Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sales, sights, and sunny dispositions

In an effort to both clean out unused items and to raise a few extra coins we have listed a few items on Craigslist in the last couple of days. We sold a desk, bookshelf, and my Mac to some very nice people. One of the great byproducts of selling on Craigslist is meeting the prospective buyers. The desk was bought by a Carmel Mom which is the equivalent of saying a Montecito Mom in a previous life. She didn't seem to need a deal on a shabby chic desk but she really appreciated the desk and went on and on about it's charms even with the defects plainly seen. She was someone who saw the beauty in an otherwise broken thing the way that Kate sees it, and for that she was a good buyer. A man and his son bought the Mac and the 8 year old boy was so excited his grin was contagious. I passed on some comics that were given to me along with the computer because the kid was so excited. Those interactions, and the extra money, illustrate how great something like craigslist is when both parties are on the up and up. I know that isn't always the case with online ventures but I am a newly minted optimist so I will celebrate the positives.

Friday, June 22, 2007

He can stand, even when he's half naked

This morning Finn had destroyed his crib and sleeper with an epic pooh the night before and so a diaper change was preceeded by a bit of a bath, hence the half naked baby. Also it's hot here in the Square and that's how we roll!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

News and Weather at the top of the hour

It has been hot and sweaty here lately and I am not enjoying it at all. Hot is fine it is the freaking humidity that is killing me. I know, I know, every year at this time with the humidity whining. What can I say I got nothing interesting to say lately. Finn is growing well if a little soft. He gets picked on by Asher, which is fine since Ash-man is beast, but he also gets picked on by impish Cosi. Finn cries when Asher picks on him but smiles the whole time he is around Cosi. He gets as excited to see her as he does when Kate or I come home. I am not sure where the three of us rank in his hierarchy. I think it goes Me, Cosi, then Kate but don't tell Kate that. Finn also screamed like he was being tortured in CIA secret prison when we brought him out into the Lake up at Kate's parent's house. I tried to reassure him he was OK but he would have none of it and cuddled with Grandma while he tried to calm himself. Next time we will try to introduce him to the lake from the shore instead of the middle.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

He's a bit of a Screamer

Finn has started this screaming phase and he is not letting it go. When he wants something he is not getting he screeches at high pitch in short piercing bursts until you give him what he wants. When we know what it is we can ignore him and not give in so we can try to teach him that we do not respond to this frequency and I think I am better at this than Kate is only because I face it more then she does. It is when we have no idea what he is trying to communicate that it gets really tough to handle. For some reason the scream for the unknown reason makes me go crazy and want to ring his little neck. Why is that? It's not a different sound. It is just as piercing and peace shattering but one has no effect on me, and the other sends me into a Bruce Banner-Hulk metamorphosis. I try and smile at Finn and ask him what he wants and give him some options that I think it might be, but all he does is point and scream. He could be pointing at the wall, or beyond the wall to outside, or to high chair meaning he's hungry or to any number of things that I';m sure make perfect sense to him. We have friends that assure us this phase will end and I know it will too, but in the mean time I need a translation book that translates point-scream to English, I would settle for Spanish even.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Reason # 237 why I love Kate

After I have been out a little to late drinking on a neighbor's porch and talking neighborhood politics with some inebriated friends there is a tooth brush waiting at home in the bathroom with some toothpaste on it. Some times love is mint flavored.

Monday, June 04, 2007

May Reads

Books Read

Books Bought

A Widow for One Year – John Irving

Our Man in Havana – Graham Green

Our Man in Havana – Graham Green

Gilead – Marilynne Robinson

Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys – Chris Furhman

Second Hand – Michael Zadoorian

The Road – Cormac McCarthy

The Final Solution – Michael Chabon

The Reader – Bernhard Schlink

The Handmaid's Tale – Margaret Atwood

Holes - Louis Sachar

Monkey Bridge – Lan Cao

Month two in this great experiment that is me reading and I think I am hitting my stride. I read seven books this month including the longest book I think I have ever read and a devasting novel that I am still thinking about daily. So I will get right to it.

The month started with Lan Cao's Monkey Bridge, a book that I got for a dollar at a garage sale last month. It was a short novel that would have been better as a memoir but was still ok. The story focused on a young girl from Vietnam that comes to Amercia during that last airlift as the war was being abandoned. The whole book was more of a history lesson than anything else.

Next I read the highly recommended Holes by Louis Sachar. I know it's a kid's book but since it was suggested by a 10 year old that has read 3 to 4 times more books then I have so I had to read it. I watched the movie and the book was exactly like the movie and I really enjoyed both of them. Thanks for the suggest Ad!

The Reader is a German book translated into English about a young man's relationship with an older woman who just happened to be responsible for the deaths of numerous Jews during WWII. The story is really a book about a generation dealing with the shame of the holucost. You can either have some sort of understanding for what would lead people to such atrocities or you can have rightrous indignation but you can't do both. Some passion is lost if you try to understand.

After three quick books I picked up The Road by Cormac McCarthy. This book had come recommended by two guys whose opinons I think very highly of and after reading the book I thin even more of them. There is a lot of hype around this book right now because Oprah choose it for her book club and it is a bit different from her normal faire. I read the last 20 pages in the car, out loud to Kate, as we drove to pick Finn up from a day with Grandma. The last two pages were read between tears and sobs. No book has affected me this deeply before and I think I started this reading thing for a book like this. The story of a man and his boy in a burned out America trying to make it against all odds hit me hard and when we arived to get Finn I grabbed him up and squeezed him and kissed him until he got both hands on my face and pushed me away. I wouldn't recommend this book to many people, actually I can't think of anyone I would recommend it to because it is intense and hard. But if you read it I want to hear about it. I want to talk about it, but I don't recommend it.

After such an intense book The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys was a nice change of pace. It is a coming of age story about a couple weeks in these boy's lives that change their tracjectory forever. Even though there is some tough stuff in this book as well it was easier to take. More of a Stand By Me story.

While wandering through Half Price books I found a Graham Green book and had to get it and read it. Kate's sister is a huge fan and so I had to read at least one of his books. This was a fun entry into the wolrd of Graham Green with the madcap espianoge tale of a spy who makes up his contacts and information. Poking fun at the spy game while entertaining as well.

The last book of this month was the longest book I have read in my life. It was one of two books suggested by the fantastic Tonya and apart from the outrageous amounts of sex in this book, I liked it a lot. It was a nice way to end a busy week of reading following the lives of 4 novel writers as they try to navigate the waters of love, loss, and pages and pages of sex. There should be a lot fewer books next month, summer is heating up and I should get outside more.

Happy Birthday my boy

This past Thursday was Finn's first birthday. We didn't have a party for him because we don't think he knows his birthday from any other day of the year at this stage, but I did tell him the story of his birth like my mom still does for me each year. I told him about the Dr.'s appointment the day before when we found out that he was coming the next day whether he was ready or not. I told him about getting up early and the middle Eastern couple in the waiting room with the two girls. I told him about the room we had and how tough his mom was. He laughed when I told him how I had to leave when she got her shots and smiled big when ever I told him about TomTom and grandma Kris. I told him about the horrible Dr. we had and the great nurses. I told him about watching him being born how I held mommy's hand and changed the wash cloth on her forehead between each contraction. I told him how I cried when he was born and how nervous we were when he wasn't breathing right. Some Dr.'s wanted to take him but another told them not to, he told them to give the baby to his mommy and he would be OK, and I told him that he was OK once he was in mommy's arms. I wonder how the story will change over the years and what will be important in 10 years and what will be forgotten. I will tell him the story for as long as he wants to hear it, and probably for a couple years after that.

Birthday Flip out time!