Tuesday, January 30, 2007

we've been...

sick, scheming, baking, making soup, enjoying the cooler days, writing letters that won't be sent, sewing shirts and skirts, reading, sudokuing, cleaning, taking pictures, worrying, waiting, receiving fantastic packages, using our "new" baby trekker, flipping through the new dwell, thinking, and scheming some more.

hopefully this next week will include more abc learning, arts/crafts for all family members, park time, nature walking, more baking, more sewing, less fretting, less scheming, more action, less sickness. i hope that by mid-week we will all be genki once more. jason and sebastian have been the true victims, please hope that it leaves our home without touching nico. i hope all is well with you and yours. take care.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

on second thought...

i am publishing a correction to the previous post. please ignore it, especially all references to becoming a teacher. hastily written in a desperate mind set. apologies for any confusion it might have caused.

Friday, January 26, 2007

for the boys

i knew that it wouldn't be easy to find a job but what i didn't realize was that it would be nearly impossible. i have felt disappointed, depressed, and disillusioned. the latter state of mind is actually the most promising. i know now what matters to me at this point is taking care of my family and to do that i am going to go the most reasonable direction. i am going to return to school to become a secondary school social science teacher. there is a program at the university of florida that will enable me to get my master's in education in one year. this coming fall i will begin as a post-bac student because i have to take ten (yes, 10) classes to enter the program. 30 credits. it turns out that all the interesting classes like "magic, science, and witchcraft" don't count towards a teaching certificate. again, i do not regret my major. anthropology has helped me understand the world and my place in it as well as being a parent. that is more valuable to me than a career. but the fact remains that we have to pay for jason's schooling as well as bring these two monkeys up. and the wonderful thing is that i will be able to teach at international schools when we are ready to leave the states again (though truth be told, we are pretty much ready to leave now, in our hearts at least). anyway, just thought i would share. hope all is well with you and yours. take care.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

same old story

a reluctant girl pursues a college degree with hopes of leaving the realm of minimum wage forever. makes good marks, becomes confident, some would even say cocky, lands a terrific job that she fails to fully appreciate, returns to the herds of job hunters and after a series of interviews that go nowhere, finds herself standing in a line at starsucks ordering a soy mocha and an application.
(in fact my story has already been a full length feature film, you know with diapers instead of cigarettes)

the moral of this tale? so many in fact. not that i regret my education but if i wanted to be on a career track i should have sought internships, grad school. now i have a fancy degree and will probably be serving lattes to my old professors. here's the moral: pride cometh before a fall. or how about how the mighty have fallen? but i never considered myself mighty. just a mama to two with a little student loan in need of payments. what are my options at this point? continue to submit applications. wait and see how that community organizer position pans out. start applying to grad school. but for what? you may ask. well, if i hurry i could submit my application for the master's in mass communication. or i could get a post-bac in literature and then go to grad school. or, or, or.... i could find a tiny island flush with mangos and bananas and teach tourists how to go spear fishing. or work in a factory popping heads onto doll bodies. i mean, what does it matter? the alps will be barren of glaciers in 2050 and the moon is disintegrating and we'll be pulled into the sun and if nothing else the sun will become a red dwarf in billions of years so all this work and worry about human civilization is meaningless. and that is such a relief because that means we don't have to value one life or career over another. everyone is equal and free, right? anyway, i am sure things will work out. as the great george michael once said:

****because i have had a some mixed responses to my recent resolution, let me emphasis that it is my resolution taken on because the interweb is such a great sucker of time. i love reading blogs, they are great for inspiration and help me feel less alone as a mother trying to live as our banner states. so don't think i was fishing for comments to be left, i really don't care either way. i like comments but i know that most of the time there is nothing that needs to be said. writing comments is my way of being aware of how my time is being spent because i have so little non-mothering time. okay? take care*****

Monday, January 22, 2007

a wise man once said...

this is a really fantastic video with ginsberg that i thought i would share with you. happy monday.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

poetry thursday

this week's assignment was to take a line from another partipant's poem and weave it into an original piece. i chose: "there they are, wandering the streets of my life" by GreenishLady. (i must preface this by saying i will probably continue to edit this as it was written while one of my boys kept pushing his trains on my arms). take care.

in the beginning, there were boys.
my mother worried, my father frowned.
there were constant reminders to
cross my ankles
long before i understood what
a pair of loose ankles were capable of.
though i was in public school, i was made
increasingly private
in too long skirts and buttoned-up blouses.
yet despite the precautions, the boys still came.
randy, and alan, and brian, and mitchell,
and jason
frankie, bruce, chris, mike, robert, eric, and paul
when i close my eyes
there they are, wandering the streets of my life.
i, the early bloomer, in my awkward style
spent most of my pollen before twenty
on boys who have forgotten by now.
so when i gave birth to my first son
and then my second
i praised the fates for being gracious enough
to deny me a daughter
with ankles to worry about
and leave me,
in the end,
surrounded by boys.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

another resolution

i have vowed that i will no longer read blogs unless i have the time to post comments. this is just my personal resolution, you shouldn't feel the need to follow it yourself. unless, of course, you want to. i personally have no objections. i just want to spend more, um, quality time online and part of that is being more interactive and less voyeuristic. good idea, yes? i think so.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

you are here right now

inspired by this project, i present some images from my morning.

Monday, January 15, 2007

tea party

please come to my corner of the tea party where life will be sepia toned for a few seconds. we have some green tea from uji, the town famous for its fine tea, that we brought back with us. uji is on the train line a few stops from kyoto, you can see the hedges of tea bushes rolling over the hills in ridges from the train. this particular tea was a gift from some dear friends and so we only bring it out on special occasions like this. unfortunately we don't currently have a proper tea pot but we find that our french press serves the purpose quite well. i made some vegan chocolate cookies that are so good in fact, i will probably have to make more.

nico is joining the party, but please excuse him if he dozes off...

the purity of the tea washes the sepia away...

and don't worry, we have plenty of tea cups for everyone.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

week in review

monday: after i wrote all that cheery junk, i was almost swept away in the undertow of my ocean of stress. it was a rough day.
tuesday: decided that it would be a new and better day. wrote to the cummer museum to volunteer my services. cleaned the house, finished all the laundry, made dinner hours before dinner time along with my favorite vegan cheesecake, took sebastian to free night at the museum.
wednesday: applied at the ymca for financial assistance so i can afford a membership and use their babysitting services so i can swim. i want to swim so badly, every muscle, every cell in my being awaits the y's decision. i had a phone interview for a community organizer trainee position. i have a 1.75% chance of getting it so i am not holding my breath. but it was educational. i had never had a phone interview before so i now i know what to do.
thursday: cleaned house (do you see a theme in my life), went to the park, bought some shoes, made eggplant curry.
friday: went to the downtown library for storytime. got some lauren child books, more bonjour les amis dvds and a montessori dvd called preschool power! which sebastian is mesmerized by. i checked out some pound and jeffers and john holt books for myself. checked out the farmer's market at hemming plaza. waited to hear back from wednesday's interview but nothing came of it so i made these cookies to cheer myself up. they did the trick. made a list of items to sew to sell, thought of more directions for my microbusiness to go. walked around the park at dusk and watched the sunset.

all in all, a rather tame week. hope all is well with you and yours. take care.

Friday, January 12, 2007

poetry thursday

this week's theme was to work on a cliche. i chose "take a walk in the other man's shoes" and used it to sort through my grief for a mother who was murdered in her new orleans home january fourth.

helen hill

with the news of your death
my compassion dissolved
into a thin membrane
translucent and vulnerable
i felt around my heart
for your murderer's shoes
so i could slip them on
in the darkness i could not
make out the color or size
but i can tell you, dear helen,
that hours after francis became
a motherless child,
the shoes remain warm

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

getting along

our life as a four person family is starting to settle. we are experiencing a period of grace, calm days and almost calm nights. it is an adjustment but we are learning. sebastian makes life easier for nico; he teaches us that both the good and the bad times will pass and through it all they will keep growing. today, for instance, we got caught in a big down pour on our way to the laundrymat and though sebastian doesn't care for the rain, he was more concerned for nico. what a big, big brother. i watch him sleep with his long black eyelashes and his solid feet and i can hardly believe he was once a tiny one like nico.
i finally claimed some space as my own. i finished a skirt today and will start on a shirt this evening. i have a growing list of projects including some clothes for the boys using my maternity dresses. not that they no longer fit me but i am tired of them and want to see them go further.

jason has all sorts of plans for this place and our time here. i am still a bit stressed/depressed about the jobless situation but this too will pass. i am happy to be able to create again and hope that eventually this will become profitable. ideally we could make at least a partial living from our cottage industries.

i hope everyone is well. take care.

Monday, January 08, 2007

a day away from the city

last weekend we drove up to kingsley plantation and fort george to take some photos. unfortunately, it started raining ten minutes after arriving but we still succeeded in getting out of the city for a bit. kingsley plantation was a farming operation pre-civil war and these buildings are the remains of the slave quarters. here is nico looking very milk drunk. he weighs 13 lbs. and is 24 inches long already.

okay, so this is a bit cheesy, but still....

the following were taken from the car and it was raining but i wanted to share with a & r. i hope we see you in 2007.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

by the way...

in case you are interested in helping the kim family, please take a look at the kim family auction. it is an online arts and crafts auction. all proceeds go to the James Kim Memorial Fund. it is truly amazing how deeply people were affected by this tragedy. if nothing else, just take a peak at the auction because everything there is absolutely beautiful and inspiring. take care.

4 days into it

Not much news to report here. Still no job for me. We need a new USB cord to upload pictures, that's why I am using my archived pictures here and you aren't seeing how huge and beautiful Nico is now. I am taking control of Sebastian's room and will convert one corner into a sewing space for me. I am really excited as all of my materials, notions, and tools are now organized neatly in the drawers that used to be crammed with Sebastian's junk. Besides for my own clothes and bags, another sewing project that tops the list is bonnets for babies and kids. I am also designing a shelf for Sebastian's educational materials; Jason and I are both on board in terms of homeschooling and we hope to start his classes next week. Sebastian is really excited about "school" and so am I. We need some structure in our lives. I discussed with my midwife yesterday about becoming a doula. I don't think I want to be a birth doula but a pregnancy and post-partum doula. I have been speaking with women in the office both pregnant and post-partum and the thread that ties them together is a sense of isolation. I would like to be available to women during this time in their life to ease their loneliness and apprehensions. In other news, my change in diet is going well. I like the clean, kind feeling of being a vegan. I also have been gluten-free in support of Jason so that might attribute to my sense of well-being. I also like the sense of contributing to a more peaceful world. We all must do our part. Well, that is about all. Hope all is well with you and yours. Take care.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

2007 resolutions: an opus

well, we rang in the new year and went to the first light ceremony at the dharma center. 108 candles were lit, rice and beans were eaten. i made chocolate vegan, gluten-free cupcakes for everyone but surprisingly they were too busy devouring greens with hog jowls and pork eggrolls. to each her own. so, on to the resolutions/promises/plans:

*-transition to a vegan diet for the purpose of lightening my impact on the planet. it helps that it will also benefit my waistline and health in general.-*
*-design and implement a homeschool curriculum for sebastian based on montessori and unschooling methods-*
*-sew or thrift all clothes possible-*
*-try to make or buy second-hand anything we need before we buy from retail stores-*
*-limit the amount of plastic bought and brought into our house-*
*-exercise daily starting with walking or yoga then eventually (when i have the income/time to afford it) swim at least three times a week-*
*-write at least one page of fiction/poetry daily-*
*-study japanese in preparation for JLPT 3-*
*-start microbusiness selling handmade goods-*
*-container garden-*
*-find full time job that pays well locally-*
*-jason will continue working part-time to save for school-*
*-spend less time online-*

and so with the last resolution in mind, i must be off. i have to organize sebastian's room, start dinner, and finish the dishes so i can start on the clothes i am making for myself. two skirts and three shirts. wish me skill and time. hope you are having a delightful 2007. may you find much happiness in the coming year. take care.