Tuesday, June 27, 2006

roller coaster

I'm starting to feel that vice of anxiety that comes from anticipating a very busy time ahead. Within a week's time I will have wrapped If Not Now (a film I'm working on), flown to the midwest for a family reunion, returned to Boston hours before my first Hamlet rehearsal, welcomed Hamlet director and house-guest, John Hadden, and his dog, Leo, to my home, and faced yet another period OR the dawning excitement of motherhood. In an ideal world the house will be cleaned, lines will be learned, and I will somehow magically transform into an ideal vessel for human life by Friday.

check. check. and check.

I'm trying not to get my hopes up about getting pregnant, but of course it's looming very large in my mind. After Thom and I decided to start trying I went through a two week span where I just knew I was pregnant. I felt different somehow; I was aware of my body in a way I hadn't ever been. I had an urge to eat healthy and no desire to drink. I felt tired and experienced what seemed like implantation bleeding--right on schedule. Finally, I spent a morning feeling nauseous and dry heaving for no explicable reason (I was the happiest I've ever been staring into the face of the porcelain gods).

And the next morning my hopes were crushed when I got up to pee and discovered an unwelcome monthly visitor. I don't know if I experienced an early miscarriage (which happens in about 40% of pregnancies) or if my "pregnancy symptoms" were all psychosomatic. Either way I was devastated. I felt robbed and cheated. And I knew it was my own fault for letting myself getting carried away with the idea that I was pregnant before there was any real evidence.

So as I face the week ahead I suppose it's good that I have something to distract me from phantom symptoms and minus lines on pregnancy tests. I'm a little sad that I feel the need to set up emotional barriers to protect myself from disappointment, but I know that it's the only way to retain my sanity in what could otherwise be a heartbreaking process.

I keep thinking how magical it would have been for us to get pregnant on our first try. I just have to accept that it's going to be magical however it happens.

Monday, June 19, 2006

primary colors

The hippies were out in full force this Saturday at Cambridge Riverfest. Thom and I wandered around the food stands and arts and crafts booths for a couple hours, getting toasty under the clear skies and bright sun. The best find of the day was the photography of Patrick Zephyr, a very sweet man with an amazing eye. Thom bought a few prints for his office:

The pixelated quality of the computer screen and the small size really don't do them justice.

It was wonderful to be able to walk just a few paces from our house and share in the great art, music, and food of our community.

I really love Cambridge; more and more I'm coming to think of it as a place I belong rather than just the place that I live.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

my cats: a photographic movement in three parts

The Cat Relaxing

The Cat Observed

The Cat Trampled

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

secrets revealed

We've spoken to the parents and the siblings. We've told the best friends. The next logical conclusion when you have a life-changing whopper bit of news is to tell the Internet, right? So here goes:

Thom and I are trying to have a baby.

You just need to ask any family member, friend, colleague, or local grocery store clerk to know how difficult it is for me to keep a secret. When I have any kind of significant news I cannot be trusted to hold my tongue. Now, I've been holding onto this bit of information for, oh, 20 days 18 hours and 25 minutes (since Jenn and I took that walk on the beach in California and I realized-WHAM!-there is no reason to wait), so it feels really good to get it out.

Once I made the decision, I wanted to start, like, that minute which was excruciating since Thom was in Boston and I figured the chance of getting pregnant from 5,000 miles away was kinda slim. I knew he would be excited; he's always said he's ready for kids when I am. And I wanted to tell him so badly, but that's definitely the kind of conversation that needs to be punctuated with a kiss, not the click of a long-distance phone call.

For the next three days Jenn and I filled the hours with an unbelievable amount of conversation about babies. It was essentially ridiculously giddy girl-time interspersed with torturously secretive conversations with my husband. Finally, three days (and visits to 6 maternity stores) later I was on my way home. Of course I flew in the weekend we were hosting a friend from out of town, so we went directly from baggage claim to the T station where Ben was waiting, with no appropriately private interval.

Once home I played the perfect hostess and tossed Ben's bags into his room, muttering something about making himself comfortable, and dragged Thom to our bedroom. There, I let him know I had come to an important decision and I presented him with a gift: Pickles and Ice Cream: A Father's Guide to Pregnancy. He got the cutest, slightly confused look on his face until I spelled it out for him: "I'm ready to have babies!" Upon which he smiled a ginormous goofy grin and said, "Really!?"

So that’s our news, Internet. I expect you to be happy for us when our own little Apple or Pilot Inspektor comes into the world.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Two bits of intarwub goodness for you:

First, my amazing, handsome, extraordinary husband has started a blog of his own. I'm sure it'll be much more coherent and enlightening than this one.

Second, these nerds have way too much time on their hands.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

california dreamin' pt. 2

After the wedding, Thom flew home and I flew to L.A. to visit Jennifer, my long-time best friend. She lives there with her husband, Seth, and both are pursuing acting careers.

We spent the first night looking through old high school photos and as we dug deeper, we noticed a particular trend in the way we posed ourselves in almost every picture. Jennifer will now demonstrate our patented stance:

The next day, Tuesday 23rd, Jenn and I headed to Venice beach for some shopping and time in the sun. We walked from Venice to Santa Monica beach and back, talking and reminiscing. During that walk, we came to major life decisions, ended world hunger, and became one with the universe (as girls often do when given enough sand and shopping).

We also made time for lunch and silly pink drinks.

On Wednesday, we took a road trip up to Solvang, just outside Santa Barbara in wine country (where Sideways was filmed). Jenn got us an evening in her in-laws' time-share in this beautiful little Danish town. The buildings were all designed in a rustic, Scandinavian style and looked like this:

The first order of business, of course, was to go wine-tasting. We drove up to Los Olivos, where the Main Street is lined with tasting rooms. It was fun to see the different personalities of the wine-makers and how that was reflected in the design of their stores and labels. Tinsley was one of our favorites, simply because it sounded like an English boarding school. Another was Concilience for their snarky attitude.

We drove back to Solvang in time to catch the farmer's market, where we bought cheese and bread to munch on, then we went window shopping around all the cute little Danish stores. My grandmother would have been happy to see such a plethora of restaurants offering aebleskiver, a staple from my Swedish upbringing. They're tiny spherical pancakes made in special cast iron pans. I don't have much daily connection to my ancestry, so it was nice to be in a place full of Scandinaviann history and appreciation.

We rounded out the long day with a great dinner of Italian food and the season finale of Lost. Man, can you believe that stuff with Desmond?!

The next morning, we had a leisurely breakfast and walked over to the Santa Inez mission. It's a beautiful old church established by Franciscan priests in the 18th century. Damaged by earthquakes, much of the building was destroyed, yet a number of original arches still stood. In the back they had... I'm not even sure what you would call it... a memorial? stations of the cross? It was a beautiful garden, but a little excessively morbid. Check the red paint on the nails:

Finally we walked back to Solvang and packed up. Along the way we passed the Solvang Bakery, famous for its hand-painted line of Danish Monarchs.

I was particularly thrilled to see the early reigns of Harold Bluetooth, Sweyn Forkbeard, and Erik the Lame (unfortunately not pictured here).

We spent the afternoon in Santa Barbara, checking out cute boutiques. Jenn and I both bought a pair of jeans from the Blue Bee Company. That store has a brilliant business model: sell only women's jeans, hire only hot men. There is nothing like a cute boy telling you your "ass looks good in those" to make you drop a wad of cash on a pair of jeans.

That evening, we were back in L.A. and even managed to spend some time with Seth. The poor guy worked the whole week we were out gallivanting around, but he's such a sweetie he didn't complain. Jenn's new step-sister, Dawnya, came over with her boyfriend Chris after dinner. It was great to see her since Dawnya and I had been friends in Jr. High (it is a small freaking world).

I was on a plane home the next day, pockets lighter, belly heavier, smile big and bright.

california dreamin' pt. 1

I've had two nightmares in less than twenty-four hours. The first about a man breaking into my home while I was standing right there on my porch. The second about a fundamentalist church dressing me up as Dolly Parton, making me sing, and disabling my car (and escape). What the hell?

I'm usually good at interpreting dreams, but I just don't know. I'm being violated? Forced to do something I don't want? The Religious Right is after me (and upset I'm not blonde)?!

Bluh. I hate that post-nightmare feeling.

Moving on to more comforting things, I've been away so long because I took a weeks vacation in California. It was absolutely wonderful! Let's do a pictorial review...

Thom and I flew to San Francisco for Ryan and Melissa's wedding on Thursday 18th. Melissa is a great friend of mine from the British American Drama Academy, which we attended our junior year of college. She met Ryan in the Peace Corps in Jamaica, and they're both really beautiful human beings.

There were a slew of pre-wedding activities... a welcome barbecue, mani/pedis for the girls, wedding rehearsal, and the rehearsal dinner. The actual wedding was in Sonoma Valley, so Thom took advantage of all the vineyards while I was off doing girly things. We clean up okay, don't we?

I stayed in Melissa's room the night before the ceremony to keep her company, and the next morning she had her bridesmaids (all six of us) over to get preened and pampered.

The day before there had been some worry that the outdoor ceremony would have to be moved indoors because of rain. The morning was cloudy and not looking good, but by noon, the skies had cleared and Melissa had her perfect sunny day. Here are the bridesmaids during the ceremony; Mel did a good job picking out the dresses don't you think?

The ceremony was really beautiful--it was presided over by an Irish former-Catholic priest (he's married now, so I have no idea what that makes him) with a great sense of humor and appreciation for ritual. I read a Walt Whitman poem and the officiant had the wedding party and parents bless the rings. I'll admit, I teared up a bit.

The reception was fantastic. Great music (standards and Jamaican), fantastic food, beautiful table settings and decor, and lots of great moments.

At the end of the evening everyone stood in a circle and sang a traditional Jamaican song (lyrics were provided for those of us who weren't in the Peace Corps) and bid the couple farewell. A few members of the wedding party were to accompany them in the limo back to the hotel, but everyone else had rides, so it just ended up being Thom and I.

The afterparty went on for hours--from a dance club, to a dive bar, to Denny's. I was barely human the next morning at the gift-opening/brunch, so I'll leave you with this: