May 26, 2010

After dropping off Stella at her grandparents for a week, Kari and I board a plane on Thursday for South America where we'll meet the Kinds for a romp around Ecuador. Since we have such a short time, we decided to sketch a plan for what our week would look like:

Day 1: Quito, the capital [Nearing 10,000 feet in elevation, we figured we'd give ourselves a day to acclimatize. And to check out the Old Town, a Unesco World Heritage Sight]

Day 2-4: Banos to Puyo bike ride [The 30 mile bike ride will start in the town of Banos, near a volcano, and end in the Amazon near Puyo. Along the way are thermal baths, dozens of hikes, waterfalls and some treacherous tunnels]

Day 5-7: Mindo [The little village sits near the cloud forests in Northern Ecuador, where the wildlife and trails and plentiful]

Day 8: Quito


Important things:

May 20, 2010

The following is taken from my new favorite Sedaris collection of essays. For me, these essays were weightier than other works, both in humor and redemption.

"She'll turn on him sooner or later," my father says. "Just you wait. In a couple of years Madelyn won't want anything to do with him."

I look into the future and see my brother's face, impossibly middle-aged. His daughter has rejected all of his values, and stands now on the dais of a major university, the valedictorian preparing to deliver her commencement speech. What will she think when her dad stands in the aisle, releasing a hog call and raising his t-shirt to reveal the jiggling message painted upon his bare stomach? Will she turn away, as my father prediects, or might she remember all the nights she awoke to discover him: this slob, this lump, this silly drooling toy asleep at her feet.

David Sedaris, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, 244-45

May 17, 2010

With our new oasis in the backyard, where we can now have meals and enjoy fires and play with the little tikes, I thought it would be nice add a kid's picnic table to the mix. Plus I needed SOMETHING to build with the free pallets.

May 13, 2010

"Fearing his frequent deficiencies of memory, he began writing fragments of his life story on his bedroom ceiling with one of Brod's lipsticks that he found wrapped in a sock in her desk drawer. That way, his life would be the first thing he would see when he awoke each morning, and the last thing before going to sleep each night. You used to be married, but she left you, above his bureau. You hate green vegetables, at the far end of the ceiling. You are a sloucher, where the ceiling met the door. You don't believe in an afterlife, written in a circle around the hanging lamp. He never wanted Brod to know how much like a sheet of glass his mind had become, how it would steam with confusion, how thoughts skated off it, how he couldn't understand so many of the things she told him, how he often forgot his name, and, like a small part of him dying, even hers."

Jonathon Safran Foer, Everything Is Illuminated, 83-84

May 10, 2010

At some point yesterday afternoon, Stella decided it would be nice for a Mother's Day bike ride. Volume, as always, would help. :)

May 8, 2010

For those of you who would care about this sort of thing, I promise it's worth the 160 seconds...crank up the volume.

May 7, 2010

Purely for my own meticulous record keeping...

Ham On Rye -- Charles Bukowski -- 10/10
East Of Eden -- Steinbeck -- 10/10
Under the Banner of Heaven -- John Krakauer -- 9/10
Open -- Andre Agassi -- 9/10
Post Office -- Charles Bukowski -- 7/10
Factotum -- Charles Bukowski -- 7/10
Moneyball -- Michael Lewis -- 7/10
Game of Shadows -- Lance Williams -- 7/10
Choke -- Chuck Palahnuik -- 6/10
Women -- Charles Bukowski -- 5/10
Fugitives and Refugees -- Chuck Palahnuik -- 5/10
Manhood for Amateurs -- Michael Chabon -- 4/10
LA Diaries -- James Brown -- 4/10
Survivor -- Chuck Palahnuik -- 2/10