Tuesday, February 27, 2007


A friend emailed me to tell me she'd miscarried. I am so devastated for her. I want to be with her, to bring her tea and cry with her and to do all the things I would want someone to do for me. I don't even know that she'd want those things. From here, all I can do is tell her how sad I am, how awful it is, and how much I love her.

Her loss is real and cruel. When we last talked she had just started to feel more confident about the pregnancy. Having experienced the loss of Ada's two uterus-mates, I have only a small glimpse of what my friend is feeling. My heart goes out to her and my tears fall.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Size Matters

In December I found out how easy it is to stencil designs onto shirts. Free stencils are available online, and the process is so easy Ada could do it, if I let her use a hot iron.

I made a bunch of shirts for friends and family, including these for my sister and her man:

(I got on a little bird kick, so a bunch of people got avian-themed items.) I was so excited about them that I almost posted photos before the package got to my sister. Which turns out would have been a mistake, since she does occasionally check in, which I didn't realize, fa fa fa. Anyway, the gift seemed to go over well, except for the part where I took my sister's input about her guy's size to heart, buying him men's mediums, which turned out to be too small.

But now I've wised up, and I got Ellen and our pal Janeen to give me shirts. I stenciled them and will return them, happy in the knowledge that they will actually fit:

I am especially happy with the drummer. The line drawings tend to come out well; I made a great stencil from a book about flight, but since it is in Ada's room and she's sleeping, we'll have to do without a photo of that one.

(If you are reading this K, send me one in the guy's real size. I have another airplane drawing I want to stencil. Or maybe a robot, riding a dinosaur. Evil squid?)

Updated to add links: Try this tutorial from Angry Chicken, or search Craftster for some examples.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Happy Protector of Motherland Day (Russia)

It's also:

  • National Day (Brunei)
  • National Banana Bread Day
  • Johannes Gutenberg's Birthday
  • National Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day
Oh, right, and Chris's birthday!

As Ada says, Happy Birthday Baby! You have our hearts.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Random quote and unrelated photo of the week

The conversation is light and not labor intensive, one of those comfortable back-and-forths during which it doesn't much matter who says what. We're two new friends putting each other at ease.

You like Alexander Calder? Me too. You play ukulele? I love ukulele - sort of. Nabokov? "Lolita" is so dark and hilarious. Grilled Swiss? Me too.

Andy Christie
Modern Love; She Handed Me a Cup From the Fountain of Youth

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Trains, Planes and Automobiles

Or in this case, aerial trams, buses and MAX trains.

When I started this post it somehow eluded me that none of these pictures were actually taken ON a tram, bus or max train, but only while we were waiting for them. We took a tram ride in the evening, so though I actually took pictures from the tram, they came out a bit dark and fuzzy.

I recommend taking a child on the tram, but maybe not right at dinner-time. Ada liked the ride the first time, but wailed and screamed was then less than thrilled when we boarded for a second ride. Oops. Nothing that some soothing from Ellen and a couple of mini-cupcakes couldn't fix, apparently.

I didn't take pictures on the bus or max rides. I'd like to say it was just because Ada was sitting on my lap, but really it was mainly because I didn't want to look like a tourist. Yep, I'm that vain. I am a born and bred city-dweller who was embarrassed to appear new to public transit. Dumb, but somewhere in me is my 14 year old bus-riding self, wanting credit for navigating the city alone, both proud and sheepish to be without a more elegant form of transport.

Ada does not have any such concerns with looking cool on public transit. And while we are on the subject of cool, would anyone disagree that trains are way cooler than buses? When I have lived in places with both, I've always preferred the train, even when it means I have to walk a couple of extra blocks. But back to Ada. When Ada and I are in the car, she bus-spots. Having spied one, she calls out "bus! on! on!," leaving me to explain that since we are already in the car, maybe we'll save the bus for another time.

Given how exciting it is to see a bus, you can imagine what a treat it is for Ada to actually on board one? What could be better? First there is the waiting at the bus stop, though thankfully not for too long. Portland has lots of bus lines that run every 15 minutes, so even though I always manage to walk up to our stop just after a bus has pulled away, the wait has not yet outlasted Ada's patience. Much.

Once on the bus, Ada settles into my lap to check out the scene. She is drawn to the homeless men and the folks boarding the bus outside the methadone clinic down the road. So far that has been fine, as the other riders tend to be engaged in their conversations about where to get a decent coat or why they got fired from their last job, or at least friendly and kind to my inquisitive girl. On the trip downtown, Ada is pretty quiet, until we near the bridge. Then the whole bus gets an earful of Bridge! Bridge!, which in Ada-speak sounds more like her accusing me of being a puppy's mother.

After a few loops around downtown (or even over a bridge or two) on the max train, I sense it is time to head home. This is usually the point at which it starts raining, hard.

On the ride home, Ada's comfort level has increased greatly. She's usually a bit tired, but that just elevates her mood, as she jumps and yells in a gleeful pre-crash frenzy. She wants to pull the cord that signals someone wants to get off. She wants to wander the aisle. She wants to break free of her mama and cozy up to other passengers. Maybe she suspects they've got snacks.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Hoo Ha?

Because I know you just can't get enough crotch talk, I saw this recently about referring to the Vagina Monologues by another name.

I actually turned down an invite to see the Vagina Monologues (or should we be saying Vulva Monologues, as was suggested by a commentor on my last female genetalia post?). I've heard mixed things about the show, but would have gone if it had not conflicted with plans to take Chris to hear Neko Case and Merle Haggard play this weekend. Yes, for my husband's birthday we went to a Hag concert. We are old and dorky. Actually, we went for Neko, who if you don't know about, you should. Chris and I have both had a little crush on her for a few years. Plus, she's on the list of people he's allowed to sleep with if given the chance. Heck, she might be on my list too.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Good Hair Day

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Random quote and unrelated photo of the week

Yes, we talked about cutting down on our red-meat consumption; yes, we recoiled in horror at tales of slaughterhouse abuses; yes, we admired stir-fries and noodle dishes flavored with no more than a few shreds of beef or pork. Then we went out and ordered a 16-ounce prime rib eye, charred rare, with a side of hash browns.

Colman Andrews
Steak, Well Done

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Four Cups

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Random quote and unrelated photo of the week

Ms. Tashjian hated being called "the Nut Lady" and died without fulfilling her dream of opening a nut theme park certain to surpass Disneyland. (Her reasoning: Squirrels are cuter than a certain mouse.)

Douglas Martin
New York Times Obituaries

Monday, February 05, 2007

Naming Names

Like most children her age, Ada is really into body parts. We spend a chunk of each day identifying a knee, toe, mouth... and vagina. The past couple of months, Ada has been very interested in hers. When she asked what it was, I told her. No point in pretending I didn't hear her or calling it something cutesy. The euphemisms people use for vagina just seem gross to me. Plus, I want her to be comfortable, to know it is another body part like her nose or belly button. Sure, it is more private, but I don't want to start her thinking it is dirty or bad to know herself.

Since she identified her "'gina" (as she calls it), we've talked about who else might have one. She's asked if I have one (yes) and if Papa has one (no). She's seen us naked, so it doesn't seem like such a leap to want to know what's we've got down there. One night after her bath she squeaked "'gina!"

"Yup, that's your vagina."


"Yes, Mama has a vagina."

"Nooo!" she laughed.

Then she asked: "Monkey Boy?"

"No, Monkey Boy doesn't have a vagina."

"Monkey Boy!"

So ok, maybe we've got a ways to go on this one.

** ** **

And in a wildly inappropriate segue, Ellen and I have been singing along to this ever since a friend sent our way.

Mild warning: not really work safe, especially if you've got your speakers on.

In fact, we have been so enamored of it that we spent an entire playing cards and coming up with rhyming My Puss/Your Puss lyrics. Fantastic, they were earth shattering.

After you watch the video, I am sure that you'll have a hard time resisting the urge to make up your own lyrics (Mike, I am looking at you), please post your favorite new lyrics in the comments.