Monday, January 31, 2011

Send for the Warden!

Tonight, for date night, we went to a reading of Belarus Free Theater's Being Harold Pinter, coordinated by Skewed Visions and read by Bedlam Theatre, HOBT, and Frank Theatre (among others).

Remember the riots following the December elections in Belarus? We get so involved in our "revolution of the moment" that we forget that other struggles still have not ended, but following apparent election fraud in Belarus, over 50,000 people took to the streets in protest. Over a thousand were arrested, including several members of the Belarus Free Theater. Many are still imprisoned.

You can suppress artists, but you can't suppress their art. In an international appeal, theatres all over the world called for readings of the Free Theater's Being Harold Pinter during the month of January to raise support for and awareness of the issues in Belarus. The Free Theater, whose members were eventually released and who is now performing in Chicago, is currently banned in their home country.

The reading itself was impressive, and brought up a lot of discussion between Patrick and myself, and a lot to think about. If you want to begin to ponder these issues as well, here's the website: Send for the Warden.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sew-So

One of my resolutions this year was to be more creative. So, a few weeks back during a weekend Beatrix-naptime (aka "the time we frenetically try to get things done"), while Patrick was painting the bedroom, I worked on a few sewing projects.

To be honest, my success was mixed. It took me a long time to get everything set up: to find my thread and needles and such, to remember how to set up my sewing machine, to even find the projects I wanted to be working on. I feel like I don't have a lot of the basic supplies I need (like a good, clear ruler, etc.) And then, after all that, I ended up hand-sewing a lot of what i was doing, because I could not get the ruffle to work right using the sewing machine.

Still, I am pretty happy with what I created — a ruffle shirt for me, some legwarmers and a flower shirt for Beatrix. I have a huge stack of old clothes sitting in there, that I keep swearing I am going to repurpose into fabulous new things, and that may be overestimating my ability right now. But at least it's a start.

Before:






















After:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Coffee as a Unit of Measurement

How many times are you told "If you just skip that latte a couple of times a week, you could save for retirement/fund your child's 529 plan/give more to charity/pay off your credit card/go on that European vacation"? I would bet, though, that the majority of us do not have such a caffeinated beverage issue that we are heading to Starbuck's on a constant basis — or if we do, that we value that espresso enough that we have made it a purchasing priority. I know for myself that most of my coffee is brewed at home, and carried with me in my trusty Contigo mug.

What I have lost lately is the routine of meeting people for coffee — for a meeting or just to catch up. My time has seemed especially limited, so when I meet someone, it's often for lunch, so that I can be sure to actually get something to eat (otherwise I am likely just not to make time, and snack on junk food at my desk all afternoon). But it seems like this is happening to others, too, and my favorite coffeeshops are slowly turning into full-service restaurants. The latest is Muddy Waters, which is moving up Lyndale to offer a full menu, and I hope it's a good move for them.

But it makes me think that I need to take a little more time to enjoy a cup of coffee some afternoon with a friend. Want to meet up?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Toddler List

Things that rock your world when you are 2-going-on-3:

A new bag of clothes lent from a friend (with plenty of dresses and "soft pants")
Mac-and-cheese (with shells!)
Diego, Angelina Ballerina, and "The Shortcut Movie"
Ballet
Manger scene
Hello Kitty
Small plastic dolls and dollhouse toys with very losable parts
Animals
Animal crackers
Your paci, bottle, and blanket (still)
Christmas lights
Princesses
When you get a sucker at the bank drive through (sadly rare)
Princess dresses
Singing in the car
Hot dogs/fish sticks/pasta/ham/cupcakes/yoghurt
Bitty baby
Princess teddy bear
Malls (especially those with American Girl, Build a Bear, and/or Disney stores)
Snow
Your family

Monday, January 17, 2011

Unassuming But Nice

I got to spend some date time with Patrick tonight, in a couple of last-minute ways...

First of all, his conference call got cancelled, so we made a last-minute trip to the Mall of America to do some returns. It's a very different place without a toddler in tow! We had wanted to try Crave for years and had a $5 gift card, so checked it out for happy hour — I have to say "meh" on the food and drinks, though the company was lovely!

Then, thanks to Heidi's babysitting offer, we headed down to the #SMBMSP event at CoCo with Chank. A small crowd, but lovely people — I was very pleased to get to meet some of the people that Patrick knows and networks with. The ever-lovely Kate O'Reilly was there, and any night is made better with her in it! Sorry to have missed the #mnwomenstweetup, though.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Team Player

So far, 2011 has started out great. We had a lovely, if quiet, New Year's Eve, and a lot of fun yesterday, topped by our friend Tom's annual New Years' Day party. Beatrix has watched her fill of princess movies, we have a playdate coming up later this morning, and everyone is relatively content.

Part of why we succeed, I think, is because we really are behind each other. Of course, Patrick and I are slavishly devoted to Duchess Beatrix's desires. But we're also behind each other. I'm insanely proud of how well he is doing with his blogs, and he supports me in my work. It's not always perfect, but when we remember that we're on each others' team, it's so much better.