Magellanic pengo

There’s an article featuring my sister, Mika (head penguin honcho/aviculturalist), over at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s SeaNotes blog: Magellanic Magic

The MBA is pretty awesome; we visited again when we took our trip back in May and Max pretty much flipped out over all the fish:

It’s also nice having a brother and a sister working there – we got to eat free sea otter steaks!

Daddy needs money for a new clutch

Luckily, a rush editing job came in and daddy is going to do an all-nighter. Mommy took the kids to grandma’s house and our house is quiet and lonely. Max’s new fish and newer freshwater crab are playing tag, but more about that later when I have more time. Daddy is doing a job related to the Rockefeller Foundation, and that has absolutely nothing to do with the ROC (“yeah, number one clique here”), yo.

How to defeat a breathalyzer test in Japan 5 years ago, or Thailand today

Put your mouth up to the apparatus and make a show of drawing a deep breath. When you exhale, do it through your nose instead of your mouth, but obviously not in a way that will be noticed by the people administering the test. Basically, you are aiming to make a sound like you are exhaling into the apparatus while not actually doing so.

At least, that’s what I hear.

The best way to avoid trouble at all is of course to avoid drinking and driving entirely.

But hey, work drink-ups are a bitch, I know.

Mina has been crawling for a month

Just to make that clear; sorry I forgot to mention this earlier. No time, ever. Max is wailing because he’s in sickie mode, but I want him to go to school to snap out of it. The babysitter just came, so we can get ready to go.

Oh, and Mina can sit up, pull herself up to her feet, and walk if she has something to grab onto. She might walk really soon… Please, god NO.

Today I ate dinner with a dirty diaper in my hand

…some days there just ain’t enough time for simple pleasures. And apparently, even that isn’t enough because Nam pulled a large glass marble out of Mina’s mouth about an hour before I found her about to swallow a rubber band. She has very quick hands, and follows her older brother around, whose purpose in life seems to be breaking things into little pieces and strewing them all around. This is a bad combination.

Speaking of Max, he got in a squabble with a girl at school today and she apparently stuck a finger in his eye, because his upper eyelid is all swollen up. When I took him to brush his teeth, his own reflection in the bathroom mirror set off a long string of sleepy crying and exclamations of pain.

So actually, I was conscious of the soggy diaper in my hand and also that I was eating a plate of cold food (I hate cold “warm/hot” food) as fast as I could, but it didn’t bother me so much because babies were crying all over.

Ungh.

“Hayaku” Time Lapse Journey

Turn up the sound, sit back (for 8 minutes), and watch this:

I hate listening to Royksopp, but I like it used in videos.

This brought back a flood of Japan memories. It’s funny how my memory has become compartmentalized by country. I have a set of memories that affects things I do every day. They pop up when I’m driving, cooking, or buying something at the store. I remember doing the same thing in different settings years ago. I can remember details like what it smelled like that day or the looks on people’s faces*. For the most part, these memories are very private and I feel like an island – but then I remember I can talk to Nam about most of it, and I don’t feel so alone.

What about the babies? They are going to grow up knowing at least two very different lands and languages. That is just their starting point – I can only dream of what the future holds for them.

* As I was writing this, I flashed back to driving in Bordeaux almost 15 years ago in a rented Opel Vectra (turbo gasoil) and almost t-boning a young guy in an VW Golf because I went on the wrong green light. It was such a bad mistake, the guy would have been totally justified in getting angry about it, but he saw I had realized my mistake and instead just nodded and gestured in acknowledgment.

ran dry

My red pen just ran dry as I was correcting papers and it got me to thinking – I’ve never used a new pen until it ran out. Of course, I’ve had them stop running prematurely and finished up partially-used pens, but I can never seem to keep pens around from start to finish. Other people take them, or they just disappear magically, perhaps into the wormhole that most of my socks eventually seem to drop into, as well.

Also, I cannot remember how long it’s been since I’ve written a letter by hand. I used to do it every few years just for the novelty, but now… I’m definitely going to make the kids do it, though.