Tuesday, June 29, 2010
We missed our flight, not the best of starts,
but on that we didn't dwell.
We made it to the Clinton house
to stay a little spell.
Ice cream cones, steam train rides
Trips to the beach and changing tides.
Blake enjoyed running on the lawn,
And still he rose at the crack of dawn.
To be entertained by Granny Karla with vintage Playskool
driven all the way up north
Shall we go to the swings, was the frequent cry,
and so the troops set forth.
Across the bridge to the beach they went,
at least 2 times a day
And thus we found that Clinton was
the perfect place to play.
What's that wrapped around your finger, Blake?
Why, it's just my Gran.
By the end of the trip he was also quite fond
of "Jungle Jim" and Aunt JoAnne.
We got to meet the lovely Clara,
with parents Tom and Kate,
Most nights I crashed, quite early on,
so not once did close the gate.
A tea party for Thomas the Tank
Hosted by a nutty librarian,
Beluga whales and barking seals
We loved the Mystic Aquarium.
Baby Noah awoke to find
Some fuzzy dice set by his side.
And as he grinned at Grandpa John,
His hand-eye coordination sure came along.
Crabbing on the dock, while peppers were grilling
And in the fridge, IPA was chilling.
The sad news that Aunt Mae passed away
Was the only cloud on an otherwise gorgeous day.
On the flight home, the boys uttered not a peep
As the eventful 10 days gave them reason to sleep.
Waterside Lane is a special place
and we loved it even more
The perfect place for little boys to play,
what fun we have in store!
Monday, June 28, 2010
- while walking with Noah past the local tennis courts, some amateur tennis player hit a pretty decent winner, so I decided to shout out to him: "You should be at Wimbledon!" (the poor guy's reply: "Next year!")
- spying a mother chasing after her son who was on his scooter as they went past me: "They keep us on our toes!" with a merry grin on my face
- after strolling past two identical-looking black dogs who were chasing a tennis ball, I found myself faced with another identical-looking black dog running toward us, also chasing a tennis ball. I said to the owner, "There are two more up ahead who look just like him!" and she explained that they might indeed be siblings as there were a few dogs of the same litter in the area.
After I do it, I just cringe - these people don't really want my commentary, do they?!
I was proud of myself today as a lady eating an ice cream walked past me, and I started to say, "That looks good!" before I realized that was just TOO much, and kind of ate the words.
I guess it's my attempt to create connections and make me feel that the world can in fact be a
friendly place, but even I recognize that there may be better ways to do this.
There is nothing exactly wrong with turning into one's mother, but I have to laugh since I am often criticizing Mom for striking up conversations with perfect strangers wherever she goes, and yet, here I am effectively doing the same thing! Perhaps it's in the Blakey DNA, as last Tuesday while we all recovered from jet lag, Blake and Noah and I went for an unelaborate picnic (ham sandwiches with butter, raisins, and a big bag of pretzels). A lady with a young boy and a P&T buggy walked by on the path which was about 25 feet away from where we were sitting, and Blake starts waving and saying, "Hi!" They come over, the mother assuming - I think - that Blake recognizes her son from somewhere, but I just shrugged my shoulders as I was pretty sure I'd never seen them before. Anyway, long story short, we're meeting up with them on Thursday, so I guess sometimes it does pay to be friendly to strangers. But maybe a simple "Hello" or "Hi" is enough...
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
The DwL editor-in-chief regretfully leaves several blog posts unwritten, but will attempt to write them if she can get to a computer. Otherwise check back in about 10 days for more.
We will be enjoying the game from the side of the Atlantic that is probably less interested in the tournament, so it feels somewhat strange to be flying out tomorrow as many of the rest of the citizens of the UK enjoy the build-up to Saturday. A few of the cars of our street, for instance, have England flags, and all the commercials on tv are about Rooney, Terry, and co. In terms of loyalties, who will I be rooting for? In all honesty, probably England, since I think I know that this game means a lot more to the country than to my fair homeland. But apparently I am not the only one facing this conundrum:
I do love the Guardian.
But if the US should win, I would be happy, because they do have a good team and probably deserve more credit than they're given.
As for the blog title, here is an explanation - for American readers - for the extra "er" I put in:
Engerland (i.e. England) used by the footie fans mostly. The advantage of 'Engerland' as opposed to 'England' is the extra syllable 'ger' allowing the chanting of the team's name being easier and more melodic.
The question is, who will Blake and Noah support? It should be interesting...
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
I've been down with Blake to the Junior Church where they have games and activities related to the Gospel or the readings - I actually thought to myself this past week that as opposed to feeling like I am "missing out" on the actual church service because of being with the kids, the kids' lesson is probably at my level at the moment for what I can process mentally! I have made some nice acquaintances so far and hope that this can become "our" church.
This past Sunday we were also then visited by the lovely Heidi for lunch. The only downside to her coming over was that she brought us a box of chocolates which I devoured in less than 24 hours. I must, must, must get some control over myself if I don't want people to start questioning whether another baby is on the way - I think I have definitely put on weight since Noah arrived, which is not exactly the direction you want things to be heading.
And finally along the Sunday theme, I can finally re-post something that Raina sent along, Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody covered by members of Church on the Move in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tulsa is home of two of my aunts and their families and I keep meaning to check if they know this church. At any rate the lyrics of Mommy Rhapsody certainly made me smile: "Kitchen, kids and laundry - everything is dirty - no sleep, no sleep", and "Mommy, I don't want to die - well you should've thought of that before you broke my lamp". And the nice thing is that the lyrics are suitable for all!
Saturday, June 05, 2010
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Here are some pics from yesterday and today in our little garden, where some grass is starting to grow. I bought some Mini Milk ice creams as a treat and you can see that Blake still has not mastered the art of eating the ice cream before it melts!
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
At the end of Waterside Lane there used to be a general store run by a man named Kenny, and my good friend Jessie Burns and I spent lots of time roaming the aisles at Kenny's, collecting candy and comic books, Archie comic books to be precise. I loved following the exploits of the red-haired protagonist, his arch-rival Reggie, his best friend Jughead, and the two female characters, the blonde Betty and dark-haired Veronica.
Thanks to Lucy's fiance Ernesto, I have rediscovered the joy of reading, even if many of the pages of the books I've just finished were pictures. Back when we actually had our book club, Ernesto led us one month in the reading of Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi's "graphic novel" about life in Iran under the Ayatollah. Ernesto is doing his PhD on creating digital libraries of graphic novels (or roughly something like that, no doubt many PhD topics cannot actually be summarised in 6 words), and it was after having them over for dinner a few weeks ago that I saw a book in the local library that grabbed my attention. It was huge- 580 pages - but when I opened it up halfway through, the page I turned to featured a character called Raina, so I thought I should check it out. Blankets by Craig Thompson is a coming-of-age tale of a teenage boy growing up in a fundamentalist Christian household; Raina is the beautiful and talented girl he falls for at a church camp - so apart from the church aspect, she wasn't that different from our own Raina! Raina, if you have been to church camp, I will stand corrected!
Anyway, as you know I am not actually very good when it comes to writing book reviews, but if you do happen to see Blankets at your local library, it is worth a read. Upon returning this one I happened to have a look at what else was in the graphic novel section, and ended up coming home with another one by Marjane Satrapi, entitled Embroideries. On the surface less serious than Persepolis, Embroideries is fabulous - again set in Iran, it's basically like being a fly on the wall of a gossip session of 8 or so middle-aged/elderly women. Sample quote from the grandmother: "To speak behind others' backs is the ventilator of the heart". There was also a part where one woman reveals she's had plastic surgery to keep her husband interested in her; she went from a small-breasted and big-hipped lady to a big-breasted and small-hipped lady:
"Of course this idiot [her husband] doesn't know that every time he kisses my breasts, it's actually my ass he's kissing..."
I'll refrain from revealing what the title means but again, would recommend this to the female DwL readers; men, you might struggle to find the humor in it! And in the way that I love connections, I just read on the back cover one review which calls it "...Sex and the City, Middle-Eastern style - outrageous, explicit and funny." Perhaps even funnier than the actual SatC!
- Fashion: of course, I am not into fashion, so the one thing that struck me most about the outfits was that in the scene at the science fair, Miranda's son Brady was wearing a short-sleeve version of a Polo shirt that Granny Karla got Blake (the blue and red striped one). That this is my observation under the Fashion heading gives you an idea of just how not into clothing I am!
- The karaoke scene: that the girls sang "I am Woman" was interesting to me, in that I hadn't heard this song - I don't think - until it was featured in the BBC Women series I wrote about a few months ago.
- The day out in the desert made me really want to a) go to Morocco, where the scenes were filmed and b) ride a camel.
- Names: When we were trying to decide a name for "Brother" Lyons, we forgot to consult the US list of top 100 names, only learning after we'd named him that Noah is #2 for boys in the US (as opposed to something like 45 here in the UK). I was surprised to learn at the time that Aidan is #1 in the US, as it's much less common here and we only know one Aidan - Anna's nephew - but one theory behind its popularity was due to Carrie's one-time love interest Aidan, who does make an appearance in SatC2. In this film, he reveals he has three boys, named Homer, Wyatt, and Tate, and I wondered to myself whether these names are likely to rise up the charts in the coming year or so as people look to name their sons.
- I thought the best scenes were the ones revolving around Miranda's quest to find a better balance in being a career woman and a mother, and Charlotte's attempts to keep her sanity with her two daughters. In the hotel at the wedding of Stanford and Anthony, Carrie and Big are being kept awake by Samantha having wild sex and Charlotte's daughter howling. Big ponders that he doesn't know which is worse; Carrie's reply: "Samantha - the baby will tire eventually."
Although it wasn't amazing, it did do what I ask of most movies I watch, which is to offer some escapism. For that, and for reminding me that somewhere women are able to think of drinks as cocktails for themselves as opposed to milk varieties for children, I'll give it three out of 5 stars. Speaking of, I have a chart to make...
Can I get some popcorn?
Wondering what on earth Carrie was wearing on her head in various scenes...