Monday, April 30

If this is Karma, I'd Sure Like to Know What I Did Wrong!

So today I was planning on posting my thoughts on the Democratic Candidates Debate, and I was even composing it in my head while I drove home. Then I made the mistake of checking the mail on my way in the door.

Today I received not one, not two, but three rejection letters from community colleges that I had applied to.


Now I have to just keep writing in order to prevent myself from burying my head under my pillow and bawling or eating everything in the pantry to fill the giant, gaping hole that I feel in my gut.

I am just so frustrated and so angry at myself and so depressed. I don't know what else to do with these fucking applications! My CV looks great. I have three glowing letters of recommendation from world-famous professors. I have a fantastic cover letter pointing out all of my exceptional qualifications and emphasizing my love of teaching. And still, not even one interview. Nada. Nobody wants to see my fabulous teaching portfolio; nobody cares about my amazing student evaluations; nobody wants to discuss my teaching philosophy.

I wish that I could just say "Screw them...their loss" and move on. Except that there is no school waiting in the wings to snatch me up, thanking their lucky stars that those other schools didn't want me. NOBODY wants me! Not even my own fucking school that I don't even want to teach at.

I could have maybe handled one rejection today, but three? That has used up all of my ability to cope for the week.

I just feel so powerless. Teaching is the one area in life where I feel fully confident about myself. I know I am a GREAT teacher. My students tell me that (well, except for the 10% of them who are never happy with the professor unless she says "Hey! Why don't we all just cut out this semester, and I'll give you all As? What say?"). My professors tell me that. My heart tells me that. But the job market? The job market tells me that I am a complete failure. That my chosen profession, the one that I have spent an obscene amount of time in school training to do, is out of my reach. That I cannot do the job I love to do and should instead accept my fate as a stay-at-home-mom because I will never, ever amount to anything else.

And I don't mean to snark on S.A.H.M.s here, but I, personally, do not have what it takes to be a S.A.H.M. I am so completely miserable not working that I can hardly function. I have put so much time and money into this teaching gig--it's what I want to do; it's what makes me happy--and I CAN'T DO IT!

Then I feel that the more desperate I become, the less chance I have of getting a job. It feels kind of like infertility that way. Desperation leads to failure, but how can you keep from being desperate when you are FAILING?!

And friends, please stop asking me how I am every time you see or talk to me. Unless you hear otherwise, nothing has changed. Believe me, if I got a job the world would know. You could not shut me up about how happy I was. I would call each and every one of you personally to let you know that I had SUCCEEDED. Being constantly asked, "So, how are you doing?" only forces me to think of the real answer to that question. It only forces me to come up with an appropriate lie. It only forces me to say "I'm OK" when really I am far from it. I know you mean well--I know it means you care, but I am definitely not okay and I won't be until something in my life manages to go as I had hoped it would.

Okay. Enough misery for now. I am sorry to rant on like this, but I needed to holler at someone, so I chose you.

Friday, April 27

Bad Mama

This is what happens when you try to clap your hands to get your baby's attention while still holding the spoon full of food.


Thursday, April 26

As if Life Wasn't Crappy Enough Right Now...

Damn you Giants...damn you to hell.

And I Mean it!

There's been a lot of buzz in the blogosphere lately regarding Bratz dolls and the recent APA task force findings on the dangers of sexualizing young girls (because apparently it's not dangerous until a task force says so). Rather than rehash the issue on this blog, I will point you here and here and here and here for a sampling of the responses. I just wanted to point out three things:

1) Regarding yesterday's post--I would rather M. cuss like a sailor than have her play with a Bratz or Barbie's that for priorities?

2) Please go to this site to sign a petition to tell Scholastic to keep Bratz books out of schools and to see what other actions can be taken to protect kids from the influence of marketers.

3) I believe that one of the main reasons parents succumb to the pressures of allowing their girls to have these toys is because they are received as gifts. As a society, we are trained that it is very rude to reject a gift, and therefore, if Great-Aunt Madge buys a Barbie, then it gets allowed into the house, lest we upset a poor old woman who didn't know any better. I believe that parents need to have the courage to voice their concerns about Barbies and Bratz and Disney Princess and any other self-esteem destroying "toys" that are out there, and to make it clear that those sorts of toys are not allowed. Look, I will start:

Dear Friends and Family:

I know that M. is not yet old enough to play with dolls, but when she is, I will not allow a Barbie or a Bratz doll into my home. [I reserve the right to also ban any other toy I deem inappropriate that I may not yet be familiar with or that may be released in the future.] If you buy her one of these dolls, or any of the subsequent merchandising related to these dolls, I will throw it into the trash. I will not do this out of anger towards you, and I do not want to offend you--I will do this to protect my daughter, her self-esteem, and her perception of womanhood. I ask that you support me in this even if you do not agree.

With love and thanks,

Wednesday, April 25

Little Cuss

The other day, when Ian and I were on our way into the movie theater, I saw something that disturbed me. A girl, maybe 14 years old, was walking with her friend and got into some sort of cussing match with a couple of teenage boys who were loitering in front of the theater. As far as I could tell, the only reason for this exchange was to swear, loudly, for the benefit of all within earshot. Eventually, the boy yelled after the girl "You're CRAZY!" (So original) to which she replied, while walking away, "Well, you can suck my dick and see how crazy I am then!"

(Let's just not go into the anatomical problems with that statement here.)

The point is, where did this girl learn it was acceptable to talk like that? The obvious answer seemed to be her parents, which made me shrivel a little inside because I have to admit that M. is exposed to such language by her own foul-mouthed parents.

Yes, that would be us. Because we both swear. A lot.

And I don't want to think of M. walking around some day shouting at pimply-faced boys to "Suck my dick." At the very least I would hope that she'd come up with a better comeback than that.

However, neither am I prepared to embrace censorship in order to guarantee that my daughter does not sound like she stepped, tiny and angelic, right off the set of Deadwood.

What a conundrum.

This won't be an issue for a long time, since the only thing she says now is "Bwah mwah lalala, thwwwppphhh!" (Which, for all I know, could mean "Get me my bottle, motherfucker!") and because cussing toddlers are funny. (If you don't believe me, watch this video:)

(Go ahead...I'll wait.)

Oh, haha! Whew! Cussing toddlers with beer...that's good stuff.

But my point. Yes. My point is that eventually the funny factor wears off, and cussing kids become just incredibly obnoxious. I don't want my daughter to be obnoxious. But how do I prevent this without advocating censorship?

Matilda's favorite music is Rage Against the Machine. Oh yes, since she was the womb. I know people don't believe me on this one, but it is true. That's right, Parental Advisory Warning Rage Against the Mother-Fucking Machine. I fear that someday I will be called into kindergarten to have this discussion:

Principal: So, we had some issues with Matilda today. It appears that she said to another child--wait, yes, here it is--"You can be fucking with other niggas' shit but you can't be fucking with mine."

Me: Oh dear.

Principal: Do you have any idea where she might have learned this language?

Me: ...

Principal: Ms. Sangster?

Me: Er, Rage Against the Machine?

Principal: Who?

Me: OKAY, well, I promise you that I will take care of this right away! I am SO sorry about this!

At which point I will have to explain to M. that what she should have said was, "I know you like to play with other kids toys, but PLEASE don't play with mine." Or I will have to teach her to share. Or something like that.

Parenting is hard.

Monday, April 23

You Say it's your Earth Day?

I meant to post this over the weekend, but I got caught up in, you know, stuff. So here is my belated Earth Day post.

Dear Planet Earth:

Hey there! Well, another year together...I can't believe we made it! I just wanted to let you know that you are the best planet EVER! You are always there for me when I need you, and you make me happy when I'm down. Plus, you keep me alive each and every day. Thanks for that.

I know some of the other kids bully you and treat you like shit. I am SO sorry about that! All I can say is THEY SUCK! If only they understood what a cool planet you really are, then they wouldn't be such jerks. Someday they'll be old and miserable and they'll be all like "Why weren't we nicer to Earth? We really need her now!" But I know that you are the coolest planet EVER, and I will never forget that.

We've had some great times together, right? Remember that time in Yosemite? Man, you looked SO hot that day! And those times when you made SOOOO many flowers? Crazy. Oh, and all that oxygen you make every day? So I can breath? You are SO sweet to do that!

I can't wait to spend some time with you this will be WILD! I'll bring the beer if you bring the food!

Love ya!


1) Yosemite NP, 1997
2) Great Basin NP, 2004
3) Kansas, 2004
4) Montana De Oro, 1992
5) Arches NP, 2004
6) Yosemite, 1993

Saturday, April 21

Addendum to Number 14 Below

Add Death Proof.

What a horrible, horrible movie. We left about 20 minutes early so that we could play a couple games of Ms. Pacman before they closed the arcade.

Shame on you, Quentin Tarantino.

Planet Terror, however, was brilliant. Zombies and BBQ and strong, sexy women to kill the zombies and eat the BBQ. I can't believe I didn't write this movie!

Thank you, Robert Rodriguez.

Silly Saturday

Okay, I am giving in and doing a meme. Not that I was "tagged" by someone or anything--I'm not sure how one even gets "tagged." But I've seen this meme floating around the blogosphere, and I like it because I LOVE movies! Also, I've been so serious and sad the past week that I thought I needed to write something silly just to lighten up. As for tagging...since I'm not sure how this is done, I'll just say that if you see your name in the sidebar of this blog, consider yourself tagged. That means you have to do this quiz on your blog or you may catch the plague or be hit by lightning or something really bad like that.

So without further ado--my first meme.

1. Name a movie that you have seen more than 10 times.

Quite a few...when I love a movie I tend to watch it over and over an over... But to name three: The Color Purple, Star Wars, and A Room with a View.

2. Name a movie that you've seen multiple times in the theater.

Lord of the Rings (I saw each one at least 4 times in the theater), The Piano (5 times), Pride and Prejudice (4 times)

3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a movie.

Ewan McGregor. I loves me the Ewan McGregor. Also, any "Dame" or "Sir"

4. Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a movie.

Kevin Costner (except in the case of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, which I love despite him)

5. Name a movie that you can and do quote from.

A Room with a View, "Mother doesn't like me playing Beethoven. She says I'm always peevish afterwards."
The Color Purple, "I loves Harpo--God knows I do!..."
Pulp Fiction, "Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead."

6. Name a movie musical that you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.

Mary Poppins (thanks, Megan)

7. Name a movie that you have been known to sing along with.

Um...Mary Poppins, and Oklahoma, 'cause I was in it in college.

8. Name a movie that you would recommend everyone see.

An Inconvenient Truth. When I saw it in the theater I was surrounded by crowds of geriatric liberals. Not really the audience that needs to see the movie methinks.

9. Name a movie that you own.

Impossible to answer this one without taking up several inches of blog space...we own LOTS of movies! I'll just say the movies most recently added to the collection were Matilda, East of Eden, and Pretty in Pink.

10. Name an actor that launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.

Mark Wahlberg.

11. Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in? If so, what?

Yes. My mom used to take me to the drive-in when I was very little so that I could sleep in the backseat. One of my earliest memories is pretending that I was asleep while watching the movie playing behind us, which was The Shining. Even without sound that film traumatized me.

12. Ever made out in a movie?

Yes, I missed most of Mel Gibson's Hamlet the first time I saw it.

13. Name a movie that you keep meaning to see but just haven't yet gotten around to.

Grindhouse, which we will be going to see in 4 hours (yay!)

14. Ever walked out of a movie?

My dad and I walked out on Johnny Dangerously and My Blue Heaven. Ian and I still regret not walking out on Van Helsing and demanding our money back.

15. Name a movie that made you cry in the theater.

I cry easily in movies (easier than I do in real life...go figure), but the two movies I have never been able to watch without crying are The Color Purple and Steel Magnolias.

16. Popcorn?

Only when I'm with my Dad. Then we share an extra large tub.

17. How often do you go to the movies (as opposed to renting them or watching them at home)?

About twice a month on average, more like 5 times a month during summer. Even with the baby, who has not curtailed our movie viewing at all. She very much enjoyed 300.

18. What’s the last movie you saw in the theater?

The Lookout--I give it a thumbs up

19. What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie?

What Ian calls my "Kippers for Breakfast" movies...anything period and preferably British

20. What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?

Hmmm...I've been going to movies for so long that it's hard to pinpoint. Probably something Disney, from way back before VCRs when you actually had to wait for a theatrical re-release to see a Disney movie. Or Star Wars.

21. What movie do you wish you had never seen?

Did I already mention Van Helsing? Also, Passion of the Christ, which grossed me out so badly I almost puked up my Hot Tamales.

22. What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?

Um, an ambiguous question. Does this mean what movie have I seen that was the weirdest (anything by David Lynch) or what movie is it the weirdest that I actually enjoyed? (Bring it On)

23. What is the scariest movie you’ve seen?

Blair Witch Project. I know that most people are just annoyed by this movie, but I couldn't sleep well for two days.

24. What is the funniest movie you’ve seen?

I'm going to rephrase this into "What movies made you laugh the most when you first saw them?" The Full Monty, Meet the Parents, Shawn of the Dead, and Borat

Wednesday, April 18

And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Nonsense

Okey dokey...and now the post I originally had planned for today. Thinking back to my post about the mostly-naked smoker hater, I thought I would mention a positive ad campaign, one that does not objectify women but celebrates them in all their shapes, sizes, colors, and ages. Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty is quite possibly the greatest ad campaign ever. I hope that they keep it up for the next 1o years so that I can Tivo them and play them for M. to counter the effects of any Bratz/Barbie/Disney Princess crap she may be exposed to. If you have not seen this already, here is an ad I think every girl should be required to watch:

Brilliant, no?

And the thing is, I think M. is beautiful. Ridiculously, wonderfully gorgeous. I tell her every day how pretty she is. What a perfect and lovely specimen of girl-child I created. But I worry about this. Because even if she does grow up to be the most stunning woman who ever lived, I do not want her thinking that this is what is important, that her looks are what make her special. While on the one hand I want her to have a strong self-esteem and not worry about her looks, maybe telling her how pretty she is is not the way to do this. I need to start saying, "You're so smart!" "You're so strong!" or "You're so funny!" (Granted, I do say these things, but they get a lot less air-time than "You're so pretty!")

Of course, the real answer to creating a strong sense of self-worth in my daughter is creating it in myself. Girls learn to be unhappy with themselves because their mothers teach them through example. And right now, I am not happy with myself. At all. I hate my scarred and disfigured stomach. I hate my body that never works like it is supposed to. I hate that I still can't fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I hate being unemployed. Basically, I value myself very little right now, and I need to fix this before I start rubbing off on M. The thing is, I'm not sure how to.

Tuesday, April 17

In an Effort to Focus on the Positive...

It only took a few hours for some of my favorite bloggers to write beautiful and eloquent responses to the Virginia Tech tragedy...I knew I could count on them! Here Oh the Joys sadly ponders how she can explain human cruelty to her children. Here Sad and Beautiful World Chooses Life. Here KevinCharnas plants a garden. Those are just a sampling, and one common theme was reflecting on what we're grateful for. So in that spirit I present...

Things from the Past Few Days that Have Made Me Very Happy


Micaela turning 30

Baking a cake from scratch for the first time and having it come out perfect (see above)

My sister getting engaged

All of the Dodgers wearing number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day at Dodger Stadium

And winning

Hitting the yard sales for the first time this year

And finding this high chair for $5

And putting it on the Mexican oilcloth splatmat I bought in Cambria.

And having two good dogs who clean the splatmat so I don't have to.

And always, always...


And Yet Still Another Reason to Worry for my Daughter

I opened up Bloglines this morning interested to see what all of the clever and intelligent bloggers I subscribe to had to say about the massacre at Virginia Tech only to find that most of them did not mention it at all. Hmm. Maybe they just haven't had time to put their thoughts into words. Maybe mommy bloggers don't want to think about a time when they have to send their babies to college where they could be shot. Maybe teacher bloggers don't want to think about the possibility of their students going on a murderous rampage. I'm not sure that I have any more coherent thoughts than that, but I do know that I can't just go on with the blog I had planned today in the wake of such a tragedy, so here goes--some random and jumbled thoughts about this horrible event:

  • I hate the media. Fucking vultures. I hate cell phones with video cameras. I do not want to hear the shots, the screams of terror. Nobody should be allowed to profit from such vile circumstances. I tried to watch the news last night to get a better grasp of what had happened, and I could only stomach it for 5 minutes before I turned it off. NBC aired a warning to parents--childcare experts advise parents to limit their children's viewing of the coverage of this event, lest it cause them too much trauma. Here's an idea, assholes...don't air footage that causes anybody too much trauma. Nobody needs to be bombarded with horrific images, ridiculous speculations, and interviews with the victims. Give us the facts, when you have them, and let the rest lie.
  • Now for the hypocrisy. Even though I can't handle the televised coverage, I have been reading news articles all morning. Here's one of those victim interviews I just admonished: in one of the classrooms, two young men had the presence of mind to barricade their classroom door with tables. While others were jumping out second story windows in a panic, these boys simply prevented the shooter from getting in at all. He gave the door a good shove, fired into it, and moved on. I mention this only because I truly hope that if something like this ever happened to me, I would manage to be that calm and wise. I mention this because as a teacher, I would hope that at the first sound of shots I would calmly put down my dry erase marker and instruct my students to start piling their desks up against the door and to stay away from the windows. I mention this because it is so sad that we live in a time where people have to come up with an in-case-of-massacre plan. The media-whores keep pushing the question of whether or not the campus police were prepared for this to happen, but really, isn't this the kind of event that we should, ideally, be completely unprepared for? Or are we really meant to live our lives thinking, "Okay, if we have a massacre today, here's what we need to do..."
  • Teachers just aren't paid enough.
  • Stop playing the blame game. I've read quotes from so many people who were "outraged" that the school wasn't closed down after the first two killings. Do these people realize how difficult it is to close an entire university campus? That would be equivalent to closing down an entire town because of one murder. With a campus police squad. What do you think would have happened if the campus police called the National Guard and said, we had a student shoot two other students in the dorm, will you come right over? If I were teaching in the English building at my school, I'm sure I could have gone on about the importance of thesis statements for hours before I had realized there had been a shooting in the Engineering building. Those campus cops did their best. Nobody could have prevented such a horrible thing from happening--there is only one person to blame, and he is dead.
  • Although, this generation is coming of age in a time when the government consistently tries to solve its problems with violence, so maybe a teeny bit of blame can go there, too.
  • I cannot live in fear. I cannot live in fear. Despite the title of this entry, I cannot allow myself to become so wrapped up in worry and doubt that I try to "save" M. from all the nasty things that could possibly happen to her. Bad things happen. Horrible, tragic things happen. But living life as if they are always about to happen? That, too, is tragic. As a mother, I have to let my daughter live her life as best she can with the tools I provide her. As a teacher, I cannot be suspicious of every student who seems stressed out or angry--hell, I'm stressed out and angry most of the time! As a thinking person, I cannot allow the media to dictate my perception of the world around me...just because they always focus on the negative doesn't mean I have to! Whenever something like this happens, I have to remind myself that there are good things in this world, as well. There are glorious, giving people doing good work every day. We just rarely hear about them.

Monday, April 16

Yet Another Reason to Worry for my Daughter

A few weeks ago, my mother, sister, and I made an emergency run to the mall because we were suddenly overwhelmed with the need for Cinnabon. While there, we witnessed this atrocity:

This poster was huge--about 48" tall--and pasted right in the middle of the mall on one of those ad islands. Initially I thought, "What? An ad for hookers right here in the mall?!" But no, after reading it over a few times and translating the hip hop slang into English, I realized that this was an anti-smoking ad. As best as I can piece together, the message is: Guys--if you want slutty, mostly naked women to like you, then you better not smoke because slutty women only like smokefree men. Slutty, mostly-naked women--it does not matter whether you smoke or not, as long as you remain slutty-looking and convince boys that they shouldn't smoke.

What the hell?!

This is wrong on so, so many levels. I imagine M., 13 years old, prowling the mall with some of her other teenage friends and seeing this ad. What is the message that they are really getting? That it is not cool to smoke? Or that in order to be cool they need to look like hookers? The group that put out this ad claims that their goal is to overcome the tobacco industry's manipulation of the hip hop community. While an admirable goal, it seems to me that they are advancing it by sacrificing the dignity of young women, and young black women in particular. If the tobacco industry is undermining young urban youth, is not this organization undermining the self respect of young women?

I really had to choke down my scream of indignation while standing there in the mall with my baby. Instead, I just looked at her and explained, "This is never okay."

What do you think? Has giving birth made me into a prude? Am I the only one who finds this more than a little disturbing?

Saturday, April 14

Easter, Part Two

Easter pictures continue, courtesy of Brian.

Saturday night found us back at our rental where Auntie Hannah met us. We absolutely HAD to color eggs, even though by the time we got around to it, the babies were both in bed. Still, after a few glasses of wine, egg coloring was a blast. I think that Hannah even dyed an egg IN her wine!

Lacking any of the basic coloring accoutrement (crayons, stickers, what have you), Hannah raided the tool drawer and came up with scotch tape, some old masking tape, and emergency candles. We made do and came up with some pretty impressive eggs.

On Easter Sunday we were up bright and early so that the babies could take part in the egg hunt at the park across the street. First, though, they got to see what the Easter Bunny brought them...a basket full of sugary goodness for Claire, and Mr. Bonecruncher the Easter Shark for Matilda. Mr. Bonecruncher likes to eat Peeps.

Then it was off to the park across the street for the egg hunt. There was a special hunt for kids two and under, in their own part of the park, but that lasted about all of two minutes before the big kids invaded and stole all the eggs. Matilda managed to find two eggs, and Claire three, before all the eggs were gone.

"I'm ready for eggs!"

Matilda finds her first egg.

"Dear God! What is this horrible creature?!"

Since there were no more eggs, Matilda took her first ride on a swing...

She was unimpressed.

After the hunt, Hannah and I drove to SLO to go to church. I hadn't been to church in, oh...a decade or so, so I was pleased to find out that I remembered how to do it. While we were gone, Erin and Ian, our resident gourmet chefs, whipped up an Easter feast to be proud of. Then Hannah and Erin came up with various ways to torture Peeps--Hannah opted for a classic roasting over an open flame, while Erin went straight for the microwave...

and I settled in for a nice Easter nap with Mr Bonecruncher.

Friday, April 13

She's One of a Kind!

Top ten things I love about the internet...

1) e-mail--I go absolutely bat-shit crazy when something prevents me from checking my e-mail.
2) netflix--and to think I used to stand around in the video store wondering what to rent...and to think I paid LATE FEES!
3) this blog--SO self-indulgent! SO much fun!
4) bloglines--keeps all the blogs I love to read in some semblance of order and starts my day with a batch of fresh new posts.
5) hyperlinks--don't you feel like an adventurer when you allow yourself to get lost in a whirl of link buttons until you just don't remember what you started out looking at in the first place?
6) wikipedia--all the questionably truthful knowledge you could hope to handle...proof of democracy in action on the internet.
7) google maps--no folding required.
8) craigslist--take my junk...please!
9) Oh my beloved did I ever live without you? (I recently reached purple star level with more than 500 positive feedback--I'm foxy!)

and number 10...completely useless web-sites like this one that for some reason suck us in with the power of their sheer pointlessness.

There are two other Tracy Sangsters in the U.S.

There are four other Ian Caballeros in the U.S.

There is only ONE Matilda Caballero in the U.S...and we got her!

"I'm one of a kind!"

Thursday, April 12

Time Warp to Saint Patty's

I'm going to take you back in time, now. I neglected to post about Matilda's first St. Patrick's Day last month, but, I'm not going to beat myself up about it because hey, it's my blog, and I can post things out of order if I want to!

In Reno there is an event that takes place every month in which the city's open container ordinances are conveniently overlooked for the afternoon. This booze-fest is the Downtown Wine Walk. Most of the downtown businesses meet their civic duty and convert for the day from retail stores and restaurants into bars, and for $15 you get to wander around the city center with a wine glass "tasting" all of the wines that the businesses are "sampling". (Read: the businesses buy the cheapest two-buck-chuck they can find and mete it out in tiny little splashes, requiring people to run around to every business as quickly as possible in order to get as drunk as possible in the three hours allowed.) Fun, no? And absolutely appropriate as a family outing! (I use sarcasm, but there were actually many, many people with babies wandering around the wine walk--hey! We can't go to bars, OKAY?) So, we packed the baby in her Bjorn and headed out for a St. Patty's Day treat. Matilda seemed to enjoy herself; she had some fascinating conversations with inebriated citizens while we waited in lines--babies like being taken seriously. She also visited a gay bar for the first time--an important first for any baby, especially a daughter of mine, who will, because she holds half of my genes, be enigmatically drawn to gay men.

"Mama, I think (hic) I've had too much wine!"

Sangstellero parenting tip #53:
Don't let a little thing like having a baby hinder your holiday drinking.

Wednesday, April 11

Easter, Part One

We had the most wonderful Easter this year! In fact, I think I can say without exaggeration that it was the best Easter I ever had. Recipe for a perfect Easter: One part good friends, one part beautiful landscape, 2 parts funny babies. Easter is one of those events that just isn't fun without kids. Take out coloring eggs, chocolate bunnies, Easter egg hunts, and baskets full of goodies and what are you left with? Sitting at church listening to the story of Christ's crucifixion for the thirty-third time. Ho hum. Unfortunately, being the brain-dead wonder that I am, I left the extra battery for my camera sitting in its charger at home, so I only managed to get pictures of Saturday before my camera died. So here are some photos from that will just have to be patient until Auntie Erin sends me copies of all the pictures I took on Sunday with her camera.

On Saturday we visited one of my favorite places in the whole world--Montana de Oro. It was the best time of year to be there, when the park's name becomes apparent, when all the hills are truly covered in gold.

I can't think of a better way to celebrate Spring. Oh, and did I mention that this magical place is also the shoreline?

In my mind, nothing, nothing is more beautiful than the central coast of California. And this was the perfect central California day--a small storm out at sea sent in dramatic waves and created a gray sky, the perfect backdrop for all of the bright flowers...

and the type of weather that draws me towards the water.

Matilda was completely taken with the ocean. She was happy to sit at the window of our rental house and gaze out at it...

and the feel of the ocean breeze made her smile--she would turn her head towards it...

and she also liked the sand...

but loved the rocks...

It was a perfect day.

Matilda also discovered a few more things she loved...

afternoon naps with Auntie Erin...

and morning music with Uncle Brian.

More Easter pictures to come soon.