Monday, January 30, 2006
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
done with Christmas at last
Tonight I got the kids together for one last project before our couple of remaining Chrismas decorations go away for the year. We've got a Christmas tree skirt that we update every year with the kids' handprints in gold fabric paint. So we spread a bunch of paint on a paper plate and picked a spot for the 2005 version (new! improved! now even bigger!) of their hands.
S managed to take a sliding swipe at his spot, so his hands look as big as C's. Last year anything remotely resembling a handprint was "a clue!" to him (because of Blue's Clues) so we wrote that next to his print (which turned out much neater than this year's). C did a cartoon to go along with hers last year, but this year kept it to just a plain signature (though she did draw little sun's rays around the "e" her name ends with, because she says that her classmates leave it off).
So, once that dries, it will get put away along with the last of the Christmas cards we had hanging up, and the nativity set. Don't worry -- we did get the tree down a long time ago!
Friday, January 20, 2006
One drawback to the warm weather (other than the "OMG I'm sure the polar ice caps are shrinking doubletime" freakiness of it all) -- on my drive to work I pass a good half-mile stretch with cabbage fields extending off on either side of the road. Green and red cabbages, both. I shouldn't know what grew in those fields last summer -- the cabbages should NOT BE THERE IN JANUARY! But no, they're still in the fields, rotting away. And I thought the stinky feet rooms on the birth center were bad! That eau de pew really carries on a 50 degree day.
I blew off a 5:45 am spinning class this morning in favor of sleeping an extra hour. Life is good. But now I have the guilts. I may have to drag out a horrid exercise tape tonight and do it with a 3-year-old hanging off my leg. The extra resistance really helps!
Sunday, January 15, 2006
You can't go back...
When I was a kid we went to visit my grandparents on their farm in Iowa every summre. My mom would drive and we'd usually pick up my aunt and cousins in PA on the way. Whether or not she had another adult to spell her, my mom would try to drive straight through, getting the cross country drive with a car full of kids over with as soon as possible. We'd sleep sprawled all over the back of the car and sometime's I'd wake up in the middle of the night and have the oddest sensation -- (it should have been carsickness but it wasn't...)
I felt like nothing could be pinned down; everything was shifting, in flux. I couldn't say for certain what time it was, except that it was the middle of the night. I couldn't say for certain where we were, other than in the car, driving -- we could have been anywhere (I used to sleep on the floor of the old 4-door sedan we drove in, so the fact that all I saw as we drove was dark sky, and perhaps the moon, rather than any landmarks added to the sensation of placelessness). I didn't even feel 100 percent sure that I was myself, with everyone else sleeping and no-one to address me by name. It was disconcerting -- it left me feeling like something important had shifted slightly and changed reality (maybe I was just a weird kid).
I saw a movie years ago that evoked that same sort of feeling for me, but with an eerie, slightly threatening edge to it. I had worked an overnight, come home and succumbed to a stomach bug. I woke up after a fitful few hours sleep and parked myself on the couch. J kept the kids off of me, so I wound up with control of the TV and I lighted on a Japanese movie whose name I didn't catch. It was an anthology of ghost stories, very stylized and dreamlike, and they sucked me right in. J came by at one point to ask "what are you watching," to which I could only reply "I don't know." But the stories stuck in my head for a long time and I wanted a chance to see them again. So fast-forward a couple of years, and J did some searching based on what I remembered and we found it -- Kwaidan -- filmed in the 60's and based on traditional Japanese ghost stories collected by Lafcadio Hearn. And I got it for Christmas this year. I couldn't wait to play it and see if it would get me back to that odd in-between place, but so far it's not working. I've been watching the stories one at a time and out of order, and I talked them up so much to J that I'm winding up slightly disappointed while watching them. I'm going to have to stay up late and watch them straight through by myself and see what happens.
There's another movie, too, that I found fascinating in that same sort of way, though this one was not as spooky -- but now I don't know if I want to try and track it down. It was called Lovers of the Arctic Circle. I don't know, maybe I will try to find it -- though I don't suppose it'll be at the local Blockbusters.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Happy New Year, all...
New job is going well. Yesterday was Friday the 13th (and a full moon), but the atmosphere is a little less superstitious at my new workplace than it was at the birth center. The only thing that you could say went wrong was that everyone showed up for their appointments, plus we had three people to add in. And we usually have a pretty high no show rate, and schedule accordingly, so we could have gotten really behind, but we cranked on through and got out on time. I actually got to leave before sundown -- it was nearly 60 degrees out, and sunny for the third day in a row. That's all gone today, we're back to snow and wind and cold.
One of the benefits of the new job is that, now that I'm sleeping at night, I don't fall asleep while driving home anymore (I'm telling you, it was just a matter of time before my luck would have run out). But I find myself getting distracted on the long ride home, especially on beautiful days like yesterday
by kids in shorts playing touch football in a side yard heading out of town...
...people sitting out on porch steps, deep in conversation (and I can't help but wonder what they're talking about, it looks serious)...
...a black cat crouched still at the edge of the tall grass in a field, watching, waiting for motion...
and the full moon rising over stubbly fields, with the sun not yet set. The sky, still blue, filling in the shadows of the moon's craters with the same deepening shade of blue.
It was all quite lovely.