Friday, June 26, 2015

Anniversary in Austin

One of our favorite bands, Dawes, played at Stubbs on our anniversary. Arrangements were made, giant purse grabbed, ridiculous sunglasses donned.

[Seeing Dawes in 2011, missing Dawes in 2013]

Mike came with us! And we ran into our SA friend Patrick, who became a fan of opener Langhorne Slim on streaming radio and resolved to see a live show.

As I turned away from the merch table, a man walked past and I said - that's Griff [the Dawes drummer]! We ran walked purposefully after him and got a pic.

I had never seen Langhorne Slim before. His set was 40 minutes but it took about 2 for me to become a huge fan. As a non-musical person with a limited set of music references to draw upon, I can best describe his sound as Avett like, but more bluesy and more raunchy. The Avetts are to sweet sexy as Langhorne Slim is to dirty sexy (and we know you need both, am I right?)

Closing the set on someone's shoulders.


We had to leave a bit early to get back to SA; the last song we heard was "A Little Bit of Everything" (above) -- I was wiping away tears. If there is an American hymnal this song should be included in it.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

What's Making Me Happy This Week

// The Hats of Ascot. Let's have a party like THIS! 

// Culottes! I knew they were having a moment when I searched 'culotte' at and almost every pair was more than $200. (Similar searches: 'cape', 'capelet') New York mag discusses them here.

// This little dog - no collar, no leash - was waiting for his person in the bed of a truck at the YMCA at 7:30 a.m.

there's a water bowl and it wasn't hot yet, don't freak out.

// RED VELVET ISN'T A THING. The red velvet rant on Orange Is the New Black is exactly how I feel about red velvet, blech blech blech.

// I have a few episodes to go with the season of OITNB and I am loving it. Because

Less Piper, more everyone else
More back stories
More making me thinking about mothers and mothering
More Black Cindy and Taystee, two of my favorite actresses. And Morello!
So many sly little jokes
Multidimensional characters - no one is 100% bad or 100% good

// Hanging out with these turkeys on Father's Day. We walked to Torchy's for tacos. (C on the green chile queso: I LIKE IT.)

At our private playground, Burger King.

At Mommy's playground, Central Market.

Four Years

The Wild Rose

Sometimes, hidden from me in daily custom and in ritual
I live by you unaware, as if by the beating of my heart.
Suddenly you flare again in my sight
A wild rose at the edge of the thicket where yesterday there was only
And I am blessed and choose again,
That which I chose before.

Wendell Berry

photo by Neri

Happy Anniversary my love! 
You are every sentiment in every cheesy love song come true.

Anniversaries One; Two; Three

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bold Bad Ass Babes

A lot of exciting media created by and about fascinating women on my radar:

♦ Documentary about style icon and my personal eyewear hero Iris Apfel. In theatres now but nowhere around here. Hope it comes to hulu or vudu or Amazon soon! As a temporizing measure I checked out director Albert Maysles' classic Grey Gardens from the library.

♦ Nina Simone documentary on Netflix available on Friday, so I know what I'll be doing then. 

Here is Wild Is the Wind, which gives me chills:

♦ I finished Elizabeth Alexander's The Light of the World and I have a lot of feelings about this book which are difficult to express. I almost can't talk about it too much... please read it, everyone! It's so gorgeous. The subject is the sudden loss of her beloved husband of 15 years. She writes about their life together with such reverence and passion and tenderness... I was so moved.(NYT review here, where I first heard about it).

♦ I started Sally Mann's new memoir Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs last night after hearing her intriguing interview on Fresh Air (here). The prologue was so good, so beautifully written, so fascinating I handed the book to Luke - you have to read the prologue! - and he liked it (he told me this in the morning - though it's only three and a half pages long I was already asleep when he finished it. My sleep onset latency is about 25 seconds.) I can't wait to get home, feed the kids, bathe the kids, read Draggy Tacos and ABCDs and Baby Rock Rock Rock, put them to bed, make their lunches, clean up the kitchen, do 15 minutes of relaxation yoga, and start reading again!

(Interestingly, the prologue discusses the faultiness and malleability of memory, a topic explored in hope-to-see-it-soon Inside Out.)

♦ This t-shirt from Cotton Bureau will be printed again and I immediately e-mailed the company to see if shirts for toddlers could be printed*, before I order mine and wear it with pride.

*update: not at this time. Too bad!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What's Making Me Happy This Week

// My sister rocking the third trimester -- only a few more weeks to go!

// Five Guys this weekend - the hat was her idea

// Leg rolls. No steps yet!

// Two new restaurants walking distance from our house, under construction and recently opened: artisan burger chain BurgerFi and indie, organic-as-possible Flair Mexican Street Food. Especially excited about the latter! And the former for those Friday nights when food just needs to magically appear, mama is too tired. I was talking about Friday night exhaustion to Isabel, our beloved baby room caregiver at the old daycare, and she proclaimed that going out on Friday nights was for 'people who don't work. Saturday nights are for people who work.' I heartily agree.

// This thought from Dallas Clayton:

// DATE NIGHT! I've been following the Monterey on social media since before moving to SA (found while googling 'cool places in San Antonio') but had never been until this Tuesday. Tuesdays are $5 cheeseburgers and fries nights.


Breezy, green patio.


Date night outfit pics for my mom. Python print silk top from Acrobat. Ultra-sexy NSFW (because you might choke on something while laughing) pic below demonstrating how this top is split up the sides, though it's difficult to distinguish the tender white flesh of the flank from the white jeans. I will improve my pigeon-toed stance for the next round of #ootd photos. (Have you noticed how every woman stands pigeon-toed for fashion shots?! My only conclusion is that it widens a thigh gap (try it), but it's also a juvenile, submissive posture. AW HELL NO.

Then we went to see Neil deGrasse Tyson speak at the Tobin Center. You can't see this sold-out crowd but 100% of them listen to NPR.

He got a standing ovation when he took the stage! I bought these tickets seven months ago and the event sold out that day. SA ♥ NdGT

He slid his shoes off by the podium within seconds of taking the stage

His talk was titled Science and the Movies - what Hollywood gets right and wrong, personal anecdotes (how he eventually hounded James Cameron into correcting the starfield in Titanic), and how science works its way into unlikely places (My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around from Let It Go - it's a song from Frozen if you haven't heard of it). He spoke for three hours and it was enormously entertaining -- the crowding was nerding out big time -- and this brought it to a close:

"I'm going to end with a reading from the Book of Carl," he said, calling for the theater to be darkened and showing the image of the Pale Blue Dot:

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
-- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

This gave me chills and brought the house down -- another standing ovation.

Michigan Wedding

Fun fact: I went to two weddings in May and both brides are named Amy Marie.

Amy 2 is Luke's youngest sibling, she married Joel, and we were there for it!

On the drive from Detroit to Kalamazoo, Luke remarked on how green the landscape is compared to Texas, on all of the trees... minutes later from the backseat a little voice:


Beeline to tree swing in Grandma and Pop Pop's front yard upon arrival:

 I don't have any photos of the rehearsal because my hands were full (I resorted to pushing the girls around in a cart in the church lobby that's for food donations...) but here's the big day:

C and cousin A peering out of window -- UDDERFY!


Oh, a butterfly.

Perfecting their camera smiles.

MY CAMERA! C loves to scroll through the photos on my phone (I MAKIN' THE PITCHERS) and makes off with my point and shoot camera -- I think she will enjoy a kid camera when she understands it a little more.

Trying to hang out with the boys...

Determined to be part of the crowd.

The bride! Doesn't she look divine?

During the family photos, C employed her new thumbs-up - I can't wait to see them! This photo isn't wide enough to capture all of Luke's siblings and our nieces and nephews (current count: 21 plus our girls) (.... you know the line, if you wanna play in Texas, you've got to have a fiddle in the band? Well if you visit Michigan you've got to have an airtight birth control plan* because, seriously. The water is laced with cervical mucus-dissolving chemicals or gonadotropins or something. Even I got pregnant when I was around them (Josie, much like I know I was conceived at Tan-Tar-A** in the Missouri Ozarks, you are a Hilton Head conceptus).

* Mirena.#
** "But you never really can be sure." -- my mom
                  # "TMI. And three is nice!" -- my mom

The ceremony:

Imagine this in focus, with better lighting, and it's perfect.

Reception. Speaking of perfect: Graham's hair.

Cute, huh?!

Miss E.

Bro table

Soon-to-be big bro.

C was sick for the second time in her life (the only other time she's thrown up: on vacation in the aforementioned Hilton Head) so we missed out on a family picnic the next day. She wanted to cuddle and watch DIDDY TIGUH (Daniel Tiger) and while I was sad to miss out on the festivities, I loved the snuggles. 

She perked up because: I WANT TO PAY IN THE DIM. [play in the gym]

Later she opened the gym door over her shoeless foot, lifting her toenail a bit (ouch). NO WANT OW-EE, she said after the tears stopped, which was both the saddest and the cutest thing anyone has ever said.

 We watched the tablet in bed and then she announced 'I want to seep in the kib [crib], mommy seep in the bed'. The nursery has a bed in it and so I fell asleep listening to her breaths going in and out, in and out. It was so sweet.

Susie sent me some photos of the picnic: (thanks S!)

We took family photos with Neri (forthcoming) because it's been hard to organize a session at home and she was available and fabulous and so are these pics.

Saying goodbye to grandma.We drove back to the Detroit airport and were home for dinner.

And so ended our two months of travel (Seattle, Charleston, LA, Las Vegas) - we are settled in for a hot San Antonio summer (that lasts until Thanksgiving). See you next time, Michigan! Congratulations and bon voyage, Amy and Joel!