Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"take a look at yourself and then make a change"

Do you ever get an idea in your head and you just have to carry it out, even when the world is giving you every possible sign not to?

I often find myself in this situation when I am standing on a rolling office chair trying to reach something on a top shelf or change a light bulb.

I also found myself in this situation on Saturday. We had plans to go camping Friday and Saturday - plans that included a new tent and bags of groceries with the makings of tin foil dinners, cobbler, smores and breakfast burritos. Of course, Genghis was unmistakably sick by Friday afternoon. Instead of setting up camp in the sweet flavors of a summer evening forest and embers of a cooking fire, I was waiting in the doctors office for an hour and half to hear the diagnosis of a sore throat/cold with nothing to do but wait it out (wouldn't you know that every other time, I've waited and waited through nights of crying before going to the doctor and it turns out to be a bacterial infection, easily treated).

Saturday, Genghis seemed on the mend. My throat was starting to feel a bit scratchy, but life keeps moving. We had plans to attend a birthday party but didn't want to expose others to our possibly contagious selves. Instead, we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous day and Genghis's unreasonably short afternoon nap and go to the park by our house and grill our tin foil dinners in solitude. It would be something, at least.

I put the dinners together while Abe and Genghis went to the store to pick up charcoals. We met at the park across the street. Where there happened to be a county-wide celebration of Gay Pride Month, complete with choir belting out "Man in the Mirror".

We considered stopping by to join in and mooch some hamburgers, but our infectious state and the buttery zucchini in the tin foil dinners urged us to strike out for a different park. We found a quiet new spot, but it had no grill. That's okay. We'll just drive to the next park. Our city has something like 10,000 - surely it won't be hard to find another one equipped with grill. 6 parks and 45 minutes later, we ended up at the university family housing complex where we used to live. We knew they had a lonely little charcoal grill at the top of the hill in the middle of the complex.

Abe immediately set to work on the charcoals. I took Genghis to the swings. Five minutes later, Abe came back to inform me that the charcoals he bought were not the self-lighting kind. Back to the store for lighter fluid. Fifteen minutes later, we had fire. Another 15 minutes and we had coals. And 30 minutes after that, we had cooked chicken.

I suppose this was more authentic to the real experience of camping, when it always seems to take 3 times as long to make dinner. Really, it needs to be this way because that's why tin foil dinners taste so great. Also, the ketchup.

The best part was that Genghis slumped over into this comatose state on the swing for basically the entire time. I think his arms may have become numb because Abe tried to hand him a pine cone and he had a hard time holding on to it. The silence was kind of a nice change to his usual grunting and shrieking soundtrack. But sad, because he was probably just not feeling very hot.

The dinners were delicious. We also had smores.

The next day I was totally and completely sick and stayed in bed all day. Still recovering.

Oh, and I would have photos but the camera battery died.

Monday, June 27, 2011

friday photos

We've had lots of sickness and little sleep. Also haven't got around to re-charging the camera battery. Here's a leftover photos from our beach trip 2 weeks ago.

Genghis meets Nutella rollups (swedish pancakes, kind of like crepes). I'm not sure who's winning here, Genghis or Nutella.

Those aren't teeth, by the way. Just rollup. Genghis is still all gums.

Friday, June 17, 2011

friday photos

We had a wonderful family reunion at the Outer Banks in North Carolina last week.

Edible beach! Well, that's what he thought.

Exploring the ocean.

I think it was windy when we took this picture, but it's possible that my hair just always looked that crazy.

Enormous family sand castle.

Polar bear swim club. Okay, it was still about 90 degrees at 6:30 in the morning. The real test of courage was waking up that early while on vacation.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


While I was working out at the Y the other day, I was sucked into a "news" program that told me what I simply had to have for my summer wardrobe. Before I realized what was happening, I found myself mentally rehearsing their tips.

1. Colored jeans
2. Shirt dress
3. Colorful scarf
4. Don't try to wear 1-3 at the same time

Comparing my own wardrobe with their video shots, I couldn't deny what was painfully obvious: I've been living in a fashion vacuum. (Just to make sure the analogy carries, I'm the one in the vacuum. Fashion is what has been completely sucked away.)

No one would describe me as fashionable. But somehow I've retained the notion that I at least get what the trends are, even if I chose not to follow them. Skinny jeans, for example. I know they exist. I know I will never own a pair.

In my particularly fine moments, I imagine that I am really on the cutting edge of the "comfortable-classic yet always hip-hot" kind of fashion. People envy my bold choices of boot cut jeans and colored tees. Every day of the week.

But then I look down at my Keen sandals and the illusion vanishes. These sandals have sweet spirits, okay. And are one of the few shoes that don't hurt my feet. I have plantar fasciitus, people, and wedges and ballet flats just don't cut it.

This realization of my loss of fashion (or inability to ever find it in the first place) has been coming on more quickly since my Houston conference a few weeks ago. I was in one of those career self-help workshops. The motivational speaker talked about making sure our dress and appearance is in line with how we want people to perceive our "brand". At this point I tried to hide my flip-flopped feet under my 10-year old, fraying messenger bag.

Oh, to just be a college student again.

Well, I confronted fashion on Monday at the mall. I needed some dressy shirts to wear to several client meetings I have coming up. Armed in my peasant skirt with a shrieking baby* strapped to my back, I made it to a grand total of 3 stores. If I had any belief that I knew about fashion when I went in, it evaporated when I turned to a rack of stylish ... somethings. I couldn't tell what part of my body these beautiful swaths of fabric were meant to cover. Looking around the store for more clues, I realized that, while I did know where most of the clothes were supposed to fit on me, I had no idea how to wear them. What went with what? Certainly nothing was meant for my boot cuts and Keens. Could any of it work with my dress slacks?

In this dazed state, I retreated to a small rack of embellished tees made out of fancy looking fabric. $50 and 5 fancy tees later (well, as fancy as you can get at $10 a piece), I made it back to the safety of my '99 Corolla.

Toyotas are in style, right?

Friday, June 3, 2011

friday photos

With 1 hour to spare!

Genghis and I went out for ice cream the other week. I was expecting it to be messy. He never ceases to amaze.