Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ten months!

Auletta, as you would expect, turned eleven months after she turned ten months, but her mom, as you would expect, took forever to process her ten-month pictures. Ahem. I am afraid I did not do justice to the dress Deanna and family gave her--I might have to break it out again for her first birthday, if it's not too cold by then (we'll be partying in Ithaca). The pictures were tricky because I took the first batch in bright sunlight (always always always a bad idea, no matter how often I forget), so I scooted Auletta to a bench in the shade, but then she was completely distracted by an utterly fascinating flock of PIGEONS and refused to smile at the camera, so she has weird expressions on her face when she's bothering to look at me at all. Okay, but here goes:

Sunday, September 21, 2008


The divine Madame Meow at A Daily Dose of Zen Sarcasm, one of my favorite blogs, presented me with two blog awards, and these are the best kind, the kind you pass on. I want to thank Mme. Meow, who honors me more than my sporadic blogging really deserves, but I will use this moment as an inspiration to be good, bloggily speaking.

Brilliant Weblog is a prize given to sites and blogs that are smart and brilliant both in their content and their design. The purpose of the prize is to promote as many blogs as possible in the blogsphere.

First, here are the rules:

1. When you receive the prize you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link them back.
2. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs (or even more) that you find brilliant in their content or design.
3. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing they were prized with ‘Brilliant Weblog'.
4. And then we pass it on!

I don't know if I even read seven blogs these days, since a number of my friends no longer maintain blogs. But this is a good opportunity to mention all the bloggers in my blogroll, in alphabetical order by blog title.

Arrow Through the Sun is a blog by my friend Ben, who is a Christian and a biology professor. He writes book reviews and posts about his (very cute) sons, but the main focus of his blog is about the intersection of science and religion, and he writes the most thoughtful things on that topic I've ever read. I still have to go and read all the way through his Eight Days of Creation, but you should race me to it.

is a fun, witty, and well-written blog mainly about adventures in raising a two-year-old. It gives me some idea of what life will be like 13 months from now. For example, from today's entry it appears we should not bring our daughter out in public. Well, Justin's 3L should be fun.

Blue Words is a new addition to my blogroll, by a grad-student-turned-law-student (hmm) and a fellow accessory junkie.

Deanna's Corner is by my friend of 15 years and is one of the quintessential mommy blogs. It gives me some idea of what life will be like when I have two of these kid-creatures. Deanna also gets special props for consistency, a quality I notably lack.

De Re Coquinaria doesn't count because it's the long-neglected cooking blog I share with Deanna, but it's on the blogroll and you might wonder why if I didn't mention it.

Pastoral Musings from Rain City
is by the pastor of my old church in Seattle. I miss Seattle, and my old church, and Pastor Richard.

Honorable mention to Aufhebung, by Scott Becker, the former assistant pastor at my old church in Seattle, who passed away from cancer last year. The last few posts are amazing, especially "The Madman of West Covina." I guess I have never been close to anyone who died who was not, you know, old and supposed to die rather soon, so it is something to read a blog by someone who is dying and has profound thoughts about what that means (being a pastor and an ethicist, as he was). And honorable mentions also to my friends who no longer have blogs, and others who blog anonymously. You know who you are. And if somehow I forgot someone, I apologize and please do not take it personally that I included people who are not currently blogging and not you.

This one speaks for itself, doesn't it? Since it has no set limit of recipients, and Madame Meow gave it to everyone to whom she gave the Brilliant Weblog award, I will do the same. Because you are all awesome. Yay!

Friday, September 19, 2008

A post that combines politics AND my child!

I have so much to catch up on. Here is Justin, exploiting our child with this fabulous t-shirt from The Onion store:

Whatever those are.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Where is the love? (One more political post and then I'm for real done)

For a long time this election was about how much people loved Obama, which if somewhat vapid at times was inspiring and happy-making and fun to watch even from my more conservative standpoint, because honestly as much as I have always admired McCain and have been banging my head against a wall for the past eight years that he wasn't nominated in 2000, I would feel a certain kind of warmth if we were the kind of country that could elect a black person president--not that it would exorcise all our racial demons, but it would be a start. And I admire Obama as a person (his first book especially is splendid) and enjoy listening to him, so even if I disagree with what he says I like hearing it from someone who's a good public speaker. For a long time I thought a campaign between the two people who are the most approved-of members of their respective parties (according to polls that show Bush's approval rating under 30% and Congress' under 10%) would be a decent campaign, one that would not give me the feeling of nails on a chalkboard with every debate, every campaign ad, every soundbite.

Well, that's over.

Now it's about how much people HATE HATE HATE Sarah Palin. And, okay, you are entitled to that. But 1. why use up every possible invective in the first two weeks after she's nominated? You've got seven weeks to go and I don't know what else you can possibly say, although I'm sure you'll think of something. 2. Last time around, you hated the opposing candidate more than you loved your own candidate. And how did that work out for you?

And by the way, rumors to the contrary notwithstanding, McCain is not actually dead yet and he's still at the top of the opposing ticket. You can't run against Bush, because I'm not falling for the "McSame" stuff and I don't think a lot of other independents or pseudo-independents like me are either. Suddenly, after all these years of grudging respect, you hate him and equate him with Bush. Equating BUSH with Bush didn't work out that well, so, again, what the heck? Isn't this the definition of insane? Even if it's not insane, it's annoying and I'm tired of it.

I'm sick of politics already in September, and I'm the sort of person who's interested in politics. That's how bad it is.

Democrats, I know you love Obama. Show the love. The hate-side of you isn't that pretty, and if polls are right I'm not the only one who thinks so.

(A post much inspired by Madame Meow.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Eleven months!

I did take ten-month pictures, but those are in a black hole along with the reunion pictures, road trip pictures, Vineyard pictures, and Ithaca pictures I haven't processed yet.

This one is not a great picture because she's not looking at the camera, but it is the first picture I have of her STANDING! I put her down on the grass and she just stood there like a real hominid long enough that I managed to take a picture of it.

Her other tricks include playing peek-a-boo (I'm never sure how they define these things, but I mean that she will hide, or do what she thinks is hiding, behind a book or blanket or whatever's handy while I ask, "Where's Auletta?"), clapping, and waving her index finger in the air while delivering orations that have all the cadences and structures of real language, except they're unintelligible. Oh, but probably not for long.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I am gay for Camille Paglia

Read this.

Somewhere in my family's archives there's a picture of my great-grandmother with my grandfather as a young boy, standing on the porch of their ranch house in Montana, looking fierce, like she could get up before dawn, strap my grandfather to her back, go out into subzero weather, birth a calf, slaughter it, and eat it for breakfast.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

By request

A picture. A recent picture, even. From today. I have two-month-old pictures I haven't processed, but I'll get to those, really.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Truly important news

In the past few days, Auletta has stood on her own for a second or two at a time on several occasions. She is pulling up on everything she possibly can. She might be walking by her first birthday. I know that's a normal rate of development, but still! Weird!

Sarah Palin rumors

A roundup. Some are true, some are not. For anyone who stumbles on this, please for the love of God try to get your facts straight before perpetuating rumors. There are enough facts for you to have a field day with.

(Via Instapundit, who is giving me a lot to play with. If you're a liberal and reading this, yes he's conservative, but please give him a chance; he's very sane.)

(Drat, I have turned this into a politics blog. If this "Sambo beat the bitch" thing turns out to be verifiably true I will recant everything.)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Palin and sex education, and the horrors of sex ed, one of the lamest parts of a lame period in my life

Since I've been reading a number of posts by other bloggers who take it for granted that Palin is opposed to any other sex education than abstinence only (or opposed to sex education completely), even I was surprised to read that she appears to believe in more comprehensive sex education. And that it's not clear that Bristol received abstinence-only education--no surprise considering Palin's only been governor of Alaska for a year and a half and probably hasn't had time to establish autocratic control of public schools, despite snarky comments like "How did that abstinence-only education work out for you, honey?"

See this article in the LA Times (which I gather is a sufficiently unbiased source, no?) and this article in the Detroit Free Press.

In the past week I've conceived the notion that there shouldn't be sex education in schools at all because either it will be taught without any sort of underlying philosophy about what sex means (which I would oppose, because I think sex means something) or it will be taught with some sort of underlying philosophy (which someone will inevitably oppose, possibly including me because I might disagree with what that philosophy of sex is). So I can't run for public office, because I put that out there and now I'm anathema to everyone.

(By the way, what did everyone learn in sex ed? My memories are mostly along the lines of how I was theoretically supposed to learn Washington state history in ninth grade social studies, which I did not. I remember two films: one with giggly teenagers asking questions like "What's an orgasm?" and one that was like Chlamydia: The Untold Story, and meanwhile I was probably the most unsexed ninth-grader ever and thinking, "Well, chlamydia's about eleven thousandth on my list of worries under present circumstances." So there you go.)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

On the Vineyard

Okay, enough politics. This is 2008, which means it's an election year--NO! it means my daughter's growing like a weed and this is a mommy blog, and I have so many pictures to catch up on that you're going to be baby-ed out by the time I'm done.

We spent a week and a half on Martha's Vineyard in August while Justin was doing a research project. Really. So, here is Auletta on the Beach, Take 2. Observe the cute swimsuit from Super-Auntie Dawn.

Chilling on the sand with Dad.

Taking a dip with Mom. Note that she is okay with sand (she was eating it earlier and saying "num," so she must like it) but is not really sure about this ocean thingy.

The ocean is best viewed from Daddy-height.

Monday, September 01, 2008

One political thing and then I'm done.

This is gross.

Three days after only the second woman ever to be nominated by a major party for the vice presidency of the United States is chosen, and other women--other mothers! are getting into these rumors, as if Republican women don't count or something. Stop it. Just stop. If this is the best we can do, we don't deserve the right to vote we got 88 years ago. Criticize her resume, criticize her political beliefs, but don't scrutinize whether she looks five months pregnant in a photo taken from behind and don't be hypocritical judgmental asshats when her teenage daughter gets pregnant and decides to keep the baby. It is none of your damn business, and just because she's "anti-choice" or evangelical or whatever doesn't mean her womanhood or her family is any less sacred than yours, which you (as I would) would defend with your life and teeth and bare hands.