Thursday, May 29, 2008

Brush with Fame


So, the other night after the big Pink Martini show, we were walking back to the car, when we saw the great Thomas Lauderdale (their pianist/director) signing autographs outside the backstage door. He is a sort of strange little man. For some reason he carries a red plastic backpack all around but never seems to open it. But he's HUGELY talented, and a funny story-teller. So, anyway, I got a piece of paper and pen from Kev (always prepared!) and asked Thomas Lauderdale, not for his autograph, but for the name and composer of a piece played as a duet by him and Nicolas Corosa, the violinist in the group. He was very nice, and wrote it down for me. I swear to you, this was one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard. I was in tears by the end.
I just bought a version by Joshua Bell from iTunes, and it's good, but it just isn't the same. I don't think you can capture something like that in a recording. Especially when you have to listen to it on computer speakers. Maybe it will sound better when I use the iPod dock. I'm not crazy about Joshua Bell anyway. But, it's better than nothing. I will see if there is a way to post a link to whatever kind of file I purchased from iTunes, but in the meantime, if you look up the piece on YouTube, you can see various people playing it and you'll get the idea of it. Praeludium and Allegro. Genius.
Thanks, Thomas Lauderdale.

Ralph-in-the-Box


Here is one of Daphne's birthday gifts. Don't tell her. She will love it.

I am mad because sockmonkey-in-the-box was MY idea. I thought of it a long time ago. I looked it up on the internet even, to see if anyone else already thought of it, and there was no such thing. Then suddenly, there it was at Froggies for $31.95.

People need to start supporting my million dollar ideas.

All Done



At last I have finished the knit tank-top. (There was a great deal of stress and bribery involved in getting Daphne to model it for this photo.) I think it turned out really good. I love the colors. I am going to have to take in the straps just a little, but otherwise it seems to fit. I am so glad to be done. On to something new...

Aside from the evil hot weather, our Memorial Day weekend was pretty good. We had Sunday breakfast at La Cubanita, which was very good, although I think the dinner was better. On the way home, we literally saw a chicken cross the road. OK, technically it was a rooster. But still. It's not something you see every day here in the big city. We have no idea why it crossed the road. Maybe the answer can be found in this funny book. Check it out next time you're at Barnes and Noble.

Monday, my mom made a brisket, so we went over there. Daphne got to swim in the little pool, and I got to watch little baby wrens in a nest on my parents' back porch. All day long, the mommy and daddy wrens tirelessly brought worm after worm to the little guys. So dang cute. I must have checked on them every ten minutes. There is one picture on flickr, but it didn't come out that great.

Various other pictures from the weekend on flickr if you want to see. Hope you all had a good weekend too.

Now, I must go clean the bathroom. Woo-hoo.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

What is Blog Tag

Since people have asked...

I think it is basically when someone tags you, you have to answer their tag question, usually I have seen it in the form of making lists, like "Name Ten Things about You" or "Name Five Things You Always Have in Your Purse", or something like that. I think then you are supposed to keep it going by tagging other people, but I'm not really sure.

I looked back at the tag from MelJo and it included a whole bunch of questions. I am going to choose just one.

8 songs I could never get tired of listening to:

No, that's too hard.

8 things to do before I die:
  1. See the penguins
  2. See the Grand Canyon
  3. Learn to make the perfect coconut curry sauce
  4. Play in real snow with the Peanut
  5. See a whooping crane in the wild
  6. Spend more time at sea
  7. Record more songs with Kev
  8. Watch the Red Violin and go bowling (long story).

Anyone who reads this and wants to make their own list can consider themselves "tagged" and do so in their own blog or in the comments.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Julie Tagged Me

OK, Julie. I am gonna try to do this. But I am having trouble coming up with anything you all don't already know.

Ten Things About Me:
  1. I am pretty good at tap dancing. Too bad it is a completely useless skill.
  2. I lived in London for four months during college. It was cool.
  3. My favorite record of all time is Van Morrison's Astral Weeks.
  4. I have never seen Top Gun, Casablanca, or any of the Indiana Joneses. Or Dancin' with the Stars.
  5. I have Osgood Schlatter disease on my left knee. It's no big deal.
  6. The first real concert I saw was the Police, Ghost in the Machine tour, 8th grade.
  7. I like spaghetti in my chili, and ketchup on my corny-dogs.
  8. I can't stand the words "dollop," dawdle," and "unfurl."
  9. I can only wink my left eye.
  10. George is my favorite Beatle.

That must have been so interesting for you to read!

This reminds me that MelJo tagged me a while back when I couldn't blog much, but I forget what the question was. I'll have to go back and see if I can find it. Sorry, Melissa!

Good Thing Bad Thing

Good thing: Yesterday, Daphne said, "I'm gonna grow up to be a mommy, just like you."

Bad thing: It is officially too hot. I am going to try not to complain.

Big Night Out

Kev's birthday is December 26. The day after Christmas. That is a really unfortunate day to have a birthday. Just think about it.

So, Kev's birthday is usually pretty low-key. I think one year we tried to go bowling, but it was closed.

I don't even remember what we did for his most recent birthday. But I do remember the gift I gave him: two tickets to the May 21 Pink Martini show at the House of Blues. So, last night, we gave Kev a birthday celebration, albeit a late one, that was actually cool.

We started at La Cubanita, a new restaurant sorta in the neighborhood. I have my three or four favorite restaurants, so it's rare that I am adventurous enough to try something new, but I am so glad we did. It was DEEEElicious. I had some grilled shrimp in a coconut curry sauce (I have already spent several minutes on line this morning trying to find a recipe), and Kev had some kind of meat kebabs that he really liked. For dessert, we had tres leches cake that was even better than Gloria's. And the decor at the restaurant was really cool, too. If not for the giant flat-screen TV tuned to ESPN, we could have pretended we were in Havana.

After dinner, we went to Froggies and did a little birthday shopping for the Peanut. We found a Sock-Monkey-in-the-Box (a million dollar idea I had a LONG time ago), and a cool wooden ice-cream set from Melissa and Doug (they make the best toys). Daphne has become obsessed with sweets. She's like Augustus from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Every night as I put Daphne to bed, I ask her what she is going to dream about, and she always spouts off a list something like this: "Deem about mommy and daddy and Daphne and hippos and penguins havin a party with gumdrops and marshmallows and cake and ice cream and pineapples...". Thankfully she is a good eater, and while she THINKS about sweet stuff all the time, she eats her vegetables and other regular foods at mealtime.

Anyway, finally it was time to go to the HoB for the show, and I am telling you, if you like Good Music and Fun, go to see Pink Martini. It was a fantastic show. These people were really on to something when they started this band.

All that, and we were home by 10:30.

So, Happy Birthday, Kev! I hope you had fun.

Friday, May 16, 2008

They Were All Yellow



As promised, pictures of food. Fried plantains, baked garlic cheese grits, lemon icebox pie, and a Spanish potato omelet. Everything I've been cooking lately is sorta yellow. Not on purpose. It just happened.

21st Century Peanut

video

We love Dan Zanes at our house. If you don't know who that is, you probably don't have kids. Dan Zanes used to be in a cool band in the 80s called the Del Fuegos. Now he makes CDs for kids, but the music is very adult-friendly. He plays a lot of old-timey classics, complete with banjos and mandolins and fiddles and accordians and MELODICAS! So, thanks to Dan Zanes, Daphne has learned a lot of cool old songs that she would probably never hear otherwise. One of those songs is Sidewalks of New York...you've probably heard it. It's in 3/4 time, and makes you want to do a little soft shoe. It always reminds me of Bugs Bunny when I hear it. Anyway, the lyrics go "East side, west side, all around the town..." and so on. But when Daphne sings it, she says, "East side, web-site, all around the town." A young victim of the age of technology I guess.

She starts off singing really well in the video, pretty close to being right on pitch. Not sure what happens at the end. Maybe she's singing the harmony part! ("She made it her own, Dawg!") We may not have the next American Idol here, but I think she's right on track for joining the PPHPHB.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Smother's Day

That is what Daphne wished me, first thing this morning. "MOM-my...Happysmothersday mommy!" And a Happy Smother's Day it was indeed. I will show you pictures of today soon, but I will tell you now that it involved lots of delicious food, shopping, and an apron with owls all over it, among other things.

So, Happy Mother's Day to my mom, and to all the other nice hard-working mommies (and soon-to-be-mommies) I know out there in bloggerland. It's a hard job, but I think it's the best one there is.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Knitting in Circles


Knitting Again - WIP
Originally uploaded by Tara H.

Here is the knitting project I have been working on lately.

It is going to (hopefully) turn out like this pattern from Knitty.com, only I am doing a mint green bodice and ruffle with brown trim (instead of the bodice and ruffle being different colors), and I am doing it in the round instead of straight, so I don't have to do any seams. I love the colors...it reminds me of Daphne's favorite thing these days: mint chocolate chip ice cream.

It's a fun and simple little project, but it's taking me forever. I have to just keep knitting around and around and around until the thing is 8.5 inches, and then I have to start over for the ruffle. I want to have it done by Daphne's birthday (in less than a month, she will be TWO!), but I don't know if it's gonna happen.

I'll post another picture if I ever get finished.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I'm No Lady, I'm Your Mommy

Going places with Daphne has become a real adventure since she learned to talk. The other day, we were at Central Market, and she wanted a bagel from the bagel case. "Mommy, can I have a bagel please?" I told her no, explaining that we had to pay for them before we could have them. She thought about that for about a microsecond. Then, she said to a lady nearby, "Lady, can I have a bagel please?"

A couple nights ago, we went to Williams Sonoma. We saw a lady who worked there. "Lady, may I have some chocolate, please?" So, of course the lady thought it was cute, and hurried to the back room only to return with a BROWNIE. She didn't even bother to ask me if I minded her giving my two-year-old a giant hunk of chocolate at 7:00pm. Luckily, Daphne likes to share, so I took two big bites and left her with just enough to achieve a sugar high that caused her to spend most of the rest of the mall trip growling or shrieking at Kev and me. Thanks, lady.

Sometimes, she calls Kev and me by name. "KE-ev...what are ya DO-in?" she will sometimes shout from the next room. "Tara, what are you talkin' about?" she will ask when I try to talk to Kev about something. We don't mind so much, really. It's kinda funny. But tonight, she stepped over the line. At the dinner table, she looked right at me and said, "Lady, can I have some more watermelon please?" Nice, huh? Now I know where I stand. Right up there with the strangers in shops and grocery stores whose job is solely to retrieve things for the Peanut.

Sigh.

At least she has good manners.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Back in the Saddle



At last, Kev's new work computer arrived, so now I have a computer to use at home again. And some space has been cleared so that I can load pictures without making it crash. So life is good. Above is a picture of the Peanut last month sitting in the wildflowers. We had to take about 150 pictures to get a few that turned out good. The Peanut isn't much into posing, so we got mostly action shots and pictures of the back of her head. Oh well. Anyway, there are some more on the flickr page if you want to see them...use the flickr link on the sidebar.

There are also pictures on flickr from the craft fair. It went really well, and we sold some stuff and got some good feedback. I think we'll do it again sometime. It was fun.

The weekend was good. Kev got the yard cleaned up and I did lots of cooking. The weather was beautiful, and we spent a lot of time outside.

I hope to have something blogworthy this week now that I got the computer back. If all else fails, there'll be pictures of food.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Hot Property

You may remember a few weeks ago when much to our surprise, Pancho returned to our backyard, wife in tow, and scooted under our house. Since then, we have heard them puttering around down there, doing whatever possoms do. I don't mind so much, as long as they don't bite Daphne, or die and stink things up.

So this morning, imagine our surprise when we saw two racoons coming across the yard and disappearing under the house in the exact same spot! What is going on?! Is there a whole Woodland Creature Community developing under our house? Did the Raccoons somehow oust the Possoms? Or have they arranged some sort of time share deal? Who knows.

Anyway, the racoons were really cute, and I tried to get a picture but I was too late.

Since our Possom is Pancho, it seems only logical to call the male racoon Lefty. (Or perhaps Cisco, but I think my dad may have been the only reader that would get that sort of obscure pop culture reference). So, WELCOME, Mr and Mrs Lefty! Please make yourselves at home. Don't bite the Peanut, and please don't invite your skunk friends to join you all down there.

Someone is calling "mommy" from another room. That's my cue.

PS. By the way, I am disappointed in the response to the Earth Day challenge set forth a few posts ago.