Monday, February 27, 2006

Off I go...

Into the Wild Blue Yonder. I'm struck by how different it all feels this time. Last year it really felt momentous, the four of us taking off (five actually, with Joyce for the first three weeks), for three full months, our stuff all in storage, our cozy little crash pad waiting for our distant return.
Today it's just me, and I'm really just slipping out for ten days. Not that big a deal, I guess.
There's a number of folks I'd like to have said goodbye to, or seen. Oh well. If you are one of them (and you'll know if you are) then "so long, see you soon".
I'm taking the airport express bus at 5pm. "Express" means it takes an extra hour and arrives at an inconvenient time. It looks like I'll have a five hour wait at SFO! Gak. That's before the 22 hour flight.
But my buddy Steve is going to pick me up on my return. He's my hero! He and Meredith gave me the idea of bringing jam for gifts. Good ol' blackberry, strawberry and raspberry jam will be an exotic treat for some Balinese friends. Picking gifts for the kids was harder. I ended up with some psychedelic rubber bouncy balls and some Matchbox cars. How much Western influence do I want to bestow upon the lovely Balinese? Western crap made in China.
Walking through the toy isle at Target I was struck by the very strong cultural influence of the toys. The toys aren't just reflecting our culture, they're shaping it! Violent war toys, action figures, and vehicles for the boys. Dolls, dolls, dolls for the girls. But what awful dolls! Sluts and prostitutes by and large, with a few babies here and there (and I really don't think of myself as a prude). And then most of the toys are meant to go right into the landfill in short order. I don't think Bali even has a landfill.
Hopefully what I picked out will be inoffensive. If I have time today maybe I can find some cheap frisbees.
When we were leaving New Zealand we had so much bulky winter clothing to bring back we went out and bought a huge, cheap suitcase. I went and got it yesterday and threw in a few things. It's 80% empty. I'm planning to cram it full of Balinese craftwork. I suspect this is my last trip over. There are many other places in the world I would like to see, so Bali may not make the list again before Peak Oil hits. I'm planning to enjoy every minute!
It's funny. Always when I leave on a trip I feel as though I may die enroute. This makes saying goodbye a little more urgent. I think it's a past life thing. I don't feel it this time. I'll be back for sure.
Sorry this is a little dull. Or very dull, more likely. It's been a weird few days, running around trying to get ready. I've come to realize how much I depend on Krista to handle certain things. She's so organized! I'm more the headless chicken, running about in circles.
Today I'm planning on really cleaning the house. And spending lots of time playing with the girls. Then off...
Oh, and if you get the chance--please impeach those guys while I'm away. Thanks.

Monday, February 20, 2006

I just came across some incredible photos from China. I've never had China on my list before, of places to travel to. But this place, hmmmm........

"One of the most spectacular places on earth , a rare jewel . Having just come back from where these photos where taken I can say that it is well worth the effort to go there. The area around Guilin , Yangshao where these photos are taken is even a tourist attraction for the Chinese themselves that's how spectacular it is. Go there you won't be disapointed."

I found this link on Neatorama.

Cheap and Mostly Legal Music

I just discovered a Russian music site: It's incredibly cheap and legal in Russia. They pay royalties to the songwriter but not the record label. So instead of 99 cents a song, it's more like 10 cents. And they've got a lot of albums on offer. Pretty impressive.
I've been too paranoid and guilty to use p2p systems, so this is a godsend for me. I did some google research on the business and it seems to be okay.
So I just downloaded albums! Two Jack Johnson, an old Yes, Cracker, Camper Van Beethovan, Flaming Lips, Eno, a brand new Enya, and a bunch of 70's oldies. Oh, and the soundtrack to Serentity for my friend Steve. I've spent $14.67 so far.
Woo Hoo!

Iran? Deja Vu all over again!

An excellant analysis of the Iran situation (in my humble opinion).

Thursday, February 16, 2006

San Francisco

legion d'honor (22), originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Today was India's follow up visit with the oral surgeon down in San Francisco. We decided to make a day of it and were rewarded with stunning, crystal clear sunny weather.
Once free of the hospital, we stopped off at a little Chinese bakery and got mysterious buns, some of which were edible and a few even quite yummy. Then off to the Legion of Honor for some fine art.
We recently saw the documentary The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, and actually set out to visit Coit Tower and walk through the park there.
Alas, about halfway there we decided to leave early to get ahead of the damned rush hour traffic and left without seeing any parrots. Still, it was such a beautiful day that just driving through neighborhoods stuffed with gorgeous, eccentric, one of a kind only in San Francisco houses was deeply inspiring. We always swear we'll come back soon. But we never do.

What a Rush!

legion d'honor (5), originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

We were delighted to discover that the museum has an original Maxfield Parrish. It was glorious. I was smitten by the Bougereau paintings as well. Not to mention Monet. And the rest.
It's really something to see the original work. To know that the hand of the painter was here, on this canvas.

Angel of Patience

legion d'honor (18), originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

I felt this angel was attempting to inspire me with patience, as the kids dragged us through the exhibits at warp speed on the way to the museum's expensive snack bar.
Jeez Louise.

India Celebrates

legion d'honor (9), originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

This was her first solid food in a week. She got an A+ on her dental recovery from the surgeon.

Spider Girl

joyce's bday, originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Eden picked up a wild habit from her friend Aja--climbing the walls. Or door jams. She's gotten very good at it too.

Zephyr the Tiger

joyce's bday (9), originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

We got to hang out with Zephyr at Joyce's birthday party tuesday night. For the record, I didn't have any cake or ice cream at all. I'm hanging onto my health for dear life.
Zephyr had a few bites.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Sunny Side of the Web

While I was so sick last week, I spent an unusual amount of time staring at the ol' computor, but I couldn't bear visiting the dark and gloomy news sites I tend to frequent. So I discovered a few little treasures to share with you. Just in case you have time to waste.

Neatorama is an ongoing collection of the weird and wonderful (today's postings were unusually morbid for some reason--keep scrolling down). In fact, you can just keep scrolling down and down and I'm sure you'll see something fascinating. For example, I loved checking out David Doubilet’s Undersea Images (see above).

Treasure Box is a nifty little puzzle game you might enjoy. Someone's art creation. India and I liked it. Krista did not. Though maybe that's because India was heckling her when she didn't solve the puzzles instantly.

Finally It's Jerry Time is really weird and sort of fascinating--some guy's animated blog, I guess. It currently has four little episodes, maybe 5 minutes each. Kind of horrible, but I really had to watch them all once I started.

Anyhow, I hope you aren't sick.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Dark Days

It's been a bit tough this week, so I'm going to whine.
India had her orthodontic surgery thursday morning. It was far more truamatic than we'd been led to believe. She still looks like a chimpmunk and we have to keep her dosed up on vicodin. And penicilin. And basically a liquid diet.
We had to have an emergency exam thursday night with the orthodontist, I won't go into details but it was horrible. Krista was holding India's hand the whole time and I think she almost fainted. I think she and I only slept about an hour thursday night. I spent most of the night sitting up on the chaise. India and Eden in my bed, Krista in Eden's.
On top of that we're both sick. I came down with a raging sore throat thursday and Krista followed me into that special hell on friday.
I spent most of saturday in bed, leaving poor Krista to administer meds, try to keep India fed, and deal with Eden's need for some sort of attention.
Thankfully we all feel a little better tonight.
In other news, our laptop got hit by a virus (we think) and windows went kaput. We had to wipe the hard drive and start all over. Our friend Lee helped us figure out how to back up our files first--we had once installed linux on the laptop and he showed us how to go in that way and burn our files onto cd. Thank god for Lee. We were totally freaked that we'd lose vital files we foolishly hadn't backed up.
So guess what? I was so paranoid about my desktop computor also being infected that I ran a backup program and accidentally wiped out most of our most important files. Irony sucks.
The computor is away, visiting a data recovery specialist.
But otherwise things are great.
Sorry for the whining.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Ground Hog Day

We celebrated ground hog day by watching the eponymous film tonight. This is one movie I don't mind seeing again and again. Uplifting and (dare I say it?) spiritual. And very funny of course.

If you haven't seen it, it's not too late. Check it out!