Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Props, Angry Beavers and Easter Squirrels

I have a lot of business items to attend to this evening and not a lot of motivation for contemplative blogging (maybe that's a relief!) so here's a roundup of crap that's happened since last I posted. 

  • Jovie's pukecident on Thursday was a harbinger of doom. I won't go into the gritty (or should I say dirty? Sloppy? Smelly?) details, suffice to say by Easter Sunday, Jovie had gone through several wardrobe changes and Monday morning Lily greeted me in her vomit-smeared crib (ooops. Too gritty?). Today was more of the same, rarely in easy-to-clean locations (our white living room carpet hasn't fared well this week). 
  • My former colleagues at the York Daily Record (including my amazing husband Brad) just learned that they received an honorable mention for the 2013 Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage in Trauma. They took an in-depth look at the long-term impact on students and teachers of a 2003 shooting at a local junior high school (see the story here). Judges called it "moving," "compassionate" and "eloquent." They're being honored alongside the likes of The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Pro Publica, and This American Life. Congratulations Bill, ScottJasonSam and Brad! 
  • The squirrels dressed up for Easter. I failed to mark the occasion because after a day of brunching it with my siblings, picking up seemingly endless piles of plastic Easter eggs and tending to sick Jovie, there wasn't enough gas in the 'ol tank for Easter Squirrels:
That's a faux-hair scrunchie around his/her neck.
In the background of this picture you'll notice a wooden deer (with this head-on shot he kinda looks like the frame of a tee-pee). The deer is wearing bunny ears. I think the squirrel ladies are officially expanding their flock of anthropomorphic statuary.

Hope this egg has a carrot inside.
  • On Saturday I ventured down to D.C. kid-free to meet my brother and a couple friends for some Cherry Blossom viewing. Unfortunately, the cherry trees had other ideas. Here's a photo of one of the four trees that were actually starting to bloom: 

Under this tree were several tourists snapping pictures.
Fortunately, we found non-Cherry-Blossom ways to amuse ourselves. Here's my brother Steve pretending to be an angry beaver*.

I will make you rue the day you ever picked a blossom.
For some inexplicable reason, the Cherry Blossom Festival organizers selected a beaver as the mascot. There were little wooden beavers all around the Tidal Basin reminding visitors not to touch the blossoms. You know, beavers. The semi-aquatic rodents known for chewing down trees for dam construction and food. Does this mean that while we're not allowed to touch, stroke, pick or otherwise interact with any of the blossoms, we are allowed to gnaw on the trees? 

Moving on. We also stopped by the FDR memorial (one of my favorites) and snapped this picture on one of the turned-off water features (a spot we were more than likely not supposed to be standing on). 

We're not even afraid of fear itself.
This shot is just one of the myriad examples of the self-timer pictures my friend Becky (pictured at left) forces us to take every time we get together. Here's another:

We're soaking wet (but still smiling)
after getting caught in a rainstorm.
Someday I'll dig up one of her most famous self-timer shots from a few years ago: The two of us posing Apollo Ono-style while ice skating on a pond in Colorado. The camera was propped up on a pile of snow. I told you she was hard core.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” - Maya Angelou 
“Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself... It's a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.” - Harper Lee
“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” - George Orwell
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” - Ernest Hemingway
“You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Jack London
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Sylvia Plath
Why is it such a relief to see that so many of these writers agreed that act of writing is kind of a pain in the ass?

*The euphemisms were in bloom all day long. 

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