure to the Republicans' convention for fear of what he might pick up from it.

Fall :: The End Is Within Sight :: We try to focus on the issues

Scene 1: In the car, on the way home from Hannah's soccer practice.
H: Mom, how can you tell when a country wins a war?
N: ... Um, well...
j: When all the army guys in the bad country are dead, then the good guys win!
N: Oh, it's more complicated than that. Lots of people who aren't part of the fighting die in wars too. And sometimes, the leaders of the countries who are fighting talk to each other and find a way to stop fighting before everyone gets killed.
H: John McCain thinks we should keep fighting the war in Iraq, but Barack Obama thinks we should try to end the war.
j: Oh! So that's why they say Barack Obama is right and John McCain is wrong!

Scene 2: A table in Jonah's Kindergarten classroom where I am volunteering. M is the youngest son of a Mormon family at the school--his mom has a "Yes on 8" sticker on her Suburban; C is in fierce competition for the title of Class Busybody; K is another girl in the class.
C: M, you have a crush on K.
M: What's that?
N: Hey, C, we don't need to talk about things like that at school. You can save that for home. Let's focus on our work guys.
Pause while everyone gets back to their coloring.
j: Girls can marry girls you know.
C: Why would they want to do that?!?
j: Because they love each other very much.
C: Oh. But they can't have babies.
N: Well, they can adopt babies and be a family.

Election Day :: We vote :: It's the start of something new

I love taking my children to vote with me, especially as they are becoming more politically aware. Four years ago, I held Jonah (wasn't he the most adorable little thing?) while I voted and Hannah stood next to John; afterwards, they picked up leaves from the huge tree right outside our polling place. This year Jonah sat at my feet reading his Lego catalog and Hannah stood right at my left elbow, reading along, making sure I voted for Barack Obama; afterwards, they picked up leaves from the huge tree right outside our polling place.

In the evening, we printed out maps and colored them as the returns came in; we listened to coverage on the radio then switched to the television to watch Obama's speech; my brother-in-law, teering up, told Jonah "Oh, you have such an exciting life ahead of you".


Pretend that back in November of last year I said I wouldn't blog again until we'd put a Democrat in the White House. Pretend you've been waiting all year long for me to start blogging again.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Long overdue, this is. The tooth got so loose she could turn it backwards in her mouth (gross. shudder. ew.). Then she finally pulled it out one day at school. The Tooth Fairy left a gold dollar.
The other middle one's loose now and one of the bottom ones is very, very loose.

That's all for right now. We're busy with stuff and life. All of us healthy.