Monday, November 28, 2011

Brainstorming for the Epic Thanksgiving blog... please add

Kids shooting guns
Bowling with dad (bowling balls and pins coming back up the lane, scarfing popcorn and leftover French fries, Lucy's disregard for her throw, Colin running around without a shirt)
Kids learning the star wars song (It's not true!)
Oaxaca
After dinner dance at the studio
Sweet tomatoes
Messiah sing a long (Gordon walking up the aisle to sing a solo)
Ultimate frisbee
Soccer and frisbee with Dad
Tongue tacos (It's like making out with a cow!)
Blessing Gwen
Beards
Chris's pictures from China
Lucy's baptism (list more about this)
Puzzles (3 of them!)
Apocalypse Chart (I think we should all get a little bit drunk)
Rachel's countries of the world song x4
Star Wars movie
pie pie pie (including Mockingjay pie)
Going to that one movie
Boys night of football and man movie
Taking pictures of the kids
Theo singing
Auberry Ward
Visiting Mr. Van
Singing hymns ("Nearer My God to Thee" under the stars)
Ag Farm/Nature Trail run
Building a teepee with the kids

(some more from v)
Tim buying us tacos and the fancy bottled drinks at Don Pepe's
Doing the haka with Joel
Sparkling pomegranate juice
Cheese platter
Chris and Gordon having an in-depth discussion about cheese
The memorable disaster of watching star wars, and the kids' song "someone move this walking carpet".
Sarah actually enjoying her food at Oaxaca
Eric playing ultimate frisbee and liking it
Breakfast at the Chicken Pie Shop with dad and Kathy (sorry for those of you who don't remember this)
The cousins kneeling in the front to watch Lucy be baptized
Tim confirming Lucy
Beth and Gordon singing and making Grandma Ashby smile.
Jerry, Mike, Grandpa Brown, Dean, Matt, Mark Porter, Gordon, Chris, and Tim all gathered around to bless my baby.
Colin sticking his face down the ball return at the bowling alley
Claire and Gordon talking with me in the mothers lounge at church while Gwen took a nap on the floor.
Playing in the leaves in front of dad's house
Sarah and I throw 4 cats into the back of her car and drive off on a rescue mission

from Carrie:
ME shooting guns!
Making Lucy wait in the dressing room after her baptism, even though she was ready to come back out, so that you guys would have time to sing "Abide With Me"
Listening to everyone sing "Abide With Me"
Fairy Blight
Damn hard iridescent foil Star Wars puzzle
The look on Rachel's face when she misheard the words "tentacle in my taco"
Realizing that I really do like Ultimate Frisbee
The brief moment of excited 'in your FACE!' sensation that I had when I slapped down Jackson's pass. Before I realized that Jackson is four.
"United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru"
Parasite Apocalypse....NOT!
Feeling ridiculously fond of my brothers-in-law. All of them.
Driving up the hill with Rachel, listening to great music loud on her stereo system. Stepping out of the car into the cold Auberry night under the best stars I've seen in a long, long time.
Putting Lucy on the roof at Dad's house.
the ribbon salad of resistance that never was
Ditching class to hang out with the Thomas kids behind the church building
Watching Gwen suck the juice out of a pomegranate with gusto
Having Mark Porter make me laugh






Saturday, November 12, 2011

My kid's got game- how did THAT happen?!

Theo ended his 2011 soccer season today with an award for being the "fastest" player. As you'll see, that's not a major accomplishment, but it does kind of warm a mother's heart.
video video

Sunday, November 6, 2011

tim "the man" lawrence














So Tim and I went to the Kern river this weekend. Tim was on a 5 man team from his fly fishing club, participating in a competition put on every year there. The morning was cold, clear, and windy in the canyon. Cold - fine, clear- good, windy - not good. We met everyone at the local fly shop at 7:30am and I volunteered to be a
controller.

The river is divided up into 45 sections, some 200 yards long, some only 50 feet. Some fishable, some not so good (read: 12 inches of water over sand). Everyone drew two sections, one beat for the morning, one beat for the afternoon. You get 2 hours in the am, break for lunch, 2 hours in the afternoon. They mix it up, so you get different types of water, and everyone has a chance at some good spots. Each spot is assigned a controller, who keeps track of time, measures the fish, and keeps record.

So I lost track of Tim, because I was taken up to the river and shown a section of river to "control". I was introduced to a high powered business woman from LA, who was on an all-woman team. I watched as she "geared up" (which takes quite a while), we climbed down the bank to the river, and found our flags, marking our beat. At 10am straight up, I yelled out to her (she was in the river) "GO!" and she started fishing. For the first 20 min or so, I watched, my measuring tube and pencil in hand, ready to jump to her side. After an hour, it became apparent, that nothing was happening, nor was likely to happen. So I read my book. Once she called out, scaring the daylights out of me, but it was just a bite. Nothing ever broke the surface. At 2 hours exactly I called time, and she waded out. "well, I got that one bite!" she said. Huh. Ok, you be excited about that.

Then we went for lunch. Tim only had 1 measurable (they have to be at least 25cm) fish. Everyone else was the same or less. It was pretty slow. Most guys had none. So then we went back out there for the afternoon section. I had another older woman who was so happy to be away from her telecommunications job in LA and standing in a river. She moved slow, and was very, um, consistent. Fished the same paths in the river over and over. This time I went straight for a comfy rock and told her to call if she needed me. After freezing and reading for 2 hours, we hiked back. She got absolutely nothing. But she didn't seem to mind.

So I drove back to the shop to meet up with Tim and turn in my papers. There was a lot of talk - "I got skunked!" and "I got 2 but they were too small". Of the 4 other guys on Tim's team, only 2 caught fish that were barely measurable. Everyone was saying it was a crazy hard fishing day. There was one rumor that an older guy on another team had caught a really big trout, but nobody knew for sure. Then Tim showed up. So how did you do?

"um... 4."

Everyone went crazy. It was way more than anyone else. And then, as we keep digging, it comes out that he actually caught 9 (NINE!), but only 4 were long enough. The rest of his team dropped to their knees, literally, and bowed to his fishing awesomeness.

Then it comes out, with much prying, that his controller was too lazy to come down to the river, so with each fish, he had to wade out of the water (not easy), and climb the bank up to the road where she was sitting in her chair with her bullhorn (no joke), for her to measure and record, then hurry and climb back down to release the fish and go again. Those 2 hours fly by for a fisherman, so that was a lot of lost time.
Well out of 45 fishermen, he got second place! And the only reason he didn't get first, was because of that one old guy who caught one whopper. Tim beat him by total inches, but he won because of extra points for the fish being so large. Because of Tim, his team got second in the team competition.

But the best part of the whole thing was watching how happy Tim was. He knew everyone, and they all were SO happy to talk to him. "Tim! TIM! How are you, man!" "Oh your TIM's wife! We love him. What a nice guy!" He was really well known, and would talk for a long time to lots of different (and sometimes strange) people. He walked right up to a couple just walking out of the fly shop and shook their hands. I came up in time to figure out that he didn't know them at all, he was just introducing himself and asking them questions about where they were from.

He got his major award (a bag of marshmallows), everyone got plastered (which was actually really funny), and we drove home.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thoughts from your Dear Leader

It all started with Beth pointing out that Viv is a cyborg. Which she is. But that just opened up the topic- if Viv is a cyborg, then what are the rest of us? Surely we can all be iconic sci fi/fantasy characters too...


Rachel is a sprite. A fairy. An ethereal being who traverses the world followed by trails of stars and rainbows. She has unbelievably good luck. She leaves no footprints. She doesn't eat anything. As once pointed out by Viv, she will show up for a week-long visit with only a half-full school backpack for luggage. She never complains about the pish-posh because she actually isn't constrained by corporeal boundaries. As Wikipedia points out, she is "mostly harmless unless threatened."




As already mentioned, Viv is a cyborg. A "self-regulating human-machine system" with "physical or mental abilities far exceeding a human counterpart."(Wikipedia again) Consider: (and please use your best robot voice to read this part)
"I will learn to cook...(2 months elapse)...cooking accomplished."
"Advanced degree desired...(18 months later)...MBA accomplished."
"Ten o'clock is bedtime. It is ten o'clock. Therefore, I am going to bed."
"Will follow strict parenting guidelines...total consistency achieved...cyborg unit Levi in progress.."
I could go on, but those of you who know Vivian already know what I'm talking about.



Claire's character didn't even require discussion. We've all known for years that Claire's role is that of genius IT/communications expert. Need to dock your spaceship in a hailstorm, but don't know current wind speed velocities? Claire's your girl. Need to override the security cameras at Grand Central Station in 2 1/2 minutes? Claire again. Need someone with an accurate ear, fast fingers, a keen ability to filter out the important information in a matter of seconds, and who can kick your butt without getting up from behind her desk? You guessed it. CLAIRE.

I don't remember who suggested it, but Sarah is the Blue Fairy from Sleeping Beauty. Adorable, helpful, amiable but not a pushover, and tuned in to things like small children and bunnies in the forest. Merryweather is the bravest of the three fairies, and also the one who saves the day by changing Sleeping Beauty's death curse into a sleeping one. Raise your hand if Sarah has ever saved your day...Yep. See what I mean?

When Beth first heard about this topic, she asked if she could be the wise oracle on a hill. Um...no. That is WAY too calm for Beth. No, Beth is the Wizard of OZ. At first you are intimidated by the giant head with flames, and all the crazy activity, then you start to suspect that maybe she's just a regular person, pulling a bunch of levers, but THEN you realize that even that is kind of magical, really. She's good hearted, and she doesn't like to be caught exaggerating behind the curtain. Sorry, Beth, Wizard of Oz it is. Props to Sydney for suggesting it.

Now, I realize that I'm the only one who has been allowed to choose their own character, but I've tried not to be too easy on myself:

Once upon a time, in a famous group chat, my sisters referred to me as a "tiny, tempermental figurehead ruler who is more of a nuisance than actually evil, like Kim Jong Il." While I know that Kim Jong Il isn't exactly a sci fi villian, he does kind of SEEM like one, doesn't he? Can't you just imagine him piloting his crazy spaceship around the galaxy, laughing maniacally and forcing his subjects to read his ridiculously long, pointless blog posts?