Monday, October 27, 2008

Through Someone Else's Eyes

Sometimes it is refreshing to see things from another person's perspective. For example...

  • Sitting on bails of hay in a farm trailer being pulled by a rusty tractor with a large, meaty-handed man at the wheel. Passing through fields of dry cornstalks, a miniature train cruising by, red and orange leaves falling from the trees. Surrounded by kids and parents, cradling the pumpkins they've just selected from the pumpkin patch. A source of unexpected bliss, which as cynical and sleepy adults, SNG and I recognized upon seeing this little reflection of the soul:

  • Arriving at the polling place on a Saturday, waiting in a line, and for the first time in your life, having a say in who runs the country. A friend of mine and her husband, both from China, have lived and worked in the US for over a decade. They have two children, both US citizens. After a ridiculously lengthy process and a class-action suit, last summer they finally completed their citizenship process. This week they voted in a national election, for the first time ever in any country. They are my age. Think on it a minute: for the first time they have a real voice in deciding the direction of government. It is easy for those of us who grew up here to take for granted. Some people, who could, don't bother to vote in general elections at all. Seeing this simple act of individual power from the perspective of someone who has never had it is humbling.

I voted today. Regardless of my choice of candidate, regardless of yours, I hope you have made your plan to go and vote, if you are eligible. In the end, whether you canvassed or made cold calls or donated money to a party or a grassroots organization or just sat on your couch watching reruns on Corner Gas, in the end, you have the same power as I do. It's more than some people will ever have in their lifetimes.

And just as lagniappe, this article gave me pause today. Sort of like realizing that your high school principal is a real person and not just an archetype, this lends a refreshing humanity to a topic that is far too easy to generalize.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

State Fair

We went to the state fair this morning with Dianaverse, PIC, c-baby and LeBon, and it was a blast. E-baby enjoyed the animals that were being shown, the flowers on exhibit, the kettle corn, the cotton candy (OH, that COTTON CANDY), the music, the bright colors.

E-baby was a real tropper about not touching any of the animals, and was pretty much OK with just looking and pointing and asking about "their mommies" and "their daddies," so when we found the Petting Zoo area of the fair, we indulged her. Also, c-baby wanted soooooo badly to touch the animals, which makes sense as she used to live near lots of animals that she was allowed to pet regularly. Poor kid, it was like they were holding out on her!

The petting zoo mostly had small goats, but also a couple of camels, some calves, and lambs. She had never had an animal eat from her hand before, and it was CRAAAAAZY COOL to her when she was able to give little disks of carrot to them. I have to admit I was watching her really carefully to be sure the hand never went toward her mouth/eyes/nose, but she never so much as scratched her head. All of us cleaned up really well afterwards, and I think she liked the tiny sink as much as the animals, because she washed and dried her hands three times.

Around time to go home, I won a teddy bear for her that has been named Cotton Candy, and he is e-baby's new best friend. Instead of falling right asleep at nap time, I could hear her in there giving Cotton Candy the low-down on her crib and its various amenities (blanket, chupons, pillow...).

Tangentially related to the fair-- the silver lining to apartment living is that we're right next to where they set off the nightly fireworks show at the fair. Every evening at 9:45, we step out onto the breezeway to front-row seats.

I'll have fair pictures up soon. Check back tomorrow when I can get some sleep. 'Night night!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Airport Open House

Our area is moving into the big-time by taking the previously odd terminal system and converting it to an inexplicable terminal system and eventually replacing the entire airport, bit-by-bit. When we moved here, construction was underway to rebuild and renovate Terminal C. Terminal A (a.k.a., The Bus Terminal) was very old and decrepit. After completion of the Terminal C renovation, Terminal A was renovated. BTW, there is no Terminal B. No sooner was the Terminal A renovation finished than the airport closed one half of Terminal C, demolished the Admiral's Club, and renovated the closed section. Admiral's Club became Admiral's Hallway, with fabric dividers between the lowly people whose companies paid an exorbitant annual fee and the lowly travelers whose companies do not. The closed section reopened, a new Admiral's Club opened, and the other half was demolished just in time to begin construction on Terminal 2.

Yes, that's right. A, 2, C.

As soon as Terminal 2 opens this month, the recently renovated Terminal C (and its new and miniaturized Admiral's Club) will be demolished, to be replaced by the Other Half of Terminal 2. Then, Terminal A will be demolished to make room for Terminal 1.

Confused? Try living here!

Terminal 2 had to be given a totally different kind of name because it cost so darn much money and it is so much bigger and fancier and prettier, that it can't possibly even be listed in the same data type as Terminals A and C.

All of this serves as segue to my story of what we did last weekend. Saturday morning was the Open House for the new Terminal 2, with free vendor samples, tours, activities for kids, TSA agents sporting brand-new royal blue shirts and being as surly as ever explaining the 3-1-1 rule (again!), K-9 officers with their own collector's cards, someone in a Curious George costume, and lots of moving walkways for people to test-ride. SNG, e-baby and I went and PIC and c-baby met us there. The kids loved it, and I was happy to have a sneak preview at my new future home-away-from-home. I didn't get to see the new Admiral's Club. I am afraid that maybe there won't be one. Or perhaps it will be temporarily located in the "family restroom" until The Other Half of Terminal 2 is finished.

And speaking of airlines, I am in Indianapolis. just for one night, but leaving on a Sunday morning really put a cramp in my mood. E-baby took it much better than I thought she would. She told me bye-bye, gave me kisses, and was really just excited about the prospect of daddy taking her to the playground as soon as they dropped me at the airport. We had a video call this evening, and she showed off several tricks. No tears. Still, I can't wait to get home tomorrow night.

Here are a few pictures from the open house:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sick, Sick, Sick

I caught some creeping crud thing from e-baby this week. She had a fever Tuesday and stayed home on Wednesday, and I'm staying home today. I felt worse yesterday, but with all the coughing and the high risk of losing my voice (again!), and with teaching in Indianapolis on Monday, it's better to just keep my crud quietly at home.

I go sleep now.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I Have Learned This Lesson Before

This morning, e-baby and I went out to play with c-baby and PIC. The girls ran themselves silly at the playground, and afterwards we went out for lunch. When we left, it wasn't all that late, but it was getting close to e-baby's nap time. She was asleep around the time we left the restaurant parking lot. With the drive to PIC's house and the drive home again, it would have been impossible to keep her awake, but I held out hope that I'd be able to get her upstairs without waking her up, and she'd still get a nap. HA! Not on a bright sunny day. So for the next 90 minutes, e-baby screamed like her hair was on fire. No words, just hyperventalating, panicky, eyes-half-closed screaming. We eventually gave up on sleep and put her back into the car. SNG dropped me at Target, and e-baby settled down on the way there. They drove around aimlessly for another hour while I shopped. She, staring into space (but not sleeping) and he wondering just how far you can go on Holly Springs Rd before it becomes something else. She was never back to normal the rest of the day, and I think her missing the nap took its toll on me-- I am POOPED. She was asleep by 8:00, though.

I am newly obsessed with this stuff. In the past, Crystal Light hasn't been one of my favorite things. IN fact, I usually don't care for it-- it tastes too much like artificial sweetener. But this one is just SO GOOD. And best of all? It mixes to a shade of red that can only come from nature or a laboratory.

Speaking of consumer goods, about a year ago I mentioned to my dentist that my teeth were cold-sensitive and always had been as long as I could recall. He gave me a sample of Brand X sensitive toothpaste. I loved it. I couldn't find it at the store. So instead I got Brand Y sensitive, and it was OK. Not great, but OK. Fast-forward to yesterday. I decided to try for the Brand X again. No luck on the Sensitive, but they did have Brand X Total Nighttime, which claims to make your teeth whiter, less sentitive, less plaquey and tartery, straighter, pearlier, bite-ier, and to eliminate morning breath, along with whatever else they could think of to attribute to one single active ingredient. I took my bountiful promise home and tried it out before bed. No sooner had I rinsed and spit when I realized that ever bit of mucous membrane that had contacted the toothpaste was swollen and painful. It didn't go away. I woke up feeling like I had a terrible sore throat and the insides of my cheeks, lips, roof of my mouth all felt like I'd gargled with Drano. I compared the tube to the other three varieties of toothpaste I have (yeah, variety is good) and none of them used the same type of flouride, true, but the "inactive ingredient" list was fully twice as long as anything else I already owned, so who knows which thing I'm allergic to. I just know I'll never use it again.

At Target today I found the Brand X Sensitive like my dentist gave me. It is good. The mouth lye has been banished.

Wanna see pictures from the birthday party? Finally, here they are. Thanks, Dianaverse, for all of the cute pictures!

Friday, October 3, 2008

No One Here But Us Owls

There's really nothing going on and I'm just blogging to keep in practice. E-baby's birthday party last weekend was a blast, and it seemed like everyone had a wonderful time start to finish. I have pictures, but I haven't posted them yet. Yeah, yeah, I'll get around to it before the next birthday.

Minor headline news is that I'm still doing fine, gestationally speaking, at 20 weeks (half-way there!) and am pretty much on track with the weight and not so much on track with the exercise; e-baby is an owl this week (and I'm her mommy-owl, and SNG is her daddy-owl, and little owls have a special way of walking, sort of a short-strided penguin waddle with the knees locked straight while saying, of course, "hoo-hoo!"); Bob the Builder is hanging sheetrock in our house next week; we had dinner dates with friends 2 nights in a row (both were lots of fun, both with e-baby).

Next week is the last week I'm home before a trip to Indianapolis. I hate that I'm leaving on a Sunday at noon. I can't even put e-baby down for her nap and sneak away. The week after that I go to DC, but those are the only two business trips until December.

Ummmm, so really, not a whole lot going on.