Juni Moon

November 26, 2010

I was in the middle of doing this crazy Javier-exercise today (I’ll call it a Javiexercise), and he exclaims, as I’m in mid-lift: “I know you’ve seen Shrek! Hahahahahabloogha.”

What the hell is that supposed to mean Javier? I have no idea where he was going with that. I just gave a nervous little “heh…um yeah…” and he didn’t elaborate and I didn’t push it.

In other news, something big is brewing over here in Brooklyn. Really really big and life changing. I’m hoping to let the cat out of the bag later next week as things unfold. Stay tuned…

In the meantime, have you seen my girl?

In the summer of 2000, right before Andy and I got married, I forced him into vegetarianism. “Everybody’s doing it!” I told him. And, “It’s the coolest thing to hit South Dakota this side of the Missouri!” My secret plan, if I can recall correctly, was to get uber-skinny super fast before the wedding (little did I know how well that would go on my cheese, bread and pasta diet), and so I cajoled him into giving up meat with me.

Now, while Andy was reluctant at first, he eventually came around and dove into the vegetarian thing full on. Like most things he does, it’s all or nothing, and this was no exception. So while I was sneaking pieces of bacon at the coffee shop where I worked in the mornings, he was diligently foregoing ham and cheese omelets for spinach and quinoa breakfast bars. Anyway, years and years passed, and nothing would break him. For eleven years, the man has not caved: hotdogs at Yankees stadium? Nope. Grilled burgers with ice cold beer? No thanks. French onion soup? Not if it’s made with beef broth please!

So, you want to know what makes an eleven-year-vegetarian break down and eat Thanksgiving turkey? A rabbi apparently. Our turkey was kosher, and Andy–the infidel that he is–dug right in.

Shalom.

1) There’s a knife grinding truck–squat and green and old timey–that travels up and down the streets ringing a bell and people bring out their knives and scissors to be sharpened on the spot. The last time I heard his bell ringing, I screamed at Andy in the next room “GRAB THE KNIVES!!! THE KNIVES!!!” and scared the crap out him because he thought we were being attacked and needed to break out the defenses. The grinding truck is like the ice cream man that way though: you’ve got to catch him quick or he’s down the block and around the corner before you’ve had time to beg your parents for the money.

2) The Waffle Van. ‘Nuf said.

3) Prospect Park where, unlike its Manhattan counterpart, barbeque and beer is not frowned upon. Kites and botchi ball are the norm and you don’t have to see Ashton Kutcher running the loop with a bunch of tourists trying to keep up behind him (true story).

4) The Food Coop: you become a member and work every four weeks for awesome produce at great prices. It’s socialism at its best, long lines included. Except there was this one time when I was about 2 weeks overdue with Juniper and I had to work my shift because they can also be unforgiving and relentless in their expectations of loyalty. But! Manhattan doesn’t have a Food Coop. Manhattan has a Whole Foods. Cha-ching!

A pic of the hood:

*This is not to say that I love Brooklyn over Manhattan. The jury is still out on that.

Today he stuck out his tongue at me, which was full of pretzel bits, and told me that he hurt his “lick”, by which he meant his tongue, and I about died right then and there.

And then there’s this:

And this:

And then you stick him in color and it’s all over:

Those curls! That cheesy smile for the camera! The bear scarf (shout out to Grandma Klock on that one)! His lick hurt him you guys! Get it? His lick! He’s killing me with cuteness. I’m dying, gone, dead.

The end.

2/260

November 22, 2010

I was going to write all about the stoop sale that we had this weekend and tell you stories about Brooklyn at its finelessed (that’s a neologism for “worst” for those of you NOT inside my brain). Park Slope came to our stoop sale with its claws OUT people. Remind me to rent one of those security guards for our next one. This Batman Cave thing that the boys were selling was carted off surreptitiously by a guy who was doing some contract work on the brownstore next to us. I had to confront him about it as he tried to sneak past us on the sidewalk with, oh I don’t know, a HUGE BAG with my plastic Batman Cave in it. Ummmm…yeah…it made for a really uncomfortable couple minutes wherein I feigned to give him the benefit of the doubt: “Oh! You must not have remembered to pay for that!” and he grudgingly gave me five bucks. Stoop sale life lesson #1: People can stoop really low; and #2: People can be quite stoopid. {ba dum dum} (Okay, can’t take credit for the “stoopid” play–that was all Jack’s).

What I’d rather dish about now, however, is Javier, my new personal trainer. Yee-up. I went and got myself a Javier today my friends. I was walking to the Food Coop (a Park Slope landmark rife with blog post material of its own) this afternoon and past the neighborhood gym when my body did a spontaneous about-face through the gym doors, jiggling as it did so, I might add. It was a spur-of-the-moment gym membership sign-up that I’m totally regretting tonight as I can barely lift my fingertips up to type. But oh MAN do I need me some Javier. He promised me he could make all my dreams come true and I kind of believe him.

He likes me because I knew what he meant when he told me to pull back on the weight machine thingy “as though I was starting a lawn mower.” “Most people around here don’t get the reference,” he said. It was a bonding moment between me and Javier. Then he told me he’ll “trash me”, which I assume means he’ll get me to work out really really hard. I sincerely hope it does anyway.

I love you already Javier for always and forever or at least for the next 5 weeks beyond which I can no longer afford you.

Love always, me.

In parting, a quick glimpse at our Stoop and its attendant Sale, prior to the rabid onslaught of Park Slopians:

project 260

November 21, 2010

Back in the day, before I had a gaggle of chillins and a whole lot of nothing to do, I would jot down crazy little notes to myself about things that I wanted to remember about particular moments that happened each day–like something Andy said that made me laugh, an overheard whisper, the way the passengers across the aisle looked when the lights went out in the subway car. Those kinds of things; small, insignificant to everyone but me perhaps, but the little pieces of the days that made up my life. I spent a lot of time writing to myself in the future. I miss that. I don’t do it anymore. Once the world went and got itself virtual (half of it lived in real time; half online), I went and got all awkward about life-writing.

So. I’m setting out on a quest. To post once a day, every day (okay, I’m giving myself the weekends off, so not every day, but close!)–260 days in the span of a year. This is a huge challenge for me personally. First, long term consistency ain’t my middle name (I have dozens of old diaries stashed away somewhere with only a few weeks of entries despite my best intentions). And second, I find writing online way awkward for a couple of reasons: first, who the heck am I writing to? And shouldn’t I have just written “To whom am I writing?” instead? And did that last sentence really need two question marks? Probably not! See? I’m awkward! And then of course the BIG question that plagues me: who cares to read about the minutiae of my life anyway? And relatedly, if I write about my life, am I presuming that someone DOES care? And doesn’t this make me, I don’t know, kind of pretentious?

These last two questions get straight at why I’ve been remiss about being an online-person and the answers have everything to do with My Issues.  Yet I love reading other people’s blogs; I love catching up on the latest news via Facebook; I’m totally not down with Twitter yet, but I’m sure it’s groovy! So why am I so afraid to put myself out there? Answer: Issues. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of not being enough. Fear of being “too much”. Answer Corrected (Specified): Fear.

For the next 52 weeks, then, I’m putting myself out there. I’m going to write and post photos about my days. Don’t you think that’s a good way to live your way toward a more intentional life after all? To live as though I have to be accountable for something at the end of the day? I do. To be accountable to myself at the end of the day; that’s the thing.

Cuz here’s the real thing (in the spirit of putting it on the line)–maybe it’s because I’m still in a newborn coma over here (Juni Moon is almost 12 weeks old now),  maybe it’s the race of getting through the day with three kids fed, happy, relatively enriched by the end of it (and god knows some days it is a SLOG to get to the end of it!), I don’t know, but the truth is that so many days go by and I can’t remember how I got from one end of them to the other. I’m just going through the motions. It’s not how I want to be. I want my motions to be noteworthy–at least one or two of them anyway–I want to take note.

And who knows? After one year, maybe I’ll be on such a roll that I’ll keep going. I have plans for this year after all. Big plans. And it all starts here, now.

{insert very deep virtual breath here; virtual jump!}

To commemorate the beginning of project 260, I submit this self-portrait: I was 9 months pregnant with Juniper when I took this, feeling as though I’d been pregnant forever at that point, feeling so ready to jump into the new groove of being a family of five, yet anxious at my ability to handle it with any semblance of grace. I like this photo because of the mirrors in the background–my reflection caught in various directions, looking forward, as though at myself in one mirror; in another, I’m turned away. It’s how I felt then, turned every which way, as though watching myself from afar, turning inward, cocooning. But I still clicked the shutter open. I pushed the button.

Click. Here I am.

first day

September 8, 2010

I’ve been away away away on a boat to China (and so it feels). Finishing up the dissertation–excruciating but so necessary for moving on with life and all that goes with it–and therefore I’ve put away the camera for awhile. I had the chance to finally edit some photos from a hazy fall shoot in Central Park–the lovely Dianthe and her spitfire Kayla…They will be my place holders and my promise to return at the end of the storm…Wish me luck friends!

Oh and one more! I couldn’t resist adding a pic of Debra, my sweet friend and my boys’ second mama. She’s Kayla’s auntie. She is sunshine.

a simple equation

October 12, 2009

(1) Handmade Newspaper Crown + (1) Red Cape + (1) 19th Century Gothic Cathedral, preferably residing at the end of the block + (1) Unbridled Imagination = (1) Boy Turned Warrior King

love, squared

October 4, 2009

The sweetest family in Brooklyn met me on a Sunday morning in late summer to take these photos. It was early and the sunlight was golden and warm. How lovely are they? It was so easy to get great photos of them, despite the fact that the smiling little guy wasn’t feeling too well during our shoot (he threw up in the car on the way home!).

I was able to meet them right before they welcomed their newest one into their lives, a daughter, and I loved capturing this special time for them: the last moments of this family as a threesome, the thrill and excitement of becoming a family of four…They love each other well, this family, and when I look at these photos , I can still feel the glow. Thanks so much L and N, for inviting me and your camera into your lives. {more photos to come of the new babe soon!}