Every year I join the Sketchbook Project at the Brooklyn Art Museum, so when I signed up last Spring, I thought I was signing up for the regular Sketchbook - imagine my surprise when I got the packet and realized I had signed up for a memoir project (handwritten stories).  Hmmm.  I had to think about that - am I even able to tell a story without the use of my hands? or pretend accents?  What the heck is memoir anyway?

Turns out it's a subcategory of the autobiography genre... often a pivotal moment in a life...dang... this isn't easy - why, every decision you make is essentially pivotal.

It came down to just four pages - with this being the cover:

Anyone who knows me well has heard me say that I should be more embarrassed about some things than I am, but I'm not, and that this is why:  once you've dressed as a chicken and performed in public, you have no real reason to be embarrassed about anything you ever do after that.

After making the statement above, the brief stories I told were not about the picture or dancing lessons, they were stories about getting lost and that I'm not embarrassed about it  - because I constantly get lost - most people would be embarrassed to admit that in this day of GPS and cell phones and Google maps.

Now, I know I get lost because I'm not paying attention - I've driven past the turn-off to my own house; I lose the tour group I'm with and end up with one of complete strangers; I've lost Buckingham Palace, the Jefferson Memorial and the Eiffel Tower... I've even lost my own family at the Aquarium! 

But it's nothing to be embarrassed about - at least when I'm telling the story of my latest adventure, I don't have to dress up as a chicken.



Other cultures

I think one of the best things about working at a University is that I get to find out about so many other cultures - staff, students, postdoctoral researchers and faculty are an international mix.  One of the postdocs shared something I can eat at lunch:

Chinese Red Eggs -

Per Wikipedia:  Chinese red eggs (红鸡蛋) are bright pink coloured cooked chicken eggs. The eggs are first hard boiled and then with a wet red calligraphy paper which is smeared all over the eggs to create a pink colouring.  Similar to Western easter eggs, Chinese culture considers eggs to symbolize birth or a new start. For eggs to be served to guests during an important birthday (such as the first month or first year) is very significant. 
The colour red means prosperity and good fortune to the Chinese.

So - congratulations to Luning - her baby boy is a month old today!


Congratulations Ginger & Ryan!

My niece, Ginger, had her baby!  They have waited so long - it's such a blessing.

Thank goodness for Facebook - what a cutie!

Clayton Ryan J. Born at 11:41pm May 8th. 9lbs, 9oz. Apparently, he had his own agenda and wasn't interested in waiting until Friday! So happy. Heart is full.
Clayton Ryan Johnson.  Born at 11:41pm May 8th.  9lbs, 9oz.  Apparently, he had his own agenda and wasn't interested in waiting until Friday!  So happy.  Heart is full.Welcome baby Johnson.
Our sweet boy.  Dressed for his first photo shoot.  ;)


So - How hot DOES it get in Texas?

It will flat out melt your house.

no, really...
Nice window... wait... what's wrong there at the bottom?
Let's take a closer look...

and what's that over toward the right? over the garage roof?

At first we thought bionic squirrels had gotten together to break into the house... but... no.

What you are looking at is warping damage caused by the reflected heat from the porch roof and the roof of the garage.  And before you get all "well, of course plastic melts in the heat", you should know that this isn't plastic.  Or vinyl.  It's a type of steel.

That's right, folks.  Steel.

Next time you complain about the heat, maybe you want to take a close look at your house.  Is it melting?  

Ours is.

Let's hope it's covered under warranty.