Procrastination Sensations

I have a boring task to get back to for work, but I need a break, so I figured I'd update as to the doings of my wild glamorous life.
Let's see...
1. Shock of the year- a child of mine is more verbal than physical. Gwendy is still not crawling- or more accurately, not crawling with any measure of success. She occasionally gets into crawl stance, but then only manages to go backwards to her eternal chagrin. She is, however, incredibly vocal. Only this week she added "Hi!", "Up", and "This" to her vocab. She is delighted with both dogs, and summons them to her by slapping the couch and shouting "EH!!" She has also figured out how to sit up from a lying down position, but not how to get back down, so every once in a while I'm called to her room in the middle of the night to find her sitting there in the dark like an adorable gargoyle.

2. This summer is shaping up to be pretty awesome. Gavin and I celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary in June, as well as Gwen's first b-day! His folks are coming from Cali for the big party- can't wait to see them. Plus these a Lake George trip planned with the fam in August, and lots of nice little weekends with Joy on the beach out East. I LOVE East Coast Summer!!

3. Surreal moment- thinking about what to do for my mom for mother's day, and then going "Hey- holy crap. I am a mom too!".

4. And finally, something to ponder. I live in a very Orthodox Jewish neighborhood. The women dress 'modestly', in black skirts, etc. and the men rock the big hats/long coats/prayer shawl look. But something that I noticed a few months ago- the women all wear wigs. I couldn't fathom it. Well, turns out it's from the whole "married women have to cover their hair" modesty /"your hair is only for your husband" thing. But like, they are covering their hair with fake hair. That would be like covering your cleavage with a shirt depicting cleavage. Anywho, it's apparently a HUGE industry in these parts. Some of these wigs cost thousands of dollars. Color me intrigued/baffled. And now, photos:

She was so squirmy Easter, this is one of the few pics I got..

They really are BFFs...

SOOO tired at Kyle's B-day party...


The More Things Change...

I don't get to read as much as I'd like, but I have some time on the train and right before bed. I try to get at least one "Classic I Should Have Read By Now But Haven't" in per month, with a couple of fluffier not-s0-intense books in between. I did The Great Gatsby last month (and LOVED it, BTW). This month is Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. I just began it this morning, and this chapter, chapter 5, jumped out off the page at me. Beautiful, horrible. And so incredibly timely. Here's part of it for you to read, if you like.

(**NOTE: THE FOLLOWING IS BY JOHN STEINBECK (duh), and in no way am I intending to give the impression I wrote this. If I wrote this well, I would have long since flown away on a jewel-encrusted pegasus to my chocolate covered mansion in the sky. )

The Grapes Of Wrath, Ch. 5:
"The owners of the land came onto the land, or more often a spokesman for the owners came. They came in closed cars, and they felt the dry earth with their fingers, and sometimes they drove big earth augers into the ground for soil tests. The tenants, from their sun-beaten dooryards, watched uneasily when the closed cars drove along the fields. And at last the owner men drove into the dooryards and sat in their cars to talk out of the windows. The tenant men stood beside the cars for awhile, and then squatted on their hams and found sticks with which to mark the dust.

In the open doors the women stood looking out, and behind them the children—cornheaded children, with wide eyes, one bare foot on top of the other bare foot, and the toes working. The women and the children watched their men talking to the owner men. They were silent.

Some of the owner men were kind because they hated what they had to do, and some of them were angry because they hated to be cruel, and some of them were cold because they had long ago found that one could not be an owner unless one were cold. And all of them were caught in something larger than themselves. Some of them hated the mathematics that drove them, and some were afraid, and some worshipped the mathematics because it provided a refuge from thought and from feeling. If a bank or a finance company owned the land, the owner man said, The Bank—or the Company— needs—wants—insists—must have—as though the Bank or the Company were a monster, with thought and feeling, which had ensnared them. These last would take no responsibility for the banks or the companies because they were men and slaves, while the banks were machines and masters all at the same time. Some of the owner men were a little proud to be slaves to such cold and powerful masters. The owner men sat in the cars and explained. "You know the land is poor. You've scrabbled at it long enough, God knows."

The squatting tenant men nodded and wondered and drew figures in the dust, and yes, they knew, God knows. If the dust only wouldn't fly. If the top would only stay on the soil, it might not be so bad.

The owner men went on leading to their point: "You know the land's getting poorer. You know what cotton does to the land; robs it, sucks all the blood out of it." The squatters nodded—they knew, God knew. If they could only rotate the crops they might pump blood back into the land.

Well, it's too late. And the owner men explained the workings and the thinkings of the monster that was stronger than they were. "A man can hold land if he can just eat and pay taxes; he can do that."

"Yes, he can do that until his crops fail one day and he has to borrow money from the bank.”

“But—you see, a bank or a company can't do that, because those creatures don't breathe air, don't cat side-meat. They breathe profits; they eat the interest on money. If they don't get it, they die the way you die without air, without side-meat. It is a sad thing, but it is so. It is just so."

The squatting men raised their eyes to understand. "Can't we just hang on? Maybe the next year will be a good year. God knows how much cotton next year. And with all the wars—God knows what price cotton will bring. Don't they make explosives out of cotton? And uniforms? Get enough wars and cotton’ll hit the ceiling. Next year, maybe." They looked up questioningly.

"We can't depend on it. The bank—the monster has to have profits all the time. It can't wait. It'll die. No, taxes go on. When the monster stops growing, it dies. It can't stay one size."

Soft fingers began to tap the sill of the car window, and hard fingers tightened on the restless drawing sticks. In the doorways of the sun-beaten tenant houses, women sighed and then shifted feet so that the one that had been down was now on top, and the toes working. Dogs came sniffing near the owner cars and wetted on all four tires one after another. And chickens lay in the sunny dust and fluffed their feathers to get the cleansing dust down to the skin. In the little sties the pigs grunted inquiringly over the muddy remnants of the slops.

The squatting men looked down again. "What do you want us to do? We can't take less share of the crop—we're half starved now. The kids are hungry all the time. We got no clothes, torn an' ragged. If all the neighbors weren't the same, we'd he ashamed to go to meeting."

And at last the owner men came to the point. "The tenant system won't work, any more. One man on a tractor can take the place of twelve or fourteen families. Pay him a wage and take all the crop. We have to do it. We don't like to do it. But the monster's sick. Something's happened to the monster."

"But you'll kill the land with cotton."

"We know. We’ve got to take the cotton quick before the land dies. Then we’ll sell the land. Lots of families in the East would like to own a piece of land."

The tenant men looked up alarmed. "But what’ll happen to us? How’ll we eat?"

"You’ll have to get off the land. The plows’ll go through the dooryard."

And now the squatting men stood up angrily. "Grampa took up the land, and he had to kill the Indians and drive them away. And Pa was born here, and he killed weeds and snakes. Then a bad year came and he had to borrow a little money. An’ we was born here. There in the door—our children born here. And Pa had to borrow money. The bank owned the land then, but we stayed and we got a little bit of what we raised."

"We know that—all that. It’s not us, it’s the bank. A bank isn’t like a man. Or an owner with fifty thousand acres, he isn’t like a man either. That’s the monster."

"Sure," cried the tenant men, "but it’s our land. We measured it and broke it up. We were born on it, and we got killed on it, died on it. Even if it’s no good, it’s still ours. That’s what makes it ours—being born on it, working it, dying on it. That makes ownership, not a paper with numbers on it."

"We’re sorry. It’s not us. It’s the monster. The bank isn’t like a man."

"Yes, but the bank is only made of men."

"No, you’re wrong there—quite wrong there. The bank is something else than men. It happens that every man in a bank hates what the bank does, and yet the bank does it. The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It’s the monster. Men made it, but they can’t control it."

The tenants cried, "Grampa killed Indians, Pa killed snakes for the land. Maybe we can kill banks—they're worse than Indians and snakes. Maybe we got to fight to keep our land, like Pa and Granpa did."

And now the owner men grew angry. "You’ll have to go."

"But it's ours," the tenant men cried. "We—"

"No. The bank, the monster owns it. You'll have to go."

"We'll get our guns, like Granpa when the Indians came. What then?"

"Well—first the sheriff, and then the troops. You'll be stealing if you try to stay, you'll be murderers if you kill to stay. The monster isn't men, but it can make men do what it wants."

"But if we go, where'll we go? How'll we go? We got no money."

"We're sorry," said the owner men. "The bank, the fifty-thousand-acre owner can't be responsible. You're on land that isn't yours. Once over the line maybe you can pick cotton in the fall. Maybe you can go on relief. Why don't you go on west to California? There's work there, and it never gets cold. Why, you can reach out anywhere and pick an orange. Why, there's always some kind of crop to work in. Why don't you go there?" And the owner men started their cars and rolled away.

The tenant men squatted down on their hams again to mark the dust with a stick, to figure, to wonder. Their sun- burned faces were dark, and their sun-whipped eyes were light. The women moved cautiously out of the doorways toward their men, and the children crept behind the women, cautiously, ready to run. The bigger boys squatted beside their fathers, because that made them men. After a time the women asked, What did he want?

And the men looked up for a second, and the smolder of pain was in their eyes. "We got to get off. A. tractor and a superintendent. Like factories."

Where'll we go? the women asked.

"We don't know. We don't know.""


A Short Story, told With Photos...

OMG- I just got invited to a really exclusive party in Tribeca...but what do I have to wear that's cool enough?? It's got to be awesome- all the hippest, richest babies will be there!!

Ok, well, I'll just look in the phone book under "cool clothes"....ok..."clergy", "cooking", "copy machines"....

There's no "cool clothes" in here anywhere! See, this is why I need an Iphone!!

Oh!!! but I have those awesome outfits Gramma sent me in the mail!! YES!!

Tre chic, non?

...Just re-read invite...says 'formal attire only'....*sigh*....

Aw screw it, I'll just go nekkid!

Oooh, but....is that over-the-top??? I mean, what is the statement I'm making here??

I've got it!! I'll wear my tutu! Very Sarah Jessica Parker!

OMG, I am going to be the talk of this party!!

Lemme just fluff this thing up a bit...get it really poofy...

Yeah, yeah....this could totally work...

Hmm...But is it too Sarah Jessica Parker....

...and by so blatantly referencing pop culture do I risk looking gauche and/or like a victim of TV indoctrination...

Crap. This is SO NOT WORKING....

What am I going to do?? The party is in like an hour!!!

Forget this. I'm just gonna eat cookies on the couch!

....despair....even Elmo can't cheer me up...

....life is a black hole of sadness....


WHAT?? "Those people aren't fit to lick my feet?" What do you mean Emmy?

Aw Emmy, you're the best. And you're totally right. Why should I let some lame-o hipsters define me??

Man, I feel like a new woman. Forget that stupid snobby party. I think I'm gonna relax in a nice hot tub.

I march to the beat of my own drum. I revel in my individuality!

I am a centered, zen-like person.

But seriously...what am I gonna wear to that gallery opening next week?...