Saturday, October 31, 2009

happy 50th birthday cindy!!!

a very scary happy halloween birthday to you, miss cindy! i wish so much that i were there in ABQ, decorating my house with all kinds of frightening things for a birthday party for you!!! please let me take you to dinner on the saturday night we are in town, and please write the date in ink. i hope you had a lovely time trick-or-treating with the boys and that you eat lots and lots of things that are terrible for you.

happy birthday!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

cnn money: "stressful jobs that pay badly"

i could not agree with this more if i tried:


and they forgot to mention that it usually requires a soul-sucking PhD, the loans for which you will never be able to repay on a curator's salary. ouch!

(i could have gone with this one as well, but frankly i don't know a single photographer who makes anywhere near this kind of money per year--i think if they factored in people actually trying to work as a photographer and included their yearly earnings, it would average a low 4-figure number annually. and it'd still be stressful.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

kiva ladies

these lovely women are margarita, anoko, favour and julia--my kiva ladies. please send positive thoughts their way as they endeavor to build better lives for themselves!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

a trip so nice she took it 72 hours

a bunny in the headlights

sophie bunny took a class trip to the petting zoo/pumpkin patch at the sass family farm in riverside...and she loved it! we heard about patch pumpkin patch pumpkin patch pumpkin every waking minute of every single day until we were worn down and agreed to take her back there--but it was a lot of fun for all of us (especially seeing how much she loved it). the haunted house was a little too scary for her, but she made it through. it was a little too scary for gus, too, but he insisted on going through it again to get over it. rich even won a pumpkin while we were there (though since we've been beswined i haven't gone back to get it yet); he guessed its weight correctly. it's feelin' mighty halloweeny!

sophie definitely not convinced this place is safe (it certainly smelled evil)

sophie looking mischevious in the hay bale maze

then she decided to hell with this and did the hay bale maze the way she thought it should be done

and then taught the rest of the class how to do it right

on to the petting zoo! sophie loved the chickens

and feeding the goats

and petting a quail

and petting a bunny named chocolate

and trying to be a dino

sophie and her friends on a hayride

it was pretty cute

sophie almost gets left behind...

...for snacktime!

hooray for sophie pumpkinhead...the field trip is over and sophie garnered a sweet souvenir

72 hours later: back to the farm with gus and daddy! sophie on the horsie swing

and see-saw with gus

and swing, again, with gus

too many things to do on the farm!

rich, who is too tall for his casket

sophie was really trying to play dead...

...but gus was the most convincing

sophie realizing she is back in the scary haunted house

both she and gus were pretty happy to have dad in there with them

taking the easy way through the hay bale maze

gus of the flowing locks

sophie revisiting the chickens

the bunny feeding the goat

and feeding other goats

sophie playing house

gus and his calabacita

rich, in his usual on-call outing pose

Friday, October 23, 2009

ode to lindsay

this is lindsay, my most beloved little sister, who will always be cooler than me

i completely pilfered these images from my brother-in-law's facebook page, and i must apologize to those who shot them: i'm sorry! i'm using these without your permission, i know, but there was such an obvious subtext in your 80 or so pictures that i couldn't resist duplicating them here. the theme is, of course, the undeniable wondrousness of my lovely sister, lindsay.

lindsay the magnificent and her party bus of friends: during the week they are engineers, architects, nurses, maybe a lawyer or two...professionals of many varieties

and a well-behaved party bus it was at that--amy is using two hands (i think) to drink her beer! and jake looks mighty respectable next to the guy with crazy eyebrows

lindsay and jake...just too cute for words...mainly because they match...i wonder if that was a planned decision? will they be the matching tracksuit couple powerwalking the malls in thirty years? you know what the disgusting truth is: even if they are that couple, they'll still look better than everyone else doing it. and probably me and rich on a good day.

this is the reason they were on the party bus in the first place: an allman brothers/widespread panic concert

completely respectable partying at the concert--absolutely nothing to note here...

...but, once the concert was over, and they got back to the bus, lindsay's party mode fully kicked into overdrive...

i'd like to imagine that guy on the orange cell phone calling some mutual friend of theirs and saying, "oh my god lindsay is rocking the shit on the party bus back home...i wonder if this thing shoots video?" i'm totally going to scout youtube after i finish this post.

continuing to rock the shit

i love amy's face at this gesture! is this party bus surfing? wait, should i be imitating this? oh crap, i have no idea--i am so out of the loop. maybe gus knows.

jake decides it is time for an intervention; party mode lindsay considers the sleep function

jake is contemplating the antics of party mode lindsay and how much he loves her...but hates that he spilled beer on his longhorn shirt. damn bus.

i loooooove you....!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

we've been beswined.

i think it was only a matter of time--living in a college town, bugs running rampant, virulent young adults practicing bad hygiene--that the swine flu hit home. sophie has been sick for a while, got better, but has now gone downhill; i just feel moderately crappy and tired. gus, thankfully, is fine; rich, of course, is out of town and pissed that we may not join him.

anyone have any chicken tortilla soup they'd like to bring by? maybe with some fresh avocado slices? mmm, avocado...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

blog action day 2009: climate change

i am honored to take part in the global initiative, blog action day, for 2009. this year's topic: climate change. not being terribly scientific but, rather, somewhat observant i thought i'd write about what we personally have experienced this year and what we can do to maybe shift the...shift.

albuquerque, traditionally the high and dry desert, has an average rainfall of about 9 inches a year. over the past several years albuquerque has far outpaced that average. it is rainier than normal, and of course few people are complaining. i remember living there in 1995 and there was a record stretch of absolutely no precipitation for over 9 months straight. extra rain in the desert doesn't seem like a big deal--no water restrictions, the plants look better, it smells nice--but it is not the norm; it is likely a symptom of climate change.

here in eastern iowa, it is a very different story as this year alone several undesirable records were set: one of the coldest months ever recorded in january, a late last frost date, coldest average temperatures in july on record, rainiest august on record...and this october is on track to be much colder than average, too. why is this important? because iowa is a farm state; we grow copious amounts of corn and soybean here. without those two crops our food industry, for better or worse, would fail. and despite personal opinions about the viability of the american model of agriculture, and i admit to having very strong ones, crop failure due to climate change is something we should all care very much about. of course, the corn and soybean reports for 2009 in iowa say this was a bumper i'm not really sure where i'm going with this. perhaps i should have examined the melting of the ice caps and the reduction of polar bear habitat. i do know that there was a ton of blight on veggies of the non-corn and soybean variety here because of the lack of sun...

back to the issue at hand: if we accept that climate change is a very real shift in our world, which i do, even if i can't prove that it is happening exactly where i live (sorry), what can we do to slow or halt the progress of such? MANY THINGS.

this is a selection of what we as a family do:
1. rich rides his bike, every day, rain or shine or snow or freezing whatever, to work and back.
2. gus walks, every day, rain or shine or snow or freezing whatever, to school and back.
3. i shop at farmer's markets and buy locally-grown (i.e. not transported from another state or country) meats, fruits and vegetables.
4. i try to limit the amount of meat our family eats, but i admit we still probably eat too much.
5. i drive a hybrid car when i need to drive (please no emails about how bad the batteries are for the environment).
6. we turn off lights when we leave a room and unplug appliances when they aren't in use.
7. we reuse then recycle everything possible.
8. we keep our house well-maintained.
9. we teach our children about the importance of hindering global warming and to make mindful choices in order to combat it.

of course, i am always open to other suggestions and i would love to know what you do to lessen your impact. interested in rapidly reducing your personal carbon footprint? join me (and lots of others) for no impact week (a carbon cleanse) starting on october 18th. it should be an adventure; i'm sure i will be terrified to learn exactly how bad we are.

be good, use common sense.

Monday, October 12, 2009

a few neat-o iowa happenings

in rich's head, this outfit works

we've had a few non-swamp things going on in the triangle--sophie got her pokes out, gus tagged and released a monarch butterfly, and it snowed here on october 10th (very rude of the weather to do so). the monarch release was very cool--a woman here in town breeds the monarchs for tagging/releasing and has had some of her butterflies make it all the way to their winter place in mexico. i think next year sophie will be old enough to do it; this year i had visions of her screaming and swatting down the poor creatures in a king-kong-on-the-empire-state-building style.

work on the swamp is about to come to a grinding halt in a week or so when it gets and stays too cold to be out there. i know this is probably for the best, as i really should unpack. part three is still coming, as will part four in may, but for today let's look at life away from the swamp and bask in the knowledge that the hawkeyes are 5-0 and all is somewhat right, occasionally, in iowa city.

enjoy the pictures!

sweet sophie bunny on day six of her pokes... doctor daddy prepares to take them out, on our kitchen table

she screamed like a banshee and thankfully the neighbors didn't call the cops...but sophie forgot her troubles in a giant bowl of chocolate ice cream (don't we all?)

la mariposa monarca (this is the female i tagged--the butterfly, you pervs)

gus tags his butterfly--a big healthy male

perfect placement

gus looks down in amazement as he realizes that he has drawn his own butterfly out of the 60 or so that had been tagged and placed in a holding pen before release

gus doesn't want to let go but feels certain his will make it to mexico (as did the breeder); the girl behind him is having major league second thoughts about releasing hers

what the hell?

it SNOWED. hell, i thought it was the rapture. fortunately, the kids love they do everything about iowa (and yes i know it makes things easier). while it may have only left a dusting, the psychological damage was done...

...and then forgotten because gus lost a tooth the same day!

rich was feeling left out of the here is rich. read the bottom caption to see why this "world's greatest dad" shirt is a big ol' lie. love you, honey.

since we had our first snow i made the traditional "first snow" cake--however i did forego the penguin cookies this year. i think that special edition iowa hawkeyes bud light can had something to do with it; i know it had everything to do with forgetting to tell the tooth fairy to come and visit gus...i think rich and i might be the worst parents ever.