Archive for November, 2006

Dance Africa T-shirt Design

Posted by julie on Wednesday, 29 November 2006, 22:41

danceafricashirtfront1.jpgOkay, so I’m using the blog because it’s easier than any other method I can think of for Dance Africa company members to see my T-shirt design. If you’re a regular reader, feel free to comment; I’m happy to receive feedback.

Company members: If you like the design, I’ll get a digital copy to Jessie. I thought that the big square design could be the back of a hoodie, and the small logo could be on the front on one side or the other. Other possibilities would work, too.

Oh, and feel free to find out about our lives – well, Sylvan’s life – by reading past entries.


Sylvan’s old-school Nike/Duck wear

Posted by jonesey on Wednesday, 29 November 2006, 11:16

Sylvan NikesI don’t know where Sylvan got this sweet Oregon Ducks track suit. The vintage (and tiny; his feet barely fit in them) Nikes with waffle soles were originally worn by Chris Wiesemann, my co-worker. They remind me of the track flats I used to wear in high school: just enough rubber underfoot to prevent major pain, and just enough nylon over the foot to hold on the rubber waffle. Ouch.

Another day, another dollar

Posted by jonesey on Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 21:42

This morning, Chris (my co-worker) asked me if I’d found any more dollar bills lately. I told him no. An hour later, I stopped by and wordlessly held up the dollar I had just found on the floor of the busy hallway.

This is getting strange.

Ruby-crowned kinglets are here

Posted by jonesey on Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 11:22

There are ruby-crowned kinglets outside my office window this morning. I usually don’t know whether they are golden- or ruby-crowned, but one of them was just showing off his large red crown, but only for a few seconds. I think they’re excited about our annual snowfall (half an inch on campus, some of it still unmelted).

Dollars from heaven

Posted by jonesey on Monday, 20 November 2006, 12:05

Three times in the past two weeks, I have found paper money, dollar bills, on the ground. I have found a single dollar twice and two dollars once. It’s unusual. I’m used to seeing pennies, probably because nobody picks them up; they are useless, a waste of everyone’s time, and should have been retired years ago. Every once in a while, maybe once every couple of weeks, I’ll find a nickel, dime, or quarter (I pick those up; that’s real money). I almost never find bills just lying on the ground, though. Until the last two weeks, I probably found a bill once every couple of years.

I’m going to assume that somewhere above 80% of people would notice a dollar bill on the ground and that more than 90% of those people would pick one up. That means that the four bills that I found, all of which were lying on the sidewalk or floor in plain view and in public places, hadn’t been there long.

The first time I found a bill, I was surprised. I looked around on the street, and there was nobody. The second time, I found two bills inside a building. I looked around again, holding them up to see if anyone would claim them. Today, though, as soon as I saw the bill, I knew it was for me. I just slowed my bike down, bent over, put it in my pocket, and kept going.

Somebody out there is taking care of me.

Sliding alone

Posted by julie on Tuesday, 14 November 2006, 23:23

Sylvan and I enjoyed today’s clear sky, occasionally tracked with bands of clouds boding precipitation for tomorrow, by spending a large portion of the afternoon playing in the park. He only ate a little sand. He figured out how to climb to the top of the playground equipment, where there were two slides – one wide and shallow, another twisting and faster. After joining me on the shallow slide, Sylvan climbed up and tried to launch himself off the slide head-first. I grabbed the back of his sweater, sat him down, and held his hand so he’d slide slowly. After allowing me to do that a couple of times, he climbed up, and, at the top, turned around as if he were going down a stair, and slid down on his belly, facing me at the top. He went down the slide on his own!

Stay Puft at Benson Lake

Posted by julie on Sunday, 5 November 2006, 1:02

The road followed the McKenzie River, winding through the school-bus- yellow big-leaf maple leaves standing out against trunks that are finally almost black with rain. The soundtrack for the scene is a mix CD that Patrick made when he lived in Hanover – mostly country, with some zydeco and late-80s alt rock thrown in because it’s Patrick. Patrick. He’s getting married tomorrow, marrying Sibel, who is smart and beautiful, but, most of all, good to Patrick. And we won’t be there. Chris can’t leave work this week because his employees are at a conference through Wednesday, and I simply couldn’t imagine traveling to South Carolina alone with Sylvan and enjoying a wedding while chasing around a toddler. I can’t believe we’re missing Patrick’s wedding, though. After all these years!

Patrick loved living in Oregon. Listening to his music, driving through the rain and the autumn colors, I started thinking about all of our great friends who are scattered across the country, many of whom we rarely see, and I wondered if I truly appreciated being with them when we spent every day together in high school, college, or grad school. Then I think about the amazing places out there that I’ll never see – places right outside my back door and places half a world away. What kind of cruel joke is a dinky 90-year lifespan (if I luck out and follow in my grandmoms’ footsteps)? Okay, maybe that was a leap, but that’s what I was thinking about. I spent 2.5 hours driving today while my one passenger and listener slept, so I did a lot of thinking.

Sylvan playing in a puddle at the Benson Lake THI looked in the rearview mirror at Sylvan, his lips puffy and pursed with sleep. I love it here, too. I wish my family weren’t so far away. Aside from that, I just want to hug this place every day. Sylvan and I were headed up near McKenzie Pass today to hug a place before the snow came and closed the road for the season; Chris said that the snow level is supposed to come down to 3000 feet on Tuesday, which means that Sylvan and I were probably the last folksSylvan smiling at Benson Lake to hit Benson Lake without skis this season (and my guess is that the ski up the highway is a little much even for dedicated winter campers). It also means that, yippee!, ski season is right around the corner. After some time spent playing in the parking lot puddle, we set out for a little 1.3 mile walk up to Benson Lake, which was gray and rippled with wind. As you can see from his gravelly fingers, the beach was a hit. Sylvan stomped and splashed in the water (thanks for the hand-me-down boots, Silas) and had a full-blown, arched- back toddler screaming fit at Benson Lake. Was he too cold? Hungry? In need of breastmilk? Frustrated that I insisted on helping him in the water? I don’t know, but I layered him up with a puffy jacket under his hunter orange rainsuit, breastfed him in a rain shower while conducting all my heat to a hunk of basalt that darn well better have appreciated it (Yes, the rock, not Sylvan. I know what I’m modifying here.), and shared 5 ounces of tasty sharp cheddar with him. He smiled his charming smile and agreed to happily chatter with me for the first half of the 1.3 downhill miles. Then he conked out, not falling over in the backpack because, with his layers, he resembled the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

In the parking area, at an old quarry, the leftover boulders proved a good hiding place for pikas. One eeped at us as we stripped off our raingear. I explained that pikas are related to rabbits, that they cut, dry, and cache plants for the winter, and that I’ve rarely heard them in Oregon. Sylvan just wanted to get into the car, point at the lights, and devour Cheerios.

Unintentional Poetry

Posted by julie on Friday, 3 November 2006, 22:51

New Words 11/2

maybe SHOE

Mother’s Little Helper

Posted by julie on Thursday, 2 November 2006, 23:45

No, not Mick Jagger and Keith Richards’s little yellow pill; it’s far better than that. Sylvan took a two hour and 50 minute nap this afternoon. Yes, folks, that’s almost three whole hours! Sylvan was mother’s little helper, but only because he was asleep. Now, if you don’t spend the majority of your time with a 14-month-old, that may not seem like a big deal. You might actually SQUANDER three hours watching TV or driving a car or something. No, that’s valuable time. I fertilized the lawn, ate a fake chicken cutlet on a roll (not just Halloween candy for lunch), made arrangements to get a native shrub for our backyard, e-mailed a travel agency about our Christmas flights, put up hooks in the laundry room for our wet biking outerwear, talked to my cardiologist, talked to the outreach coordinator at REI regarding the Friends of Buford Park’s silent auction, prepared for tomorrow evening’s board meeting, and answered other random e-mails. Wow. I crossed off every single item on my “immediate” list. Oh, did I mention that I had had coffee for breakfast?

When he finally awoke, I found him sitting in the corner of his crib, legs stretched out in front of him with his socks off, talking. All of his crib items – bears, bunnies, and blanket – were no longer in the crib but were in a heap on the floor.

Elvis is in the building

Posted by julie on Wednesday, 1 November 2006, 2:00

catolantern.JPGToday felt like fall in New England – bright and crisply cold. Last night was our first frost; the tomato plants are graying and wilty, but I did find five more decent tomatoes. I guess I can finally pull out the plants and either plant some cover-cropping crimson clover or blanket the garden with leaves. It was 17 degrees last night, which tied 2002 for the record low for the date.

Sylvan and I celebrated fall and our new bike trailer by getting around via bicycle today, despite temperatures that didn’t climb out of the 40s until late this afternoon. This new trailer is narrower than the old one, which makes me much more comfortable riding with traffic, and it has a stroller wheel that can swing down when the trailer and bike are separated. This is super-useful when one has a child who simply can’t stay awake when the vehicle/swing/bicycle/backpack is in motion; instead of sitting and reading the New Yorker while Sylvan slept, I shopped for feta, got a coffee, and solicited for donations for the Friends of Buford Park’s silent auction.

Sylvan in leaf pileSylvan helped me rake maple leaves this afternoon. Well, okay, the verb rake is a stretch; Sylvan wasn’t so good with the rake, and I managed to uncover only a very small portion of the yard, but it didn’t matter, because at least one of us obviously had fun.

Sylvan happy in the leaves

Sylvan sneering as ElvisAnd here is Elvis from his 70s Vegas years, a costume Sylvan was able to wear three times this season, since he’s such a little party animal. He wore the costume well, despite its short length, since I made it from a 6-9 month sleeper, and scratchy neck. He also had to deal with eyeliner sideburns and chops and a scarf that was so long for the first party that he stepped on it again and again. He’s a trouper. This photo is from the first party and shows the costume best, although the thunderbird my Mom suggested I make for the back is quite impressive but not quite visible in this photo.