Archive for December, 2009
The garland. It got hung. On December 24th by BF.
Twitter. I’m on there. Are you? If so, let me know so I can look you up. I don’t completely get it but I am slowly coming to the 21st century.
The book. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I sat my fanny down in my chair all day long yesterday and typed and typed and typed. My fanny and wrists may never be the same, but this book is almost done. That sound you hear? The soundtrack to my dance of joy. Although, it will soon be replaced by the soundtrack of anxiety and nerves. See, turning a book into an editor is sort of like telling someone you love him/her first. You just don’t have any idea what he or she is going to say back. You think that it might be that he or she loves you, too, but there’s that minute of silence (or in the case of turning in a book and waiting, weeks, weeks of silence). And that silence is maddening! What does it mean? Did the tilting of his head as he heard me say it mean he loves me too? Or does it mean he pities me. Ay.
You likely remember that we traveled to Ethiopia last January with three other families. One family was the Andersons and they adopted two little boys who we just adore. The boys are deaf and Jillian, their mom is a sign language interpreter.
The other day, I surfed over to her blog and came across a post that included this story:
We recently received a Christmas card from Rosie’s family. Her and her husband’s little baby was in our travel group, and Morgan Yisak loves him dearly. It had 3 pictures of baby A on there…Morgan Yisak asked if he had turned one years old yet.
“Yes, he is one now,” I told him.
He pumped both fists in the air and slightly leaped off the ground and giggled. He signed, “He made it! I love baby A. He not dead.”
Turning one is a huge celebration to Morgan Yisak-it means they made it out of infancy and the loom of death and sickness.
Morgan is 7 years old and, yet he already knows how precious, how fleeting, how impermanent life is. He knows that it can be taken from you in a moment, that nothing is guaranteed, that life itself is reason for celebration. On Tuesday, December 29th, we will celebrate the day our adoption was legalized in Ethiopia. In honor of our baby and in memory of all the babies who do not make it to their first birthdays, we will make a donation to Hopemongers as part of our celebration of this union because we believe that the only just world is one where turning one is not a surprise.
The garland is still on the table on the porch– not around the door.
100 pages are completely ready to be sent into my editor. 300 to go.
I ate 2 cupcakes today because I deserved them (or so I say). That’s one cupcake for every 50 pages. At this rate, I will have 8 cupcakes by the time I finish this book. I will need to put a disclaimer on the book cover that says, “8 cupcakes were consumed in finishing this book.” Only problem is that there is not one more cupcake in this house. Guess I’ll have to stop at 2.
I am like a teenage boy when it comes to NFL and fantasy football. I get nervous, I sulk, I whine, I lament. It’s absurd. I don’t get this way about anything in my life– especially anything I have control over– and, yet, I exhibit all of these behaviors on football Sunday.
Happy Candelas has found all sorts of new hiding places for his milk, water, my make-up, etc. When you can’t think of where else it might possibly be, look in the tub or the hamper.
Why does Happy only express interest in what is in his diaper when I REALLY don’t want him having any part of it? And how come he’s so fast and dodgy?
Lola can be very creepy when she feels like it. These days, with her mama on book deadline, she feels like it a lot. She stands behind me, stares are my back, and breathes heavily on me. I feel like she knows something I don’t know. And it is freaking me out, man!
So, as soon as the Christmas tree post went up, my friend Laura sent me this funny photograph of what they are doing to keep their toddler out of the tree. This one totally had me laughing– Laura is clearly a much more creative problem solver than I am!
So, I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions of late. They go like this…
Why did I think it was a good idea to write a 4oo page book?
And, if I had good reasons for that, why did I wait to reread a single page until after all 400 pages were written (and realizing I didn’t remember a darn thing from page 1 to 250 to 400. Why, yes, I did tell the same stories over and over again, knocking the page count back down so that I still have more pages to write)?
Hmmm, is that the garland I bought for the front door still sitting on the table on our front porch? Should we get that up before next week?
Did Lola eat this morning? Did I?
Why do gray hairs always sprout in my part line, sticking straight up like bamboo shoots?
Why does our refrigerator look distinctly like my college refrigerator– that is to say that all you will find in there is milk, Coke, cheese, and hummus. Not sure what I will eat the hummus with other than my finger. Oh and there’s applesauce, too. I’m thinking every single one of my family members would like me to go to the grocery store soon.
Here is what a Happy Candelas-proofed Christmas Tree looks like…
Wait for it…
So, this week is crunch time. I have grading to get done by Friday, an article to write on umbilical cord blood, and hundreds of pages to edit as well as front matter and back matter (acknowledgments, table of contents, dedication, notes section, user’s guide) to write so some of this week’s posts will be snapshots of our life again as most of my writing power goes to deadlines.
On Thursday, Happy Candelas learned how to put together the whole sequence of enjoying the slide at the local tot lot (the first time he and I had gone together to this one). Here’s how it unfolded:
So, when I was a girl, we spoke Spanish at home My parents often allowed us to come up with the word we were looking for so that we could go on with the conversation rather than interrupting the flow and saying, “How do I say this in Spanish” and getting lost in a tangent (as my family is apt to do). It means that I learned real Spanish and Rosie Spanish and Rosie Spanish can be dangerous.
Case in point: I was once late to Spanish mass, where I was meeting my parents on my first day home for the holidays. I had driven there after work from North Carolina and holiday traffic and the like was just a bit too much. I arrived about five minutes late, ducked in, found a seat and went up to my parents after the service. The whole congregation (it felt like) gathered around me, as they do when anyone’s child comes home for the holidays. I smiled and greeted and hugged and then someone teased me for being late. I am so sorry that I was late, I said in Spanish. “Estoy muy embarrassada.” The smiles on the faces of the priest and the congregants disappeared. “Because I am late,” I further explained, thinking they had missed my point. My mother leaned over. “You’re embarrassed, m’ija, not pregnant. Embarrassada is pregnant.” Then I was really embarrassed.
So things get lost in translation with my family all of the time, but today’s episode has me bent over laughing. Talking to my mom this morning on the phone, she chastized me because she still did not have wish lists from me and my husband (we have this conversation about this time every year). She then went on to say that my sister had given her ideas for her husband and that she was getting my brother-in-law an owl.
“An owl?” I said. “He wants a bird? Where the heck is this owl going to live?”
“Up in the trees in their backyard. They already have some that live there, but he wants one of his own.”
“So your Christmas present to him is just going to be able to fly away after you spend money buying it?”
“No, your sister said it would just stay in the tree. That’s what they like to do.”
“Mom, I must not be understanding you right. He wants you to buy him a bird? Where can you buy him that?”
“At Wild Birds Unlimited, your sister said. And, no, I am telling you right. In English, they spell it O-W-L.”
I drop the subject because it is the most outlandish thing I’ve heard. And when we get off the phone, I have to call my sister.
“Scott wants an owl for Christmas?” I ask without even saying hello.
“An owl?” My sister says. ”No, he wants a screech owl box.”
I lose it, cackling in my sister’s ear.
“Mom thinks Scott wants an owl.”
“Well that explains the very weird conversation I had with her yesterday,” my sister tells me. “She told me that she was just going to give me the money to get Scott’s Christmas present because they couldn’t keep it for him at home until Christmas. I asked her why not and she said, ’It’s too big’ and all I could think of was ‘it’s not that big’.”
“She didn’t want to keep your darn owl,” I tell my sister, ”and who can blame her.” And then I laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh until I can’t breathe anymore.
I’ve posted on here in the past about a documentary called America the Beautiful. Filmmaker Darryl Roberts is heading up a campaign to boycott Ralph Lauren because of the severe photoshopping done for the company’s ads. Here is the backstory from the America the Beautiful web-site:
In late September, an ad by fashion giant Ralph Lauren surfaced in the United States showing an image of recently fired Filippa Hamilton that was so drastically retouched that the 120 lb 23 year old model looked sickly, emaciated, and almost alien.
The popular Blogsites photoshopdisasters.blogspot.com and boingboing.net commented on the image, and soon a lawsuit appeared, as well as nationwide criticism of the ad. Following the uproar, the 8 year model of Ralph Lauren, spoke out to reveal the shocking truth that she was fired from the company for being too fat to fit into their sample clothing. Ralph Lauren released a statement to the Daily News stating that Filippa is “a beautiful and healthy” woman, but their relationship ended “as a result of her inability to meet the obligations under her contract with us.”
After receiving tons of negative press, the company apologized for the photoshopped image saying, “We have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body.”
Unfortunately, we’ve learned that this apology was empty and insincere, as two more ads emerged; showing equally, if not even more drastically altered female models. No comments yet from Mr. Lauren and his “apologize as I get caught” policy on the two additional photoshopped models. There was simply not enough press.
On behalf of all the girls who feel ugly, overweight, and just not-good-enough;
On behalf of the parents who worry, cry, strive to help their daughters, and shell out $20,000 a month and above for eating disorder treatment centers;
On behalf of all the Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Aunts, women everywhere who have ever been made to feel insecure by the magazines, billboards, ads, and television commercials;
We are calling for the Boycott of Ralph Lauren products.
No more insincere Apologies, no more tiptoeing around the seriousness of this matter, we need a FIRM COMMITMENT from Ralph Lauren and his company that he will put an end to this egregious type of advertising forever. Please join the Boycott and help stop the suffering of women everywhere!
And here is what Darryl needs right now (from an email he sent out today):
We MUST get 10,000 people signed up to the Facebook boycott page by Friday. The specific details as to why this is so important are below.
If you want to sign up before you read the rest of this newsletter, then sign up and come back. Thanks!
Sign up for the public boycott of Ralph Lauren here:
If that link doesn’t work – go to: http://www.facebook.com/boycottralph
This boycott isn’t about Ralph Lauren per se’, (even though his recent ads are the worse I’ve seen) it’s about the entire industry.
If Ralph Lauren buckles from all of the publicity and grassroots support that we mount, we’ll send a message to the entire industry that we’ve had enough.