Itâ€™s funny hanging out with a four-year-old. They are trying to make sense of the world, trying out new phrases. For example, First Son tried to casually insert the phrase â€œstrangely familiarâ€ in our conversation the other day. He went over the syllables slowly, because itâ€™s a bit unwieldy to say and then gave me a sly look to check my reaction. The way he used it didnâ€™t make sense, but I was taken aback and couldnâ€™t stop laughing. Who said that to him? (Confess. Come forward. No harm will be done to you and your underlings.)
Last tonight, he asked me what dreams are. I said, I think a dream is two things. One kind of dream is what you do when youâ€™re asleep. Even though your eyes are closed, your mind thinks of stories. The other kind of dream is something you hope for â€“ to do or become.
He told me his dream is to turn age 6 so that he will be old enough to drive the 6 train. We discussed how to make this happen and I said Iâ€™d research the steps (done.) Then he asked me what my dream is (I said I hope to publish a book). This morning, he asked Husband what his dream is, and then he asked Wonder Twins. Husband had a fancy answer about hoping both he and I get to have the careers we want, accomplish our creative goals, and have gobs of time with the children. The Twins gurgled or like repeated â€œDora!â€ ten times. Who can remember.
To be an innocent four-year-old boy is a very sweet thing.
Thatâ€™s a question posed to me recently by childhood friend. She said her sister sent her a text â€œI think Kim Kardashianâ€™s butt isnâ€™t real.â€ Thereâ€™s your answer right there: To crack me up.
I was recently going through some family stress and my friend Mike wrote back a sympathetic email that ended with â€œhey Robin Thicke wants you to know he has a big d*ck.â€ Could not stop laughing. Too absurd.
Thereâ€™s been a lot of online drama lately in response to the Allessandra Stanely piece in the Times. Whatevs, TV critic, I still love Shona Rimes with all of my heart. The woman is a smart, hard-working, rare talent. She has captained three successful primetime shows with juicy parts for actors and absorbing story lines, upending race as an issue to be discussed, women characters balancing work, friendships; Scandal is crazy; Greys Anatomy is crazy, but still address real issues working women face â€“ be excellent or have babies, etc. Her sensibility about race is like mine, and like my generationâ€™s â€“ where ideally we include portrayals of nonwhite characters and diverse groups of people and itâ€™s never discussed; it just is. That is my television utopia.
Ugh, this might be the reason I never move to the suburbs. I think I prefer to get attacked by humans over bears. Itâ€™s just me.
I randomly read this Amy Cuddy feature. In short, this woman started studying body language as a quick route to reducing anxiety and puffing up self-esteem, originally inspired by the fact that ladies in the Harvard Business School tend to wither in a vine, failing specifically in the grade-killer (or maker) class participation. If you do the â€œWonder Womanâ€ pose for two minutes, she promises, and backs up her promise with research, you will experience the â€œfake it til you become itâ€ phenomenon. For some reason, her presentation really struck me, because it coincides with different things on my mind lately. I think women sometimes need a word of encouragement, a helping hand â€“ a small gesture to make a significant difference in their success, and anything to reduce stress and pump my ego is worth trying in my book. I will be the mom in the playground, standing like Linda Carter, thank you very much.
The turning point was a tomato.
Single mom Karen Washington bought her house in the Bronx when the city was trying to woo the middle class back to NYC. Across the street was an empty lot that she helped turned into the Garden of Happiness. After she tasted a tomato off the vine, she had a revelation â€“ THATâ€™s what food was supposed to taste like. No more processed or canned foods for her. Along with the city’s initiative Operation Green Thumb, which specifically focused on turning empty lots into gardens, and some other guy she randomly met her first day(canâ€™t remember the name), they turned that empty lot into the Garden of Happiness, growing vegetables, raising chickens and nurturing bees for honey. But it’s a place that’s more than about the food. Apparently, people hang there, and itâ€™s also a grassroots center, where they do voter drives, etc. You know, it feeds the community and then it feeds the community.
That tomato launched her into her life work of connecting the community to locally grown food. She became a self-educated farmer, forming partnerships with the New York Botanical Gardens among others, working upstate, typically the lone non-white face in her crowd in those projects, and now, sheâ€™s getting this big fancy food award along with Michael Pollan and some other fancy, white French guy. Wildly fascinating.
Wonderful news. I took a CPR/Heimlich training class through work last year and tonight I got to use it! Or rather, that’s not the good news. It’s more that Twin Daughter was choking and no one knew what was happening. Poor thing was choking on frozen yogurt stick; she was red in the face, distressed, and not making a sign — so you know, I could tell she was choking. I racked my mind to try to remember what the heck to do. Somehow, I remained uncharacteristically calm and applied the Heimlich maneuver on her. She threw up the green frozen yogurt and cried hysterically (great sign. Any child who is crying is breathing). It all ended well. She picked up right where she left off and started playing, and that was that. A short chapter, our girl got through this short incident with no long-term foul, and I feel like a bad-ass. Makes the tough day at work seem easy.
Sometimes, Miranda July can be annoyingly fey, like an anthropologie muse, which makes me throw up in my mouth a little, but she never goes Zooey Deschanel-annoying, so I will still click if I see her name online, because other times, my god, she does some amazing projects. This link is the short film she did to advertise Miu Miu clothes, in conjunction with an app she developed called â€œsomebody,â€ which works like this: text your message, choose a person geographically closest to your message recipient to deliver your message in person. The acting is neat, the writing is weird and funny, the set and cinematography are wonderful, and the ideas are just out there. She can exhibit a marvelous sensibility in her work and her observations of whatâ€™s going in first-world society, trying to connect her audience to each other and with the art through technology. All the costumes are actually clothes are from the Miu Miu Fall collection, which probably costs more than my mortgage, but here, looks like moth-ball eaten thrift store finds. Neat.
I am still mad about that Miranda July movie where a cat is character and had extensive voice over lines. That was not worth the babysitting money.