Saturday, August 2, 2014

July 2014

July has been full of fun. And waiting. Being a stay-at-home-mom has begun to require some creativity, too. One of the hardest parts for me is not making money AND having time to shop. I'm a thrifty shopper, but even so...

Heard: My brothers make fun of me for liking Neon Hitch because Spotify associates her with the Beebs, Nicki Minaj, etc., but I feel like she's way more funky and niche than those cats. I mean, Neon is her real name, she grew up in the circus, and there's a sitar in this song. Definitely feeling it. "Bad Dog" is probably my favorite song of hers, but it's a tad filthy. This song mentions head wraps and Bonnie and Clyde, which is cool with me.

Read: I finally finished reading Lolita (by Vladimir Nabokov) after starting it last fall. I read most of it right away and then got distracted, I guess - all this after beginning to read it years ago and being completely blown away with the writing, but too creeped out by the story. This time, I wasn't as struck with the writing and the plot was still difficult, but I made it through. In fact, I do think it's excellent writing (but not unconditionally the best I've ever read, like I'd previously held it to be), partly because the story is from the point of view of a child molester and yet, there are times when you find yourself in his shoes - I would tend to think that was impossible, thus why I have to credit Nabokov's extremely skilled mind and pen. It's so human that it's kind of uncanny - you realize that in some moments, HH really does love Lolita, and you realize what an unpleasant, but pitiful and broken and precious, person Lolita is. The writing style itself made me feel distinctly that there are people in the world much smarter than I - much of the text is the ramblings of HH's mind, jumping from thought to thought without bridges in between, and I wasn't able to make many of the jumps without further explanations. Many parts of the book simply went over my head. When I was more in touch with the tumblr and Swedish street style blog scene (haha) a few years ago, there was definitely this idolization of Lolita in that sub-set of pop culture. The book to some extent, but the character mostly, I think. After reading the book, I'm troubled that some young woman want to be associated with her. I get it in a way, but also not really. I actually ripped the cover off my copy because I was unsettled by the cover art, but in general, Lolita has some of the best designed covers I've ever seen. I think this one is my favorite.

Jonas and I went on a date to Crawdaddy's in SLO which was a fun experience! I'm excited to have a Cajun place near by and would like to try other stuff on their menu besides the crawfish boil we got last time. I cooked a LOT this month. Some of my favorites: Grilled Zucchini and Leeks with Walnuts and Herbs, Grilled Moroccan Chicken, Watermelon-Strawberry-Mint Salad, Coconut Milk Shrimp Ceviche, Meatballs in Cream Sauce, and Passion Fruit Truffles.

Browsed: With food on the brain so much, stumbling across EatWith and KitchenSurfing was extra fun and mouth watering, and got my brain wheels turning about working up to being a private chef and/or hosting monthly themed dinners and/or teaching small cooking classes. We'll see if that ever develops into more than a seed in my mind. In a similar vein, I REALLY hope The League of Kitchens branches out to California.
I can't wait to get my hands on a cocktail umbrella so I can check for a secret message!
Every time I hear about Kowloon Walled City, I'm bummed it was demolished before I had a chance to see it. At least the internet is awesome and I can see it in a virtual sense. If you've ever played Half Life (my husband has, I think), one of the versions is set in KWC, which has generated some cool artwork and is another way to virtually explore the city. I saw that world-building refereed to as "nerdvana", which delights me. Greg Grirard is kind of THE photographer of KWC, that I know of, and his photos, especially this one, are pretty amazing. This post has some more incredible artwork of KWC, and if you want to get crafty, THIS!

I've been around long enough to realize that even when I can find a bra that feels comfortable (once in a blue moon), I'm probably still in that 90% wearing the wrong size. Well, hello Pinterest link. There is a LOT of information here, and even more if you follow her links (all the ones I linked to were yet more info that I found useful), but I'm definitely on the right path to a better fit now. Several of the links include photos and videos which are very helpful, but NSFW.
Experienced: We found a stray kitten, rescued it from a busy intersection, and my mother-in-law ended up adopting it. Adorableness abounded, and it was sad to not be able to keep it ourselves! [image]

Ishmael and I spent a weekend at our old stomping grounds at the beach house in Silverstrand, Oxnard, to celebrate my mom's Masters in Social Work and my brother Jonathan's graduation from high school. 

Jonas wasn't able to attend the beach weekend because he was at work, earning his level 6 raise! We've been waiting for that for a long, long time, and I'm so proud of him. 

One of my best friends, Emily, married her dream guy in Chicago. I was sad I couldn't be in or even go to the wedding (due to being hugely pregnant), but the couple stopped by for lunch on their honeymoon road trip. 

I also got to go to a fun bachelorette party for my friend Amber, in which we encountered a stranger who advised her not to get married. I, on the other hand, love love.

Boys: It was interesting to watch Ishmael interact with the kitten we had for a day - at first he was thrilled, then indifferent, than a little jealous, which is exactly how I imagine he will feel about a new brother. He was pretty gentle over all, so I'm grateful for that. His stuffed kitty gets shared with everyone he meets, which is pretty sweet. We'll see how long the good sharing lasts with a sibling. He loves to listen to music on headphones (and pause and un-pause the music every 1/2 second), which is convenient for us when he crawls in to our bed around 7 in the morning. He experienced his first quarter in a candy machine and about lost his mind with excitement, it totally made my day. He also loves to flush the toilet, and when he saw me use toilet paper to wipe my nose, he said, "NO! Pee-pee!" I thought baby-brother would be here in July, but he decided to be an August baby. We got his bed ready, pulled out some itty bitty clothes, and I hand-dyed him some swaddling blankets. I even have the blog post about his name all ready to go.

Loved: Feeling rested and having time to finish projects before Mr. Baby 2, spending time with Ishmael, fresh flowers, ocean water in the summer, all the amazing produce at farmer's markets, finding stuff I was looking for at thrift stores. And this chair. 

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