i can safely say that this vacation was my very favorite of all time. in my way of thinking it was the perfect blend of doing and relaxing, a delicate balance indeed.
four years ago we went to hawaii and spent so much of our time island-hopping we barely knew which island we were on at any given moment. but, of course, on that trip we got to see flowing red-hot lava, the southern cross and ride in a jeep perilously close to the edge of a cliff looking for amazing waterfalls to swim in.
this time we promised ourselves it would be different, and it was.
there was lots of beach time.
there was whale-watching (absolutely amazing) and snorkeling (i swam with giant sea turtles over a coral reef with tropical fish fluttering around my head).
there was hiking above the clouds, above even where the tourtist-filled helicopter flew into the valley. i conquered my fear of heights and made it to the summit.
there was resting (i read an entire book in one day lounging under a giant shade tree overlooking the ocean with a view of the neighboring islands of molokai and lanai).
there was the consumption of tropical drinks.
there was fabulous food (oh, to have just one more serving of macadamia nut encrusted opah).
there were too many rainbows to count...horizon to horizon ones, sometimes double!
there was a romantic starlit walk on the beach.
but, far and away, one of my favorite moments could have occurred anywhere, it just so happened to be on the lawn of our hotel. while i relaxed on a lounge chair, lazily reading, i watched my boys play catch in the fading pink light of the afternoon. nathaniel has been playing baseball since he was four so "catch" has been a big part of his growing up years. but this time, my heart was touched so, that i began to quietly cry. it was definitely a "sunrise/sunset" batch of tears.
as we gathered our belongings and walked in the breezy cooling air to ready ourselves for another spectacular sunset before going out for another fabulous meal, i reached up and squeezed nathaniel's broad shoulders and told him how much i loved him. his skin was sunburnt and warm. "i love you too, momma."
thanks to mark from goofy foot, i stood up long enough for steve the mighty photographer to get this shot of me showing off my mad surfin' skillz. don't be fooled, mostly i just drank the ocean. but it was a great time!
a family debate was launched based on last night's episode during which mikey, the choreographer, chastised one of the girls for being too sexy/trashy/pole dancer-y.
nathaniel (yes, we watch with our 17 year old son) pointed out that the entire point of the pussycat dolls is the sexy dancing. how can something be too sexy? i get that something may be too raunchy, nasty and raw, but this girl's moves were no more slutty than any of the other performers, sometimes even less so.
note to readers: if you've tivo'd/taped this episode, spoiler alert (yea, like anybody but the wallaces are watching this show!)
for the elimination event the contestants performed dance/vocal routines in the pussycat doll lounge. and what is prominently featured on both sides of the stage in the club? you got it -- stripper poles. the girl who had been reprimanded numerous times for her go-go girl ways was eliminated. personally, i think they were just looking for an excuse to get rid of her.
but the much more interesting conversation we had was about those folks who hold the pussycat dolls out as role models for young girls -- women of empowerment -- women who take charge of their own sexuality -- women who do it on their own terms -- women who take back sexy dancing from the private realm of men and take it mainstream, putting it out there for everyone to see and enjoy in a non-threatening, "wholesome" way.
okay, admittedly, i'm biased as a former women's studies major, but really, can this be the angle the creator of the pussycat dolls is going to use to try to convince the american public that this group is anything more than what they are? the pussycat dolls used to be JUST a dance group. it's only been in the past few years that they've gone mainstream and added vocals to their repertoire. so perhaps the sheer act of legitimizing the sexy dancing genre is going to remove the "skank factor" and make it less porn and more pure entertainment. who knows? the trend seems to be to take it even more risque than less. of course, there's always the possibility that the course will self-correct, but i have yet to see any evidence of this happening. have you? it's like there are two diametrically opposed ends of the spectrum...the far christian right and the way out "more skin is better" camp. the middle ground seems to be shrinking.
does it sound like i'm sitting here typing this dressed in a high starched collar, long-sleeve blouse with a floor length skirt and button boots? i'm not. i don't 100% eschew sexuality, but i do cringe when it's used overtly (we could talk for hours about subliminal sexual messages -- i'm a self-proclaimed expert on that subject) to sell. in my opinion, it's a thin line between explicit sexuality used as a marketing tool and prostitution. i know, i know, that's a huge leap in logic, but the basic tenants of using sex to make an income are simple.
phew... i got dizzy when i climbed down from that high, high soap box.
anyway, nathaniel said that even if all of the above is true, that one would be hard pressed to find men who would say that they don't enjoy watching women dance suggestively. and it simply doesn't matter to men the motivations proclaimed by the women. sexy dancing with noble motives is still sexy dancing. and further, women will watch other women dance suggestively. therefore, the net can be cast much wider for an act with these talents and the appeal is greater. that's why the pussycat dolls are popular...men want to be with them; women want to be them.
you gotta love a teenage boy that can state it so succinctly.
seventeen years ago at 8:09 a.m. nathaniel reid wallace popped into the world.
i feel blessed and lucky to have gotten on this amazing carnival ride called parenthood. one minute you're up, then down, then upside down and a bit queasy and light-headed, but with an ear-to-ear grin on your face.
nathaniel is a joyous human -- quick and witty, tall and strong, deep and sensitive...all in just the right combinations.
thank you, nathaniel, for being born. you have been the greatest gift to your father and i. you are the most momentous event we have ever attended and i, personally, can't wait to see how we all turn out.
it seems oxymoronish to call these sockettes when they measure nearly twelve inches long, but "men's peds" doesn't seem quite right either.
i made these for nathaniel with 1-1/4 skeins of regia sock yarn on size 1 double pointed needles. i'm sure for folks with feet of normal size (smaller than a man's size 12) it would have taken just one skein.
i used a pattern from this 1950s vintage pattern book, gifted to me from the wonderful lesley (who, by the by, needs to get on the bandwagon and start a blog)!
the pattern was so easy, and worked up so quickly, i've already started on a second pair, in a different colorway of regia. hopefully his feet will not grow to a size 13 before i'm done.
the year is 1922...before the depression, but immigrant families struggle as though the dark days have already begun. my grandfather takes his wax paper wrapped ham sandwich from inside his desk. the nun walks over and yells at my grandfather, "it is friday, you may not eat your ham sandwich!" the nun picks up my grandfather's lunch and hurls it into the trashbin.
my grandfather stands up and walks out of the classroom, across the schoolyard and into the prieist's house. he tells the priest what the nun has done. the priest gives my grandfather a nickel to buy a lunch from the butcher shop across the alley. my grandfather does just that and returns to the classroom where he unwraps another ham sandwich and eats the whole thing under the watchful eye of a nun who knows she is clearly outranked.
at ten years old, my grandfather already had a strong sense of self.
my grandfather died last week at the age of 94.
he lived exactly the way he wanted. everyone who knew him was inspired by his honesty, work ethic and ability to cut through to the meat of the matter to get things accomplished. he will be missed.