Tuesday, January 29, 2008

new bag

All my sisters-in-law pitched in to buy me this bag for my birthday. My friend, Nicole makes these and they are all so beautifully crafted. I was able to pick the fabric and tailor inside pockets to my specific needs. Before this I'd been using a sac-like bag that had only one pocket, making it very difficult to find what I needed in the moment without dumping everything out. Thanks to all who contributed to such a great present!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

timorous or bold

Thanks to my Aunt Deborah for her inspiring post on Seamus Heaney. This passage from one of his poems resonated with me so strongly this week:

"The way we are living,
timorous or bold,
will have been our life.”

Friday, January 18, 2008

the repertoire

I have certain songs I regard as my personal repertoire. You know those catchy tunes that get stuck in your head on a regular basis. And I'm not talking about just for a few days, I'm talking about years. Then you meet a really nice guy, you get married, and before you know it some of his repertoire becomes your own, or maybe as a couple you organically come up with new joint-repertoire tunes. Am I the only one?

Some of my original repertoire includes this camp song that my Dad taught me about African tribes that starts, "Oh, we're from Nairobi our team is a good one..." The lyrics are very un-PC to say the least. And yet I found myself humming it in the freezing cold this morning waiting for the bus. Matt's most egregious offering is "Turkey in the Straw" (need I say more). Once this tune gets in his head, you must replace it within fifteen minutes with a tune equally as persistent or "Turkey in the Straw" will remain for days.

As for a joint creation, we started singing "I'm wishing..." that horrible song from Disney's Snow White including the "aha-aha-aaa" part at the end that we--and now I am embarrassed to admit this--we harmonized in a most ridiculous manner that makes it all even more horrible than it originally was. Matt saw this part of the film a few years ago and was shocked that there was no harmonizing in the real film, it had become so ingrained in his psyche. So why is this? Does our repertoire reside in our lizard-brain? What's in your repertoire? (By the way, the Smurfs theme song is in my repertoire).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

tending the shnoze

I'm just getting over a horrible cold--the kind where you wake up at 4 am and can't get back to sleep because you can't stop that tickle in your throat while drowning in mucus. As a result I've had to stay far away from my new nephew Henry (absence makes the heart grow fonder). I think things are on the up and up now though--I want to be in prime condition for my birthday celebrations next week.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Matt and I decided to pool our resources for Christmas instead of our usual small gifts for each other. We've lived in Utah for three years and I'm embarrassed to say we didn't have any backpacking or camping supplies. For people who love to hike this seemed unconscionable. Starting from scratch, we decided to outfit ourselves fully. My biggest peeve about backpacking in the past has been the weight of the pack. Fortunately, new ultralight technology is now available and my problem is solved. The end result: my pack's base weight is only 8 pounds! That means everything I bring except for water and food is 8 pounds! I have a 25 degree down sleeping bag that feels like sleeping in a warm cloud (I've never had any desire for winter camping--just three seasons for this gal). We are already planning our first backcountry trip in southern Utah for March. I'm so excited! (By the way, the picture above is a birth petroglyph from southern Utah--Check out the breech presentation, feet first!)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

free to be . . . you and me

One of my favorite library rental videos I watched as a child was Free to Be . . . You and Me. It was released in 1972 and is a cult classic for gen-Xers. It is full of star power with the likes of: Marlo Thomas, Alan Alda, Michael Jackson, Roberta Flack, (the beautiful) Rita Coolidge, Kris Kristofferson, Harry Belafonte and Mel Brooks. You have to remember that this was pre-Seasame Street and Nickolodean; kids programming was in its infancy. As a child, I remember loving its smart, offbeat humor and gender-stereotype-defying messages. Also the songs are really catchy and the parts that were filmed were done on location in NYC. Here are a few clips, including my sister Liz's favorite, "William wants a doll."

Mel Brooks and Marlo Thomas playing newborn babies:

object width="425" height="355">

William wants a doll:

Brothers and Sisters by the Voices of Harlem:

Marlo Thomas, Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge (who incidentally was my fashion idol as a child until I realized her enchanting Native-American-hippie look was unattainable for a blond curly-headed kid such as myself).