Illustration Friday – Cracked


(I posted this on Illustration Friday’s theme, because the image from this dream cracked me up, but may also be a sign that I’ve cracked.)
I’ve had the craziest dreams since I’ve been pregnant.  In the most recent, my husband and I were calmly sitting in front of the hospital, waiting for the time our baby would arrive. We both sat there, looking bored, and knowing we were in the right place, just not knowing when it would happen. Suddenly, the sky darkened, and we both looked up to see what appeared to be the Smoke Monster from the TV show Lost coming toward us. We were frightened, but as it drew nearer, and was no longer silhouetted by the sun, we saw it was a vehicle made of blue balloons, and driving it was Peter Dinklage. He landed the craft in front of us, reached in the back, pulled out our son, handed him to us then took off, looking extremely disinterested in the whole matter while we stood there baffled but ecstatic.
In another dream, we knew my cousin had our new baby, and when we came to pick him up, she had him under her shirt in what appeared to be a sling. But when she lifted up her shirt to get him out, she took him out of a pouch in her skin like a kangaroo. Disturbing, but at least the baby is whole and healthy in these scenarios, not like my dreams in the beginning of my pregnancy where he would come out too early, green and with a tail. Whereas those early dreams were picking up on my fear that he might not be ok, these latest dreams seem to indicate an unawareness of how the baby is supposed to arrive. Unfortunately, I’m painfully aware of how it will go down, though it seems my subconscious is in denial.


Don’t Stop Believin’

journey t-shirt

I suprised my husband for his birthday by taking him to a Journey concert. Unlike gifts in the past that were thinly veiled presents for myself (for example, the weekend package of swing dance classes our first Valentine’s Day together), this one was completely for him. Maybe it’s our six year age difference – while he was feeling the freedom of the road cruising around with his friends and rocking out to this band, I was still lip-syncing in my room to Debbie Gibson and Cyndi Lauper on a little pink ghettoblaster – but I’ve just never been that into Journey.

Oh, but he is. “Don’t Stop Believing” is up in his Top 5 songs of all time, and he’s spent countless hours watching people on YouTube do covers, good and bad. I had already bought the tickets when we watched the season premiere of Glee and had to contain my excitement when the whole episode used Journey songs and kept his attention through a show he probably would not have watched otherwise. He even looked up glee club versions of his song afterward.

Besides the music, I think the husband is into it even more so now because of the new singer and his unbelievable story. Arnel Pineda was just a small town boy, born and raised in the Philippines, singing in a Journey cover band when he was discovered on YouTube. I think it’s the Everyman fantasy my husband is into, like children’s book writers fantasize about being the next J.K. Rowling, hitting the jackpot doing something you love. Rags to riches, that kind of thing.

Filipinos certainly came out in droves to see their national treasure sing. But I was also suprised that the demographic wasn’t just long-haired, acid wash wearing 4o year olds, but quite a lot of youngsters. The teenage girls in front of us even made their own puff-paint T-shirts to show their affection for the old-timers.

I have to admit, it is astounding how Pineda channels Steve Perry. Beyond his incredible vocal talent, he is energetic and entertaining to watch. I’m going to attempt to post a crappy video we took at the concert to demonstrate (ok, so I didn’t splurge that much on getting the best seats for this show), but you can find better ones on your own.  The other guys seem to be competing for the longest solos, soaking in the limelight and trying to recapture their glory days, but overall it was a good blast from the past.

ps – Driving an hour and a half to a concert, sitting through it, then driving back when you’re 35 weeks pregnant is not an easy feat. I think my better half feels loved. He better.


I Heart My ‘Hood

photo from WikiPedia
photo from WikiPedia

I’ve lived in San Francisco for almost eight years now. For the first two years and this last year, The Mission District has been my ‘hood, and one of the best ways to see what The Mission is all about is to see Carnaval.

Carnaval is a festival of flesh, rythym, color, and life. It is a party everyone is welcome to, and you cannot help but dance with joy as you get closer to the sounds of samba and drumming and cheering, then watch the parade of feathers, floats, and freedom to be me and you and we. There are ethnic groups of all kinds, people of all ages, and everyone shakes their booties together.

Come down to the parade, Sunday May 24, and celebrate Mission style. Have a happy Memorial Day weekend, and check back next week to hear about the big time birthday surprise I’m planning for my hubby!


Thanks, Dallas!

My Where The Wild Things Are quilt was featured today on the website We Love You So, a place of tribute to all things WTWTA, especially for all the artists involved with Spike Jonze’s film version coming out in October. Dallas Clayton is one of those artists, and I thought I’d post a little tribute to him and the book he wrote called An Awesome Book, which is at the top of my list to read to my son when he arrives. Thank you Dallas, for your belief that “dreams can change the way things are and the way that things are not.”

An Awesome Book

I wanted to post a video of Dallas talking about his book, but I’m not tech savvy enough to figure out how to embed it, so see it here.


One of those Days

Paul Madonna
Paul Madonna

I should’ve crawled back into bed when I realized it was going to be a day like this. It started as soon as I got up. For some reason my hand-eye coordination was off. I fumbled around with the dogs’ leashes, I dropped my keys, and then their dog food, and then my breakfast. What the hell was wrong with me? I mean, I’ve always been a klutz, and also forget things if I don’t make a list, but today was starting out exponentially worse, and it did not get better.

All the books I’ve read about pregnancy say it does this to you. That there’s some scientific correlation between growing a kid and losing your mind and fine motor skills. Whether I can blame this on my unborn child or not, it was out of control today. I carefully made my lunch then forgot it on the kitchen counter. I somehow got what I needed to do done today, but not without bending over a hundred times to pick things up as I dropped them, dropping something else as I did that. For someone who is eight and a half months pregnant and a dogwalker it’s hard enough to stoop to pick up dog poop, much less my sunglasses, then my keys, oh, there went half the sandwich I had to buy because I forgot my lunch, oops, my sunglasses again…GARRR!!

I decided to try to redeem the day by doing something fun, so I went to the library. I know, what a nerd, right? But, I l-o-v-e the library. Especially the Main public library at the Civic Center. Yeah, it’s teeming with crazies and parking is a bitch, but it’s big and beautiful and holds all that I hold dear inside its walls. And right now they have a collection of Paul Madonna‘s artwork for All Over Coffee on display in the Jewett Gallery downstairs.

I reveled in each piece, soaking in the beauty of his pen and ink drawings of buildings around the city, letting my mind wander with the accompanying text, imagining the rest of the conversation snippet, or flash fiction story, and what the characters would be like. The one of the windows and balconies of an apartment building on Franklin and Golden Gate had lines pointing to intriguing descriptions of the occupants within each unit, like “kills pigeons” or “photographs well” or beginnings of fascinating stories about them. I love imagining what people’s lives are like, and let myself get lost in that piece for awhile.

Another favorite was called Haight and Scott. The composition was beautiful to look at, with only an off-set rectangle shaded in darker washes, leaving the rest of the setting light. It said “Does the smell of the air today remind you of another time?” And inside the rectangle, “Inhale through your nose. And the next time a day like this comes around you’ll be transported back to now.”  Ah, I like that, I thought, thinking about the power of smells and memory and art and words as I left the library.

Only to find that it hadn’t even occurred to my pregnant-addled brain to put money in the meter. There was the dreaded white and red DPT ticket (that my husband so happened to design, which unfortunately doesn’t save me from paying $50) sticking out of my hood. I cannot wait for this day to be over, and maybe if I hold my breath no smell will ever transport me back to it.


Pregnancy at 34 weeks

34 weeks

Just 6ish weeks to go! The movements in my belly have gone from sharp jabs and kicks to large shifts like plate tectonics. I may be giving birth to a planet. If I sit still and watch the action, it looks like a puppy is trying to get out from under a blanket, nudging this way and that. There’s only one way out, baby, and you’ll find it soon!

In the meantime, I’m reading really exciting things like:

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

The Birth Partner (my husband is supposed to read this one, but I’m giving him the Cliff Notes version as I go)

HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method

The Nursing Mother’s Companion

Oh, how my life has changed. I’m also reading blogs like:


Metro Dad

Diary of a New Mom

Cry it Out

And dreaming of fun in the future, with sites like this:

A Toy a Day – they even have a Max!

Rookie Moms – oooh, age appropriate activities

Soule Mama – I will never be as creative as this mama, but I can dream, can’t I?


I Heart San Francisco


I’ve recently had some exciting celebrity sightings. No, not big time Brangelina types, but more of the local variety. San Francisco has a cast of characters who have become standouts in the local scene due to their wild eccentricities and vast amounts of time in the public eye. I hardly ever go downtown, but am always thrilled when I venture there and see familiar faces.

I saw the twins dining in the window of a restaurant on Post Street the other day, in matching purple blazers and white cowboy hats. As we honked and waved from the car, one peeked up, nudged her cohort and they both smiled and waved like Miss America pageant contestants. Before I moved here, nearly eight years ago, I would see the sassy septuagenarians struttin’ their stuff almost every time I visited the city, always in outrageous matching outfits – leopard print coats, blingy shoes, and crazy hats on perfect ‘dos – so it warmed my heart to see they are still at it in their eighties.

I saw a new one recently. My husband told me that he saw a man who had trained a rat to stand on a cat standing on a dog. No way, I thought, must be fake. But there they were outside of Macy’s on Union Square last week. An old black dog lay next to a scruffy man in black sitting on the sidewalk. Next to them lay a gray cat, and on its back was a white rat curled up asleep. They weren’t doing their acrobatic act, but their coziness with each other was sufficiently impressive.

What is their story? At what point does one decide “I’m going to train naturally adversarial animals to work together and take it on the road?” Or “my twin and I are going to dress alike and parade around town together as long as we live”? How did Frank Chu, the omnipresent sign-toting cause-protesting guy, get started? When did lightning strike the Bushman to start scaring the hell out of people for laughs down on Fisherman’s Wharf? They’re certainly living creatively, most likely with a good dose of crazy thrown in. Maybe they wonder how the rest of us can live such boring lives. In any case, I’m glad they’re around to wake us up now and again.