Archive | August, 2011

Baby’s First Bathroom Humor

28 Aug

The other day, while Ida was on the toilet, she told me a hilarious joke:

Ida:  Poop comes out of Ida’s butt.

(pensive beat – affirmative and somewhat aloof nods from mother)

Ida:  Macaroni comes out of Ida’s butt.

(maniacal laughter)

I’m not even going to pretend that I didn’t (and do not still periodically) crack up.



3 Aug

I know, guys.  I’ve been bad about keeping things going around here in the past, but never before has there been such a dearth of chronicled minutiae concerning my daily doings.  I’m sure it’s been hard.  The truth is, I’ve been busy and I can’t think of a darn thing to write about.  I even tried to use a “blog topic generator” – which encouraged me to write about The History of Baseball.  Just…… no.  As I understand it, there are Jets, there are Sharks but at no point are there any snap walks or instructions to “be cool.”  So, obviously, I am not interested.  West Side Story?  Anyone?  Back to the drawing board…

Things that have happened during my semi-accidental hiatus:

I presented a new dance work  at The (very cool and fancy) Dance Union’s Simply Showing!  The performance featured live music by Nathan, my brother Matt, and Ryan Hammer (the later 2 of which just recorded a new album as Younger – check it out!) , human-sized bird’s nests, and many garments from the Village Discount Outlet (Chicago’s finest source for $1 dresses and MORE!).  It also featured several Chicago choreographers who are a Big Freaking Deal.  I felt like everybody’s lucky little sister who got to tag along.  The show on July 11 was preceded by a number of emotional and mental breakdowns and a sincere feeling that this (expletive) thing  just was not going to come together (many – so many more expletives).  Never before have I struggled so much with a piece.  Many times before I have hated what I made, but I always had faith and fun in the process – in my ability to make something great (weird, right? After so many pieces that did not, in fact, turn out great?  I know).  This is a new experience for me, and now that I’m out of it, I feel a lot of gratitude that there are new experiences to be had.  I guess what I’m trying to say here is that my take-away from the whole thing is the gift of knowing that I still have a lot to say and do as an artist and that there is more work ahead of me.  I have also never been as proud of the final product and especially how articulate I was able to be in the panel discussion after the performance.  Usually I just chew gum, accidentally wear my shirt inside out, and stare at one person that I don’t know while stringing together incoherent catch-phrases and maybe sometimes humming.  But this time I feel like I was really able to express some of the things that I think are most important in my art-making and doing and I am pretty impressed with myself (she of complete sentences!  And right side out shirts!).  I was especially nervous because I was invited to show my work by an artist whom I am completely and thoroughly impressed by (Ayako Kato – you’re watching her amazing work, right?).  It went well, all things considered.  I’m hoping to show some more dances again soon (I think Nathan is hoping that I might be an artist in residence in New Zealand when this happens.  I kid – he was super-supportive).  I’m starting to dabble more in performance art and public art.  As usual, I have no idea what I’m doing, really.  Hopefully I’ll have some video to post soon.

I traveled to Seattle for a dear friend’s wedding.  The trip was swell (except the flying bit which involved pills, drinks, and mild to moderate panic – note to self:  must get better drugs next time).  Ida had her first multi-day sleepover at her grandparents’ house, and Nate and I tried to discuss the events of the day on the telephone with our almost-2-year-old.  Good times.  I think after 4 days at her Gigi’s house feasting on snack foods, accruing an impressive haul of new toys, and on-demand walks to the park, Ida was a little disappointed to see us return.  In other news, on our way home the TSA agent asked us if we were going camping.  Not so much what you’re looking for when packing for a wedding.  We have since discussed possible plans for a trip to H&M to deal with our (apparently) shabby wardrobes.  We also discussed the possibility that perhaps we should take sartorial advice from a man in polyester pants with a grain of salt.  Also, for the first time in my life I got rip-roaring drunk.  It was an absolute accident and I still kind-of can’t believe it happened.  The short story is that I was not aware that there were 5 shots of tequilla in each margarita.  I was also pretty thirsty from eating lots of tacos and assumed that since I am a gigantic woman, I could probably drink two drinks.  I’ll spare you the (probably hilarious) details and just say that I will never, ever, overdo it again.  I’m not sure if it’s sad or kind-of awesome that I’d never really been need-help-traveling-on-foot drunk until now.  I’m pretty sure it’s awesome, and I can’t believe that there are people who live a substantial portion of their lives feeling this way.  I did not enjoy the feeling.  I remember everything that happened, but I also spent a lot of time slapping myself in the face on the ride home, which in hindsight, seems strange and unreasonable.  I also threw up in a parking lot and spent at least a half-hour slurr-edly saying “I can’t believe I did this” and asking Nathan if I was going to die (“no”).  I think at one point I did some singing.  Thanks for the good times, Seattle!  It was an accident, I promise.

Apparently Summer’s Eve made some pretty fantastic commercials.  I keep watching, but I, like you, find myself speechless.  I think the most upsetting aspects are the “accents” and obviously carefully calibrated “cultural slang” employed by the vaginal voiceovers.  The quotation marks are used to denote the fact that actual accents and cultural slang were not achieved.  I almost had an accident when Stephen Colbert had the crew blur his hands during a segment (because, you know, they were vaginas).

Ida is saying all kinds of hilarious words of unknown origin (i.e. “are we really saying these words on a regular basis?  And if yes, what does that mean…..?”).  Examples include:  robot, wedgie, and sheesh.  She also says “excuse me” in a way that makes her sound like a tiny Italian grandmother.  She also called a guy out for a “toot” on the train the other day and prompted him to excuse himself.

I started what I image will be a long and difficult process of researching Ida’s education.  At some point perhaps I’ll write more about this (because, again, I’m sure you’re just dying to know what I think) but the short of it is that Nathan and I are seriously considering unschooling/homeschooling/raised-by-wolves-ing Ida.  I’m reading some books on Waldorf education, Montessori, straight-up unschooling and some essays on why school is ruining everything forever.  I’m thinking a lot about the fact that if I opt out, and if everybody who is engaged and excited about education opts out, than education will become even more of a caste system and everything will be terrible forever.  I’m also thinking a lot about my friends who are teachers and how they’re some of the coolest, smartest folks I know who would basically live the rest of their lives in no shoes if it meant they could impart their students with the knowledge and skills to happily navigate the world.  In short, I’m doing lots of thinking and a moderate amount of reading.  I welcome resources from other parents/educators/concerned citizens of the world (hell, if your dog has a recommendation).  I know that everyone (or at least it seems) has a very strong opinion about this topic, so I’m just trying to keep my wits about me and make the best decisions that I can (that last bit is mostly me talking to myself and staving off freak-outs concerning the magnitude of this stuff).

And there might be some other things, but tiny wonder is now awake from her nap and I have made a promise concerning finger paints.

What are you up to these days?