Friday, May 29, 2009

don't be an douchebag, read to your kid, and mean it!

SO apparently if you read to your kid, but you do it like a jerk, the goods won't stick. Nipper's cousin Todd, who is a super genius, and a wizard in the kitchen, wrote this article on . Those of you who think that your peevish bedtime stories are paying off, had better click on over and read it PRONTO! Encouragement and love is what kids need to feel confident. Who knew???

I read something similar in the book "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell, who is, like NK's cousin Todd, a super genius. (though I have no idea wether or not he can scramble and egg) He writes about the way in which a kid who is born with a high IQ, but who is not nurtured or given guidance, can be at a disadvantage to a kid who is merely average, but is given support to learn and grow. I think we've all seen examples of this. Everyone knows someone who is clearly highly intelligent, but totally dysfunctional in the world. That self declared genius, the mensa groupie, who can't seem to hold down a job. And of course the dumb dumb who just keeps winning. (W)

Another good book I just finished, not necessarily on this subject exactly, but still a fascinating read is "Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America" by Paul Tough. I don't know if Tough is any kind of genius, or chef, but he writes a damn good book, and I'm sure his mother is proud.

As you might have noticed, I learned how to use the link button on blogger. It's like I'm, you know, part of this whole stupid internet fad.

Free birth control, fertilizer, and other mind blowing perks!

So this week I got to thinking about a few of my babyless friends who have asked me in the last two years, "How is it? Is it hard? Do you love it?"  Here are a few tidbits to elucidate the joys of parenthood.

For the most part, it's the most overwhelming feeling of love, and pride, and ooey gooey all encompassing smoochiness. Most days, I have to restrain myself from trying to eat Jack's face. I'm not a cannibal, but now I see how it could happen. Just one little cheek. But there is a dark side. 

Three days ago, Jack went up to his friend Cleo's house to play. It was the first time that Nipper Knapp and I have been alone together in the house in TWO YEARS!!!! So take a look at your husband, or boyfriend, or wife, or girlfriend or Oprah, or whoever it is you're thinking of have a baby with, and know that it might be a LONG time before you are able to, you know, sit on the couch naked in the middle of the afternoon and eat cheesy poofs. Or whatever it is that got you thinking about baby making in the first place... 

Tuesday night was also special and romantic because Jack pooped on our bedroom floor, stepped in it, and crawled into our bed, spreading his poopy goodness far and wide. I'm just sayin...

The above pictures were taken in his bath 7 minutes before the poop on the floor incident (his first, and I'm hoping last). SO as you can see, it's complicated.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

dead tree walking...

When Nipper Knapp and I first saw our house, it was like stumbling upon an oasis in the desert. Seriously we were parched. We had looked at every nasty little saltine box from West Hollywood to Eagle Rock. One place we looked at had a enormous yard. This thing was like a football field. It had two giant oak trees at the back that provided shade for the huge expanse, of what had clearly been, a latrine. The previous owner had either had horses, or cattle, or two of the largest dogs ever, because the lawn was COVERED in poop. I'm not a realtor, but I don't think "sea of poop" is one of those buzz words that helps sell a house. We passed. 

We were so disheartened by what we had seen in our price range, when our realtor called us about this place, and we told her we didn't even want to see it. But she persisted, and as soon as we walked in the door, we knew. The yard was unfinished and there was this dead tree in it, but we saw it had a lot of potential. Plus the house was wall to wall windows. Most of the other houses we had looked at, were like submarines. Just little portholes for peering out at the dangerous neighborhoods they were located in.  

Well it turned out that dead tree in the yard was a jacaranda, and it wasn't dead at all. (If  you grew up south of Texas, you pronounce jacaranda: Hock-a rhonda, and if you grew up north of it, you call it a Jack-a-randa). It is one of the greatest things about our home. It was in this state, because the people next door had insisted, that the old man who owned the house cut it back hard every year, so that it's blossoms wouldn't dirty up their driveway. Imagine that! The lady with plastic flowers PLANTED in her garden was opposed to delicate purple petals raining down on her property. Oh I don't know, only one of the most beautiful things witnessed by man, in the universe!!!! Needless to say, we have let it grow, along with the carpet of lavender petals it leaves on our lawn. So, uhm, I guess what I'm trying to say is "Look at my pretty tree, and SUCK IT, crazy neighbor!!!!"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Quit Blogging Salbrekesh!

So there's a list of things I should be doing, and a list of things I want to be doing, and while a few things on those lists overlap, for the most part the things I WANT to be doing are winning. 

I was watching this terrible show last night, on the style network, about the America's messiest house. The show could be an awesome piece of trash tv, if the entire cast of "helpers" wasn't so fucking irritating, and camp, and stupid. Here's the pitch: "Let's get a retarded southern woman, a hyper bitchy gay guy, a sassy black lady, and a bulky, but dull straight man, to give messy people the business about their sad, sad lives. It's an all demographic killer!" 

That said, I fast forwarded through the entire 2 hour show. Riveting. How could people live like that! Filth, beyond belief. But it was the reasons they gave that sent a shiver down my spine. The husband had a "back injury", he was depressed, which was why he had so many hobbies, and why he collected trash to bring home to sell on the internet, which he never did, because he had a "back injury". The wife was basically just this emotionally paralyzed person who kept saying "whatever he wants, I don't want him to be unhappy." Dudes! Your living in squalor that would make a rag picker in Calcutta be like "ewwww", but by all means, hold onto that model airplane, and those board games with the missing pieces. What the fuck is wrong with people! 

Which brings me back to my lists. What I need to be doing in researching a better lens for shooting weddings, printing my music portfolio, re-doing my website, shooting headshots to pay for new lens for shooting weddings, cleaning out the garage, cleaning my desk, talking to Nipper Knapp about things other than "did Jack poop today? Oh really how was it?". But instead I'm sewing curtains for the neighbors (more on their adorableness later... the curtains, not the neighbors) embroidering organic cotton shopping bags, watching endless hours of television, staring at the mailbox, waiting for residuals, wasting hours on design*sponge, thinking up new ways to waste time, I shouldn't be wasting. Oh, and of course writing this blog. Because the world needs to know...

There was a girl at my boarding school who's last name was Salbrekesh, and I can't remember her first name, but from what I can remember she was kind of wild. She was from New York, and she had this great NY accent, and wore those giant gold Egyptian Nefertiti earrings, that girls wore in the 80's. In my little pebble of an adolescent mind she was from MTV, and I was from Michigan. This girl was all tough tough tough, and sass sass sass, until her dad came for a parents weekend. All of a sudden, this girl, who for all I know was a teenage madame, was all "daddy" this, and "daddy" that. She even sat on his lap through a group meeting one time. (I didn't go to Exeter people, I went to "Let's talk about your family's problems, and eat lobster, school".) So finally one day the headmaster, or someone in charge says "Quit blocking Salbrekesh". This guys couldn't see that his daughter was rolling him. Just like this lady on tv couldn't see that her husband had turned her house into a trash heap. Just like if I'm not careful, I'm going to end up the crazy cat lady with a stockpile of craft supplies from Michael's smothering me in my sleep! For those of you who have seen Nipper Knapp's German engineering style of organization, you think this might not be possible, but I bet old man Salbrekesh in his wool trousers, and tidy moustache never thought he'd have Heidi Fleiss for a daughter either...

Friday, May 22, 2009

My eyes were bigger than my bed

So, uhm, I was at the nursery, and thought, I have this HUGE raised bed, and I have to fill it with wholesome organic goodness. So I bought one of everything. I've got three types of tomatoes, two types of blueberries, two types of raspberries, three kinds of peas, pickling cucumbers, strawberries, two types of pepper (habanero, and thai) rosemary, sage, thyme, basil (genovese and thai) dill, lemon balm, and fennel. Oh yeah, and CORN!!!! I bought 24 corn plants, and then realized that realistically I have room for about 6, so I gave one pack to Roberto, the guy who does everything around here, and one pack to Brenda, our life saving babysitter. I'm going to give the last pack to my friend Sadie to plant in her new garden. 

I have a feeling in about 3-4 weeks, I'm going to have to move a few things into pots of their own, or fly old Peepaw out here to build another bed. Even in they're plant infancy, they are looking a little crowded. I also realized that I completely forget to get peppermint, and cilantro. How will we ever go on??? Dad, start looking at tickets to LA!

I tried to get Jack to help me plant a few things, but mostly he was interested in shaking the dirt out of the empty pots, and filling his dump truck with stuff. SO much for botany 101. Now he'll never get into college!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Urban Farming

So I got it in my pretty little head that this family needs to start growing it's own fruits and vegetables. Partly because if Nipper Knapp and I have one more conversation about the price of blueberries, and how they're cutting into my Marc Jacobs handbag budget, I'm taking the gas pipe. The other reasons of course being, eating local, and lowering our carbon footprint, whatever that means.

So I enlisted the help of my visiting father, and together we built a raised bed big enough to bury Andre the giant. It's 3'X8'X24", which I now realize is ridiculous. But when my dad kept asking me at the lumber yard, why I was DEMANDING it be so big, I said "duh, so the food plants don't get crowded". Also, by we, I mean, he built it, and I stood around blowing bubbles with Jack. 

I'll post more photos once we actually have plants planted. I have dreams of garden dinners with fresh petite pois, and sliced melon from our own harvest. I also have dreams of a magic plant that delivers village pizzeria pizzas right to my door.