post-holiday doldrums accompanying the resumption of normal life? present! there's nothing worse than going back to "work" after the frenzied whirl and bustle of the holidays. i always think the best time to have a vacation would be for the two weeks AFTER new year's. that way, you could always plead work as a way of getting out of holiday obligations and you get that extra time to decompress. christmas and new year's are way too buck inevitably to offer much of a respite. you really only get a day or two before you're feeling the winter blues at the prospect of returning back to the grind.
i am welcoming the return to some semblance of a normal routine. my resolutions for 2011 involve:
- being better at engaging my child
- spending less time dicking around on the internet (direct correlation to the resolution above)
- incorporating daily doses of school into my schedule instead of slacking
- daily walks with the boobla
- more local, seasonal veggies in our diet
- finding a balance between socializing and home time
- getting a new pair of glasses
- printing and putting the worthwhile 2009/2010 photos into albums
i'm not going to bother recounting what i've been up to for the past two weeks, suffice to say that our holiday was very very busy and filled with lots of adoration of this little guy, who made out like a bandit in the xmas prezzie department:
that's him in one of the multiple sweaters that great nany knit for him. so cute! she also crocheted him the most amazing blanket and pillow set that we're going to cherish forever and ever:
there's nothing better than homemade knitted baby gifts. no question.
we've been dealing with a bit of a fussbudget lately around here. he's been having super bad toots that scare the bejeezus out of him and consequently result in a lot of tears and wanting to be carried to settle his stomach. this all means that we've been baby-wearing like whoa. i'm pretty sure i've found my favorite baby carrying device. it's called a cross weave wrap, with the most popular and widely available one made by the german company, storchenwiege. they're not cheap. but apparently they retain their value well and you can sell them often for more than you bought them for, as people like used ones. we borrowed ours from the dotytron's hippie friend. this wrap is pure hippie. his friend is pure mama dread and the smell of patchouli impregnated in the wrap is only now starting to fade. out of all my baby-wearing devices (and i have 4 now), it's tops on ergonomics and versatility. but there's a pretty steep learning curve and it's not for the faint of heart, especially if you want to do the back carrying, which is the most useful carry of all. in a lot of wraps, you can't put newborns and babies on your back because of the lack of neck support...with the storch, it's totally possible and is the chief selling point. wearing a baby on your back is a million times more comfortable than doing a front carry AND it allows you to do things like cook, eat, clean without having a 14lb turkey hanging off your front and throwing your balance off (not to mention the inherent danger of frying bacon and having a forward facing baby as a grease splash guard.)
here's a photo of the dotyron "carrying my inca child" (which is what he calls wearing the boobla in the wrap):
i can't believe what a mama dread i'm turning into. i mean, i've always had hippie tendencies, but the wrap makes those tendencies visible to the naked eye. the reason why i like it better than the moby wrap or wraps similar to the moby, is that the storch doesn't have stretch. when you fit a baby into the moby, 15 minutes later, you find that the stretch in the cotton allows the baby to sink down, down, down, until before you know it, he's hanging at your knees, and that is a recipe for back disaster. the aforementioned ability to carry even newborns on the back is an additional point in the storch's favour, as is the fact that when the boobla is asleep, there's no maneuvering to get him out. i just crouch with my back towards the bed and tilt back while untying the wrap and depositing him on his back onto the sleeping surface. 9 times out of 10 he's still sound asleep. so yeah. this + cloth diapers + homemade baby wipes + plans for elimination communication (aka early potty training) + baby led weaning = mama dread is in the house!
last night for dinner we took leftover christmas prime rib and served it on top of fred's bread's chipotle olive bread (lightly toasted) topped with a welsh rarebit (think, cheesy, beer-y, mustard-y sauce) and ate that with sliced salted tomatoes and quick dill-cucumber salad:
my friend P is visiting from egypt so if he stays for dinner tonight it'll be macaroni & cheese with toasted garlic breadcrumbs and salad, and if he doesn't, we'll be having spicy grain soup with bread and butter.
saw a few movies over the break...not as many as i'd like to (i've been waiting for "blue valentine" to come to theatres for SO LONG!) but here are my reviews:
i'm one of the few people out there that didn't unequivocally love "black swan." my principal complaint was that it required a bit more directorial restraint. i agree with david denby's review that the film insists on bludgeoning you over the head with cheap, thriller tricks and consequently tips over into the lurid and schlocky. the story is rife with meta-symbolism and duality - th story of swan lake itself, natalie portman's nina's psychological doubling, the virgin/whore dialectic, mila kunis's character, the stage mother played with brittle mania by barbara hershey that present a high-minded take on the visceral, bodily and mental masochism of the ballet world specifically and of artistic creation generally. however! aronofsky doesn't know well enough to leave symbols alone and thus likes to over-play his hand, troweling on the message so thickly the film slips over the edge of good taste and true brilliance, in my opinion. which isn't to say that i disliked it - there are beautiful scenes (in particular, the whirling, tight dance sequences provided a wonderful stage-eye view of what it's like from a performer's point of view) but the overall effect is like some kind of baroque soap opera - helped along by some over-the-top performances (winona ryder's aging ballerina being the worst.) i love mila kunis but i don't think she deserves a best supporting actress nomination - barbara hershey does a much better job and kunis' role is under-written.
"the town" is a decent genre film that's undone by the poor story. overwhelmingly great performances from all the leads and the directing keeps things going at a satisfying clip, but there are some wasted characters (jon hamm's FBI agent, blake lively's floozy oxy addict) and the movie ultimately fell apart for me with the implausibility of the central romance between rebecca hall's unwitting bank manager hostage and ben affleck's trying-to-reform boston bank robbing neer do well. when a guy from the wrong side of the tracks is looking for redemption, then the gal providing the catalyst has gotta make it seem WORTH IT. hall's character is kind of flat and stupid and lame and that was a major issue for me. the movie is definitely entertaining and worth a rental fee but i'd give it an okay vote.
"easy A" is trying to be a john hughes sexy, funny teen film but falls WAY off the mark. what it's missing: heart, endearing characters, believability, a story. that's a lot of stuff to be missing from a teen film, folks. not even a believable villain! no message!!! ugh. i wanted to like it - the dialogue has a snappy feel and i liked patricia clarkson and stanley tucci as the parents of emma stone's olive, but at the end you're just, meh. emma stone is gorgeous and did give a breakout performance - the problem is: it's kind of hard to believe that a girl that gorgeous, funny, and smart-alecky would be a friendless, virginal loser.
tomorrow will be a book review omnibus post - i'm using entertainment weekly's "best fiction of 2010" as my guide, but i can't keep up. i've got 3 out of the 10 top picks from the library but have to return them as i can't read them fast enough.
finally: did anyone notice that i gave birth to alfred hitchcock?
definite winner in the best cheeks of 2010 category.