Thursday, June 26, 2008

Evil. Genius.

This morning on WXRT Chicago (I listen to it online), I heard Suzanne Vega's song "Tom's Diner," and I have effectively been sentenced to at least three days' worth of "doo de do do do do do dooo, do de do do do do dooo dooo" running in a loop through my brain. Okay, fine. It's an amazing song, and I salute you, Ms. Vega for the insidious simplicity of the tune. It is sticky like peanut butter.

This morning I have also heard on XRT: CCR's "Green River," The Stones' "Brown Sugar," Weezer's new song "Troublemaker," that song by Snow Patrol that was used so liberally on Grey's Anatomy a couple seasons back ("if I just liiiie here, would you lie wiiiith me...."), Death Cab for Cutie, and Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing."

I guess what I'm saying is, this radio station rawks my wrrrld, yo. Since rediscovering it online a couple of weeks ago, I fully recognize why my radio knob NEVER MOVED from the 93 frequency during our entire stay in Chicago in our newlywed days.

Thank goodness for Internet radio. Check it ouuuuut!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kids and Drums

Arlo, Mae, Uncle John, and me playing with the bongo drums at church.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I am here

Originally uploaded by UI News Services

See that white building at the very top of this photo, left of center? That's the Levitt Center for University Advancement, where I work. Our building did not flood, but we are running on generator power and ours is the only building in our vicinity that is open and functioning. There is only one road we can use to access the building, and sadly, it runs through hospital and residential areas. I will probably irritate many of my coworkers during the commute this week by ACTUALLY DRIVING THE SPEED LIMIT (or slower) through these areas. People you might as well stop tailgating me, because it is not going to make me go faster. In fact, if you are following me too closely I might .. just ... slow ... down.

Who's my big girl?

Mae took the fire truck for a spin for the first time yesterday. My parents got this for Arlo when he was about a year old, and he didn't stop playing with it until he was at least three. In fact, he still hasn't completely stopped playing with it--especially now that Macy is showing an interest.

At this point, she's not actually pushing herself along or riding it, per se... but she really enjoyed sitting on it and bouncing. And I'm sure she'll be walking along behind it sooner than we can imagine. She has just entered the age when all she wants to do is be walked around the house, so she can practice her mad skills.

She is only nine months old (today!) but seems to be right on schedule for walking at ten months, just like Arlo did. God help us.
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Friday, June 13, 2008

500-Year Flood

It's impossible to describe the disastrous scale of this flood. The people who live in this community are amazing--volunteers continue to show up and work, trying to save this town in any way possible. So many sandbagging efforts have already failed, and the waters continue to rise.

Our house is high and dry, far enough from the swollen river that we are not worried about our own home. Neither Ted nor I are able to go to work now, so we have been glued to reports on T.V., radio, and the Web all day long. It's surreal to be watching our own city on national reports of the disaster--but we are heeding city officials' admonitions to stay off the roads.

One of us will probably head out this evening to one of the volunteer sites to throw our backs into the effort... to save something, anything. The water is expected to rise five more feet before it crests on Tuesday, and we are already above the level of the "100-Year Flood" of 1993.

I'm feeling powerless and awed by this massive outpouring. Water, sweat, blood, and tears.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ahhhhhh, summer

Originally uploaded by knights_writes

Nothing says summer like laying back in the green grass watching the clouds go by overhead.

By the way, when did my baby boy get so BIG? Why didn't anybody tell me this was happening?

Oh, but wait. You did.


Monday, June 09, 2008

What a great weekend!

Friday: Mom and me lunching at Devotay, toasting with sangria. Mara and I took the day off to roam around window shopping, and my mom joined us.

Friday night: Took the whole fam damily downtown for the Friday Night Concert Series, and this week it was also the kick-off of Arts Fest. Mae took a nap on my shoulder for the first time since she was a newborn. I enjoyed people-watching while she snoozed.

Saturday morning: Arlo took his very first bus ride! Mae was napping, so Ted took Arlo downtown on the city bus (free for Arts Fest!) and I caught up with them after she woke up.

Saturday afternoon: Mara and I took the "Mae Dress" workshop at Home Ec, and produced two very adorable reversible baby dresses for the wee lasses. The Mae Dress is named after my Mae, since I pestered Codi and Alisa (co-owners of the Home Ec Workshop) to make up a class to teach me how to make this very garment.

Here we are with our finished (Mara's) and nearly-finished (mine) Mae Dresses.

And here's Mae, wearing her new frock... hopefully the first among many, since I just learned that my mother-in-law wants to give us her old sewing machine. YESSSSSSS!

We rounded out the weekend by attending the ICARE benefit pancake breakfast (the best pancake breakfast in town, hands down), stuffing ourselves with whole grain pancakes, sausage, fresh fruit, real maple syrup and fresh whipped cream, along with Starbucks coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice. We barely finished our feasting when it started to rain (the breakfast is held outdoors, on the ped mall), so our timing couldn't have been better.

We also went bargain-hunting on Sunday, since Houseworks and Kidworks are having a big flood sale (everything is HALF OFF) in anticipation of the rising waters. If it ever stops raining, we will bust out the new badminton set I got for the back yard.

All in all, I'd say we did pretty well considering that rain was in the forecast all weekend. Now if we could just do as well for the rest of this week...

At least this looks better now than it did at the end of last week, when there was rain in the forecast for every single day of the next ten. Things are looking up!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Coming Along Quite Nicely

I had a consultation meeting (the third one so far) over my lunch hour with Kris, the phenomenal tattoo artist who I've hired to create my new tattoo. Today I got to see her first drawing of my cardinals-in-an-oak-tree concept, and I have to tell you that it's going to be amazing. When I saw it, my breath caught in my throat a little bit. Even rendered in pencil, the design is coming together beautifully, and I am just itching to go "under the needle."

My first inking session (out of 2, maybe 3) is just over four weeks away. In the meantime, we will continue working together to refine the details of the drawing. Kris is just as meticulous as I am about details--the natural leaf arrangement, the placement of acorns on the branch, the correct size ration between male and female birds--so I feel I am in very capable hands.

What? Oh, THAT. Yes, of course I asked her for a copy of the drawing. Naturally, my first instinct was to bring something back that I could share with you.

But no. Understandably, Kris is protective of her work until it is paid for--and she has no protection against a person taking her drawing and never coming back. In spite of my wholesome girl-next-door appearance and overall honest nature, she doesn't have any reason to trust me any more than the next guy, and let's face it: I was going to post her drawing here on the Internets for all to see, so her instinct is probably spot on.

I can't wait to share photos of my actual tattoo (and, with some of you, the real thing) once it gets started. One more month...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

You Would Think I Was Turning 40

Gals in Black
Originally uploaded by knights_writes

Because everybody (including me) showed up to my birthday party wearing black.

Well, except for Mara, who instead looks like a very ripe grape among the blackberries.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Saturday was my birthday, and I have to say (in spite of the fact that I am still waiting for the most important birthday gift--and I am holding out hope), it was one of my happiest birthdays yet. I feel good about being 32. In some ways, I feel younger than I did at 30 or 31... and I am at peace with this whole "getting older" thing. Well, except for when I catch sight of my forehead in the rearview mirror--the furrow between my eyebrows is my most troublesome wrinkle. But really. I'm okay with that.

I'm posting pics of the angora scarf that T knitted and gave me for my birthday. I love the bright teal color, and cannot get over how soft it is. Like wrapping a bunny around my neck. You know, a boneless, unconscious bunny. I look forward to wearing this when the weather gets cooler.

Most of my favorite people celebrated my birthday with me this year, from the coworkers who brought treats to the office on Friday to the gal pals I had lunch with Friday, to the local farmers who sold me veggies at the farmers' market on Saturday morning and the friends and families that attended a potluck birthday party at our house Saturday night. We even played hooky from church on Sunday, making for one of the most relaxed weekends in recent memory.

Thanks, everyone. 32 is going to be a good year.