Tuesday, July 27, 2010


You know how when you get those greeting cards from Papyrus, they all come with that little golden hummingbird sticker?

And when you remove the sticker to put it on the envelope, it leaves an impression of the hummingbird behind on the white backing, inside a circle of gold.

But it's just an impression. Because the golden one, the real one, has gone on -- to serve its purpose -- to fulfill its life's goal -- to seal your well-wishes -- to make someone smile or laugh or cry.

And the remains of that hummingbird -- the alabaster, slightly raised, skeletal version of what once was, is all that's left.

And who wants that?

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Still unadjusted to the time change. It's only two hours, I know, but still, those are two very precious hours we just can't seem to get back right now.

And this morning in yet another bad mama moment, we realized we (and by we, of course, I mean me) were so unprepared for the Year of the Tiger Martial Arts Competition at 9am. So, in a flash of half-naked streaking bodies and flying uniforms, I got everything ironed, everyone dressed, breakfast on the table, hair braided, cameras charged and loaded, a very tall Diet DP ingested, and we pulled into the parking lot of the exhibition center with a whole minute to spare.

As we speed-walked towards the pre-registration table, I realized I'd left the house in such a flurry that I'd forgotten ALL of my jewelry. ALL of it. And suddenly felt completely exposed. Santiago, of course, didn't miss a beat.

"Mom, you look more beautiful to me today...for some reason," he says with a sideways smile.

[melt. melt. melt.]

The competition itself, though, took us all by surprise. Having been gone for a month, we weren't entirely sure what to expect, and although we'd been assured before we left that they'd only be using one block and one strike, we all noticed (and by we, I mean, of course, Saia, who is the most observant of the bunch) that all the other kids in their divisions were warming up with all sorts of strikes and blocks...and kicks.

Kicks?!? I mean, Lord knows they're *capable,* they're just not trained. This could be scary. For other people's children.

But I released the Krakens just the same...and they acclimated themselves pretty damn well. Saia was a little nervous (but don't ask her - she'll just deny it), which, lucky for her, always makes her come off as calm, cool, and calculating. She waited, lured her opponent in, and took nice clean shots without question or hesitation. 4-1, the fight was over in seconds.

Santiago, on the other hand, was all smiles and his typical happy-happy-joy-joy self, which makes him...a flailer. That is, he likes to jump around and get his whole body into it. He's like a grasshopper or a jackrabbit or one of those little wooden toys that when you push up on the button on the bottom, their little limbs bend and jiggle at the joints like they're dancing. His fight went to 6-6, several times, before he won with a final punch to the chest.

"Great job, guys," I said. High-fives and kisses all around. "How was it? Did you like it?"

"I LOVED it!" he squeals. "I can't WAIT til we can use sticks and swords!!!"

[and the world groaned collectively]

Off to lunch and ice cream sundaes, and then home to clean and put away more clothes (yes, still) and to prepare for movie night.

On the marquee this evening: PONYO, a Japanese animated film take on Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

Because it's a fairy tale based on cultural folklore, it wasn't surprising to me at all to find so many themes that wouldn't really make sense to more modern viewers. But if you can suspend your reality for a bit, you really won't be disappointed. The animation itself was kind of mesmerizing. And the story was a really sweet, really loving, very positive little tale with lots of strong female characters and some great messages about friendship, old age, relationships, parenting, and unexpected strength of character.

The monsters gave it a two thumbs up On Demand, which means, of course, we must now make our weekly trek to Target to find, purchase, and possess it.