Archive for September, 2006

best email ever

(Claire typed all this, and worked out the spellings for herself. -J)









dora thu ixspora

(Ed: mostar = monster, the subject of her latest library book. Oswald, Dora the Explorer and Maggie are her favourite TV shows.)

jules on a plane


Originally uploaded by Goop on the lens.

The Duboce Park playground has low, friendly equipment with soft rounded edges for the convenience of the very small. It’s the first time I’ve seen Julia really storming around on her own, all confidence and glee. I swore I wouldn’t get sentimental when my little one started to grow up, but I’ve got this bit of dust in my eye. Snif.

stick it in your ear


Originally uploaded by Goop on the lens.

Claire derailed our plans for the day by announcing that her ear hurt. So much for Symphony in the Park. It was our first ear infection in almost four years of parenthood, which makes people like Bryan and Shannon say things like “Pfft, amateurs.” The doctor prescribed some magical ear drops with local anaesthetic properties, and Duboce Park playground is next door to Cal Pacific, so we squeezed in a quick play before nap time.

alive-ish or deadoid

Lately I’ve realized that I’ve added a new category to animate and inanimate objects. An inanimate object that is networked is more “alive” to me than, say, a rock. My desktops are alive, Tivo is alive, my laptop is a sort of Lazarus or Christ-figure – alive when there’s Wifi and dead when there isn’t.

Yesterday this eccentric view led to a small tragedy. Let’s gloss over the unappetising details of exactly how my new phone got wet and skip to the part where I fished it out, dried it and called Jeremy to see if it was still working. As it turns out, this was exactly the wrong thing to do, and it phlogisted the ethereals or something. Jeremy’s voice got fainter and fainter and eventually faded away.

The poor phone; it wanted to live. It struggled valiantly to stay up, but eventually the light on its screen flickered and went out. It died in my hands.

I was stricken. I really need to anthropomorphize less.

It’s unbelievably lucky that I uploaded all the good pictures to Flickr only days before the phone gave up the ghost.

author photo

Multimedia message

Originally uploaded by yatima.

One of my favourite pics of Claire. Taken with my new phone.

…perhaps a goth chick, then?

R (reading from a wholesome book): “I’ve dreamed of being an artist ever since I was a small girl.” What do you two want to be when you grow up?

Ada: I want to be a horsy farmer.

Claire: I dreamed I had a horsy and it died.

chez spencer

Grown-up dinner with Uncles Barney and Rob. I had steamed asparagus with parmesan and a delectable truffle emulsion; roast duck breast with corn crepes and fat tart raspberries; and warm chocolate pudding. Jeremy had cauliflower soup with curry oil, venison with juniper berries and a selection of fine cheesestuffs. We split a bottle of Sandhill 2001 cabernet sauvignon, and finished up with macchiatos. Everything was excellent.

julia’s future is so bright…

Obligatory baby in sunglasses shot

Originally uploaded by Goop on the lens.

…yeah, you know the rest.

claire blames the patriarchy

C: I’m very brave. I want to hit the world. I want to hit it, and talk to it. The world is a boy.

rach’s condensed rach

Rach—-thinks she is better than—>Matthew Barney

rach’s condensed matthew barney

“Oh no, poor me! I am a wealthy white man! I was on the high school football team, went to Yale and worked for a time as a J Crew model! My life is so incredibly privileged that I must impose external constraints in order to create my art! LOOK AT MY BEAUTIFUL TESTICLES!”

alternate-universe nazis, the bush administration(1) and the writers of golden age sf

Grad school flashback! I bored Jeremy and Danny by reading at length from The Man in the High Castle:

“A psychotic world we live in. The madmen are in power. How long have we known this? Faced this? And – how many of us do know it? …

“It is their unconsciousness. Their lack of knowledge about others. Their not being aware of what they do to others, the destruction they have caused and are causing…

“It is their sense of space and time. They see through the here, the now, into the vast black deep beyond, the unchanging. And that is fatal to life…

“And, he thought, I know why. They want to be the agents, not the victims, of history. They identify with God’s power and believe they are godlike. That is their basic madness…

“What they do not comprehend is man’s helplessness.”

R: Dick’s so-called psychotic episodes? I think he was just telepathically watching TV in 2006.

D: He actually thought he was in Ancient Rome.

R: Same deal. Caligula, Nero.

D: Quinn doesn’t like Dick. She thinks he’s a misogynist.

R: Ha! Not like the golden-agers. Jerry Pournelle! Robert Heinlein! Although I still have a sneaking fondness for Heinlein.

D: What! Why?

R: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

J: But it was awful!

R: Yeah, but it was my awful. I must have been all of ten when I read it.(2)

D: Quinn has a good Jerry Pournelle story – the upshot is that he may be a bad man, but at least he’s no Harlan Ellison.

R: Do you think Harlan thinks he’s better than L. Ron? We really need a reverse hierarchy of SF authors!

D: Absolutely! With arrows marked “Thinks he is better than…”

claire’s first bilingual pun

R: Do you remember that when you were little, you called shoes patos?

C: Yes, because Blanca says zapatos. I said pato.

R: That’s right.

C: Pato! Quack!

ada sleeps over

C: Do you like slugs?

A: Yes.

C: And snails?

A: Yes.

C: Slugs and snails are bugs.

A: I have two houses. One house is here, that’s on earth. And one house is far away. It’s on Saturn.

C: You have two daddies.

A: Yes. I have Gilbert Daddy and I have Danny Daddy.

C: And you have one mummy.

A: Yes, only one mommy for me. Just one mommy. It’s sad.

C: I have one mummy and one daddy and one baby. And one cat!

A: I have a cat too!

wonderful news!

Peter the Rocket Scientist called!

R: You’re here!

P: Better than that! I’ve moved back!

notes from a weary mama

Claire has almost grown out of announcing her entrance with the words “Here am I am!” or declining a request with the explanation: “Because I don’t want for to.” This is very sad, but as Claire herself would say: “I’m big now, actually.”

C: When I was little I would say zed. Now I am big I say zee!

R: Australians say zed. Americans say zee.

C: I am American.

R: A part of me just died.

C (kindly): I’m Australian too.

Julia has silver eyes. She’s the most amiable and enigmatic of children, absurdly patient with Claire, endlessly curious. She climbs up the bedhead and over the sides of the sofa. She crawls at high speed. She walks, holding Blanca’s hands, laughing her baby head off.

Jeremy and I are having a secret affair. On Monday we snuck off to see a movie – The Illusionist. Ed Norton was sexy, but it failed the Mo Movie Measure, so caveat emptor. Also in the Department of Voices from the Other Side, I’m reading Out of Place on the J-Church trolley car, and having a long and passionate conversation with Edward Said in my head.



Originally uploaded by Goop on the lens.

At Camp Watanda. The hollow hull is filling with water; moments later, the boat capsized. I squealed and ran to help. A real photographer (like Quinn) would have kept clicking.

Q: I’m not sure that makes me a good person.

R: It makes you a bloody good photographer.



Originally uploaded by Goop on the lens.

This is the box Claire’s new chest of drawers came in. Jeremy carved windows, a door in the shape of Claire herself and even a little cat door for Bebe.



Originally uploaded by Goop on the lens.