Back at the end of December, my dad, the Bean, and I paid a visit to the Smithsonium National Museum of the Amerian Indian. I had been a few times before, but this visit was a first for my dad and the first the Bean could remember (she has been once before, but it has since slipped her memory). The museum is probably best for kids 5 and up so far as an educational resource goes. The Bean has been studying American Indians in school, so she was very interested in the exhibits. I actually caught her a few times so engrossed that she forgot I was there. I didn't take many photos this trip since I have some from before, but I did take some of the changing exhibit...Strange Comfort by Brain Jungen. Here is a little about Jungen from the museum Web site:
"Brian Jungen (b. 1970, Dunne-za First Nations/Swiss-Canadian) uses mass-produced goods to make sculptures that are simultaneously fake and authentic, playful and political, common and extraordinary. Jungen charges ordinary, useful objects with layers of meaning, exploring and transgressing the boundaries of what they had been and what they’ve become, riffing on Indian imagery, pop culture, consumerism, and obsession in the process."
Here are my photos from the exhibit. I think the gas cans are my favorite. I love how their inherited beauty renders them useless as a vessel to hold gas. The Bean liked the golf bag totem poles and the whale made from patio chairs. Be sure to check out the Web site for more about the exhibit, and definitely pay a visit if you are in the area.
Blog Posts from the Museum About the Installation of the Exhibit (pretty interesting)
I figured it was time to change the look of things around here. I am not totally satisfied yet, but the change is sitting well with me. I have a new girl up top, and I got rid of a lot of sidebar stuff that I figured no one probably looked at anyways. It was a little tricky trying to get TypePad do what I wanted without upgrading my account. I wasn't sure I could handle doing a template from scratch, so I just spent a HUGE amount of time in the TypePad knowledge database looking up HTML codes I could use with the editor I have access to now. Tomorrow I will go back and fix a few buttons in the sidebar and re-categorize some posts. The Bean, hubby and I had a great time tonight going back and looking at old posts like this, this, and this. Going back and looking through my archives made me realize how glad I am I took the time to write some of those things down. I need to start doing a better job so I can still remember these things when I am old and can't even remember what row I'm on. Wait..that happens now!
A couple of "Washington Landmark" photos from our excursion last Saturday. It is kind of funny to watch the tourists stand on the mall and take pictures of their family trying to "lean" against the Washington Monument. The Bean was mortified that I wanted to take her picture next to the Monument, so these are all I got. It is hard to imagine that this tall, lanky girl is the same one from the picture at the bottom. I swear sometimes I hardly recognize her.
The Bean and I didn't have a very good day today. My husband has been on an out-of-town trip since last Thursday, and I think our limit of togetherness reached its end today. Nothing seemed to go right. I mean how dare I ask her to brush her teeth! What do I possibly know about making cheesy eggs? Who cares if I think it is wrong to spit the ends of sugar snap peas on the floor! I SO suck at being a Mommy! When my husband called to say his flight had been canceled and would not be here until tomorrow afternoon, the pot, as they say, boiled over. I know she thinks it is all my fault he is not here. I know she thinks I have been the source of all of her problems today. But if she could read this blog, I would want her to know that no matter how many times she tells me she wishes he was here instead of me, I still love her more than anything.
Here's to a better day tomorrow little Bean. You never know, there just might be a rainbow.
(pictures from May 2007)
Since this will be my first post in the new year, I thought I would put up this meme I started a LONG time ago. I copied it from someone's blog because I liked that the questions were kind of out-of-the-ordinary. It isn't even about knitting. There were a few questions I took out because I did not plan to send this to anyone. Please steal it if you wish.
1. First Name: Niki
2. Were you named after anyone? Yes. My mother used to watch “One Life to Live” and got the idea for the name from the Vicki Buchanan character…you know, the one with the split personality named NIKI.
3. When did you last cry? The Bean was watching Finding Nemo the other night and I ALWAYS cry at that movie. Even when I tell myself not to, and I obviously know the end, I still tear up at the part where Nemo and his dad are reunited.
4. Do you like your handwriting? No. It is very hard to read, and I hold my pen a weird way. I remember teachers trying to correct me many times on how to hold my pen, but I just couldn’t do it. I think deep down I secretly take great pleasure in holding my pen any damn way I please and this causes my penmanship to really suck.
5. What is your favorite lunchmeat? Turkey. I also like Hormell Hard Salami, but I feel guilty buying such an unhealthy lunchmeat. Wait, is lunchmeat ever really GOOD for you?
6. If you were another person would you be friends with you? I think so. I have a tendency to be kind of domineering at times, and I can never remember a birthday, but overall I think I am the type of friend who is there when you need them.
7. Do you have a journal? No, just my blog. I tried to have one once when I was younger, but I was so afraid my sister would get a hold of it I gave it up.
8. Do you still have your tonsils? No…had them out when I was around five or six. I am also minus my adenoids, have had tubes in my ears twice, and had a bone marrow test done around that same time. I can still remember the pain from the bone marrow test. I was pretty sick for a while, and come to find out it was all related to my ears. I still occasionally have problems with them today.
9. Would you bungee jump? No. And I also do not believe in running unless my life is in danger.
10. What is your favorite cereal? Hmm...I am by nature not a big cereal eater. I guess if I had to pick a favorite it would be Frosted Mini Wheats. I even like them without milk.
11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? No. But then again I usually try to wear slip-on shoes in case I have to put them on really quickly and run because my life is in danger.
12. Do you think you are strong? I think I am very strong mentally…particularly when the going gets tough. In a physical sense, I used to be fairly strong for my body size. Let me emphasize the “used to be.” I am hoping to change that this year.
13. What is your favorite ice-cream flavor? I think strawberry is still my all-time favorite. As I have gotten older, anything with coffee flavor is also popular.
14. Shoe size? Very small – 5.5 women’s.
15. Red or pink? Red.
16. What is the least favorite thing about yourself? I do not consider myself a very good listener, and I also do not take criticism well.
17. Who do you miss most? I think out of everyone I do not see anymore I miss my Grandma Robinson the most. I spent a lot of time with her when I was younger (she lived on a farm next door to me), and I now have an appreciation for how hard she worked to make life better for those around her. She honestly never did anything for herself. Every once in a while something reminds me of her (purses with lots of pockets, Dentyne gum, a big laugh at a silly joke), and it makes me sad to think my daughter will never know her like I did. My grandmother would have gotten the biggest tickle out of my Bean!
18. Do you want everyone to send this back to you? No, not really. But please use this meme if you want.
19. What color pants, shirt and shoes are you wearing? Red boucle blazer, black dress pants, black pumps. This blazer was sooo expensive for me at the time I bought it ($200 about 11 years ago), but it still looks great (and it still fits which is a bonus).
20. Last thing you ate? A banana about 20 minutes ago. My usual mid-morning snack.
21. What are you listening to right now? A co-worker giggling in his office across the hall. I need to go find out what’s so funny!
22. If you were a crayon what color would you be? I was a big fan of the Crayola box of 64, and my favorite was the silver crayon. I guess I liked it because it was different and didn’t look like it belonged in the box.
23. Favorite smell? The back of my husband’s neck.
24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? My husband. I usually talk to him on the phone at least once a day. I absolutely HATE talking on the phone. Always have.
25. The first thing you notice about people you are attracted to? Their eyes, and if they have a genuine smile. Trust me, I can tell the difference in a second.
26. Do you like who you stole this off? I honestly do not remember who’s blog I took this from. It was a while ago, and I am just now getting around to filling it out.
27. Favorite drink? Non-alcoholic favorite is coffee. My favorite drink with a kick is a cosmopolitan made with expensive vodka. Milk is nice too.
28. Favorite sport? Equestrian events, but I don’t mind watching boys play soccer. I also like hockey if I can watch it in person.
29. Eye color? Blue, but sometimes green. Depends on what I’m wearing.
30. Hat size? Have no clue, but probably pretty small.
31. Do you wear contacts? I just started wearing contacts to correct the vision in my right eye. I have Amblyopia in that eye (my eye is weak), but I do not have Strabismus (my eye does not cross). The vision in that eye has started to weaken more, so I am trying to use a contact to hopefully lessen the strain on my good eye. So far, I hate them. The Bean has the same thing I have, and in the same eye (it can be hereditary). But, she has Strabismus and has to wear bifocals. We are in the process now of deciding whether or not she needs surgery. We go for a second opinion in April.
32. Favorite food? Turkey, rice, and gravy. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
33. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings.
34. If you could live anywhere in the world where would that be? I think I would like to live on a large estate in England with lots of horses. I have never been to England, so that could change. Italy looks nice too.
35. Summer or winter? Hmm…I actually like Fall best. I like weather that is in the middle rather than one way or the other.
36. Hugs or kisses? Hugs because you can spread them around more. It isn’t always a good to go around kissing people who aren’t family, but most people appreciate a hug.
37. Favorite dessert? Apple pie. I have had some pretty fancy desserts at some pretty fancy, well-known restaurants, but apple pie will always be my favorite. Although, I can still remember the first time I had a chocolate soufflé (10th grade, Dominique’s, Miami, FL).
40. What books are you currently reading? I just bought Kite Runner and Atonement. I want to read them both before seeing the movies. I am usually pretty good about reading one book a month, but I am about two months behind now due to the holidays.
41. What's on your mouse pad? Don’t use one. I have to use a trackball because I get pains in my elbow from using a mouse.
42. What did you watch on TV last night? The Bean and I watched Toy Story 2. I think the Toy Story movies are two of the best animated films of all time.
43. Favorite sounds? I love to hear my Bean talk in her sleep. I recently heard her counting in Spanish! I also love to hear her sing because she does it with such gusto.
44. Rolling Stones or Beatles? This is a hard one to call, but I guess I would say “Beatles” because I remember hearing them first. My Mom used to have the first Beatles album, and we played it all the time on our little portable record player.
45. The furthest you have been from home? From my current home, I guess I would say San Francisco.
46. What's your special talent? I think I am pretty good at being able to relate to people and understand their point of view. It comes in mighty handy at my job where I basically spend my whole day trying to solve other people’s problems. I also used to be pretty good at getting horses to do what I wanted them to do. Unfortunately, I don’t get to use that skill much at my current job.
47. Where were you born? In the boonies of Upstate New York.
Watching TV for me is not that big of a deal. There are very few shows I will bother watching on a weekly basis. I am certainly not cut out for serial TV...if I miss one week, I might as well kiss the season good-bye. Except for Project Runway, I usually stick to the see-it-once-and-its-over kind of shows. No Reservations is my kind of show. A food feast in an exotic locale all wrapped up nicely in a one-hour package. Plus, I like the style of the host Anthony Bourdain. A no-holds-barred, tell-it-like-it-is kind of guy who will pretty much try/eat anything once. Bourdain is currently out promoting his most recent book, No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach, and he recently made a stop here in D.C. I went to a book store near my office to copies of the book signed, and I patiently waited among the biggest group of food snobs I have ever encountered. His talk was interesting, but the crowd was way too important for their own good. I couldn't wait to get out of there, which sucked because he was a really nice guy. Since I looked like I had been drinking in this picture I took with him, I have conveniently cropped myself out. But, you can see my elbow there on the right....just to prove I was really there. When my husband saw the picture he said "Oh my god, you had your KNITTING with you?" Yes, I did have my purple knitting bag with me. I figured it was OK since most times I visit with Anthony I am sitting there with my knitting. He didn't seem to mind. My kind of guy.