Hello, 30s!

Well, I'm officially 30 years old now. I'm not really a birthday person. My dear sweet husband always does something amazing for me (like bringing me a bouquet of the giantest flowers he could find), but we usually celebrate in a quiet way...dinner out, special desert, a trip, or a concert. Not this year! We threw a huge party in our new house and it was an awesome mix of friends and family, musicians and good food. But the celebration has come and gone, and now I'm settling in for a new decade of adventures.

The biggest new adventure, of course, is that we are expecting a baby. Big on so many levels, not excluding the big new pants I need to accommodate my bulging waist. October is the magic month, and my Grandpa is pulling for his birthday on October 17, although the date I have been given is the 24th, and first babies are never on time. Or so they say. So now that I am looking more like a baby is growing in my belly, and less like I just ate a big sandwich, there is no point in trying to hide it.

Another big adventure, at least on a scale of that-is-a-really-ridiculously-BIG-day-hike, is the plan Caveman, M and my dad have to do the Rachel Carson Challenge in June. They will be attempting to walk 34 miles in one day. On account of our other big adventure, I will be abstaining from this Feat of Feet. But I'll be there to cheer them up, and to drive their poor, broken bodies back home.

Stay tuned for more adventures.


The Story of Stuff

The New York Times wrote about the Story of Stuff, a twenty-minute animated film about the effects of the stuff we buy. I mentioned it a while back, but apparently, this video has been spreading like wildfire through classrooms, as teachers are using it to supplement the pitifully weak textbook materials that are available on environmental issues.

You can watch the video in its entirety here and decide for yourself whether you think it's appropriate for children. The basic message is, the stuff you buy, particularly the stuff you buy and then throw away ends up somewhere, impacting the lives of somebody, even if you never think about it again. Simple enough in theory, hardly arguable, and yet, oh so hard for me to remember when I walk into Target or Ikea.

In the NY Times article, some parents object to the video, saying,

There was not one positive thing about capitalism in the whole thing...It was very well done, very effective advocacy, but it was just that,” he said.

Two things are going on here. First a problem with capitalism vs. environmentalism - a debate that I think need not even exist. Second, a problem with parents' gross lack of understanding about what literacy is, what schooling is for, and the simple fact that every single piece of print or media material that their children ever view is biased in some way and children must be taught to interpret and judge it accordingly. And no, there isn't always a right answer. Sometimes there's not even two sides of an issue...there's fifty, or a hundred, or 7 billion! And it seems incredibly naive to me when parents assume that as long as you are using an Approved Textbook, you must be presented a fair and balanced perspective anyway. Have you read a textbook lately??

I would like to point out to that father quoted above that capitalism certainly has had its chance to present its side of the story to your child...in every commercial, billboard, logo'd t-shirt, and embedded within the movies, songs and television programs she watches since she was born.

In any case, I think this video is short, accessible, free, and thought-provoking, on a topic that we should all take a little more seriously.



I haven't been posting too much lately. Some of the stuff that's on our minds is kind of lame (new windows, plumbing disasters, etc.), but there's a lot of other crazy in a good way stuff going on. It just doesn't seem blog-ready though. But I'm trying to stay diligent about writing every day and promise to start posting again soon. And people always ask me about the book, oh the book. I'm trying. I just finished up a really tough semester and now I finally have some time to do my own things. Especially while I am waiting for the plumber. Which seems to take a big chunk of my time these days. Whenever I start writing I just can't believe some of the places I've seen and people I've come across. I just wasted about an hour at work (it's the university. on a friday. of the five people that actually bothered to come to work today, nobody is doing much of anything so I don't feel too bad about this) reading old blog entries, and thinking how many times I have said "this must be the best day of my life" over the past 3 years. And then the next day was even better. Incredible.

We are having a house warming party/birthday celebration on Saturday May 16...I'm going to be 30 years old this month! Holy smokes! Come celebrate with us! Send me an email if you didn't get our Evite and want details and directions.


Ping Pong

I really, really wanted to write a post about ping pong today. There was a table in our basement, and we finally bought a net and some paddles and had high hopes for a spirited doubles match this evening. Unfortunately, when Pete attempted to set up the table, he found it was covered in mold. Bummer. But it's garbage night and you are allowed 2 bulk items a week, so they thought they would just get rid of it, since we're doing all kinds of spring cleaning. But it wouldn't fit out the basement door. Bummer again. So now, he's sawing it into pieces to get it out. And we have no place to play ping pong.