Thursday, August 27, 2009

Teach Your Children Well

Tonight, Jackie hosted a dinner for the English department. It was lovely, and I shared my goal for the year with several colleagues:

I'm going to be a BRIGHT LIGHT.

They responded favorably.

"I'm going to be a shooting star!" said Elizabeth.

"And I'm going to be the Northern Lights," said Kristin, making a wavy, jazz-handsy kind of motion.

Several others chimed in with their own metaphors.

I'm pretty sure it's indeed going to be THE BEST YEAR EVER! That has been my plan since I decided to return, and last week when my principal's letter arrived, I discovered he'd chosen "The Best Year Ever" as the slogan for the year. I think it's surely a sign. A good one.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

minute 20

KC is clearly uncomfortable with this format and with her choice of husband. Please feel free to follow me on twitter, where I will live-twitter this event:

this will be epic.

minute 19

"I need a worker here. I need a worker."

Jennifer = bi-atch

"live" blog

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Pterodactyl in a Gay Jurassic Park

We've waited a year for Season 6 of Project Runway. It's finally here, and I'm so thrilled I feel like I could cry. And the addition of Models of the Runway? I'm so over the moon that I'm pretty sure I could not be happier unless I'd been photographed with several PR designers, including Ra'mon-Lawrence.

Oh, wait! Here I am with Ra'mon! (And Erin!)

So, I'm ecstatic. And, I'm definitely hosting a Runway Challenge. Dan (Co-Champion of Season 3) and I (I think I finished 2nd or 3rd one time) are for sure playing. I hope some other people are going to, too.

In addition, Dan is hosting a Top Chef Challenge. He's going to run it here on this website, which might mean that I have to let him guest post every week. He IS pretty funny, so I think that'll be fine for everyone, especially those who rue the day that Pronto deleted his blog.

So, here's the plan. The Runway Challenge begins THIS WEEK. You have to post your guesses for the next three designers to be auf'ed in the comments. My guesses are Malvin, Mitchell, and Shirin. You can see photos and bios of the designers here.

The Top Chef Challenge, run by Dan, begins next week, when there are 15 chefs remaining. Dan will probably post some kind of reminder, and then we'll have the stats for both competitions in the sidebar.

You probably want to play both challenges, right? I mean, why not?

Monday, August 24, 2009

They Are Becoming Themselves

Mac's new school is a very sweet Montessori, with a small number of children and a relatively large number of teachers. The materials are lovely, the environment is beautiful, and most important, Mac seems pretty happy there after his first five days.

One thing Dan and I especially like are the emails we get from the main teacher:

"Mac enjoyed banana work again today."

"Mac did some posting and pounding work and enjoyed flower arranging."

"We did some outdoor music and enjoyed a walk around the block. He walked most of the way."

"He did some water work and loved the sensory table."

We've taken to calling things "work" at home, too. Like, I'm going to do some painting work. Or, now I'm going to do my before-bed work. It's pretty fun.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Billy Don't Be a Hero

Today I went to Target, where I tried on some clothes. One item I tried on was a dress that looked cute on the hanger, but sort of flight-attendantish once I had it on.

So, reject!

But when I tried to take the dress off, I realized the whole zipper, which ran up the left side of the dress, was pretty much broken. The seam separated, and the handle part was stuck at the top, just beneath my armpit. Can you picture it? My whole side, including part of my bra and the waistband of my underwear, were exposed. And the zipper would not budge.

I tried for several minutes in the dressing room to remedy this situation, but without success. I finally accepted that I would have to exit my stall and explain the situation to the worker at the desk.

"Hmm," she said, reluctantly leaving her seat. Then she stood for several minutes at my armpit, tugging on the zipper, while I tried to hold the gaping dress together with one hand.

I hoped I had remembered to put on deodorant.

Thinking about it made me sweat.

"Um," said the worker, "would you like to stand farther back in the hallway?"

"Sure," I said, grateful. And then, after another minute or two of sweating and worrying about it, I said, "I just don't think it's going to come off."

She mumbled something and tugged on it a little more and took a break to answer the phone -- "Operator! How can I direct your call!" -- and finally called the manager on the walkie talkie.

When the manager came, she examined the zipper for about thirty seconds, and then took her scissors and cut me out of the dress.


The humiliation continues, though, because later in the evening, we went to an orientation at Mac's new school, and I accidentally walked in on one of his teachers in the bathroom. THANK THE LORD she was already washing her hands.

When that happened, Dan just made a beeline for another room because standing in my vicinity was JUST TOO EMBARRASSING for him. Such is my lot in life.

Monday, August 10, 2009

We Want Pre-Nup!

Oh, just kidding. We totally don't have one.

What we do have is seven years under our belts.

And while not every moment has been as idyllic or exciting as this one:

Overall, it's still been really, really good.

Happy anniversary, Dan. You're the best.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

One More Day Up in the Canyons

The day after I did my not-super-short, but not-really-long triathlon on July 19th, I got really sick with terrible bodyaches and headache and fever. As is true with most young families I know, a relatively little thing like this - a sick mom or a sick kid or a canceled babysitter - throws the delicate balance of LIFE off enough to make everyone in the household miserable and harried.

During the week of illness, I decided that I would not continue training for my half-iron distance triathlon. I was supposed to do it in September, and my training was already bare-bones. Every time I got on my bike, I'd think, "How will I do this for 56 miles? And then run a half marathon?" Never mind the swimming problem, which was that I was not swimming AT ALL.

Giving up the race was a tough decision mostly because I planned to do it with my good friend Sheila, and I knew she signed up for it at least partly because I wanted her to.

But, once I allowed myself to think of letting it go, I felt relieved. No 70-mile race looming on the calendar, just six weeks out.

The worst part about the whole thing was telling Sheila. But of course, she got over her disappointment pretty quickly and is still my stalwart friend and training partner. We'll be running the Twin Cities Marathon together on October 4th, and the training for that is actually going quite well. Sheila did say, however, that she thought my backing out of the Half absolved her of any obligation to do a full Ironman at any point in the future.

That's totally fine, I said. But, I still have a dream of doing one. I think I might treat myself to it for my 35th birthday. The kids will be 5 and 9 by then. I probably won't be waking multiple times each night. And maybe our lives won't be held together by such teeny tiny weak little threads.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Greens of Summers

Here's what happened: On Friday, Dan's parents picked up the boys. Dan went to Chicago, which is the only bad part of this story.

I was alone in my house for the first time in a million years. I went to bed at 10, after watching a stupid romantic comedy. I was all alone in my house.

At 5:45am on Saturday, my eyes popped open and I leaped out of bed to go for a run. I felt terrific and unstoppable. Later, after an important political official listened to my opinions on education for a couple of hours, I drove up to the cabin to see the kids and Dan's parents.

That night at the cabin, Mac slept in the room with his grandparents. I slept pretty much through the night. Again. For the second night in a row. My eyes popped open at 6, and I felt terrific and unstoppable. I read in bed until the others awoke.

This was pretty much the best weekend of my entire life.