Saturday, November 3, 2007

Musings while Waiting

I really admire all of you guys out there who have your kid's room ready. As has been mentioned before on this blog, it's something I haven't done yet. Though I went into our library yesterday to look for some Peanuts books (anyone see that heart-breaking American Masters documentary about Schultz last week?), I came out with several how-to books on decorating bedrooms for kids. It's a first step.

As a brief way of explanation for my delay in getting the room ready, it's because we don't really know what's coming. We were nonspecific about gender and are open to twins, so it's hard to know how to prepare when you've got factors like that. The same is true for baby-showers. A couple of people have mentioned wanting to throw us a shower (yay! thanks, guys!), but I've asked them to put it off at least until we've gotten our referral and maybe even until we get back from Ethiopia with our babe(s). I figure I can have a few little outfits on hand so we won't have naked babies, and I've got Alice's blankets so we won't have cold babies, and we'll feed them of course so we won't have hungry babies. Then we can have a shower so we can have stylish babies.

And then there's the naming of the baby to think about. We've got a good list going of both boy and girl names, but it's hard to decide. I was thinking the other day about how weird it is that a parent gives a name to these little strangers who have entered their world that is going to stick with them for the rest of their lives. As Posh would say, "Honey, that's major," not something to take lightly. I totally understand those parents you hear about who still haven't named their kid by the time they leave the hospital.

As you see from the above picture, Ted spent some time yesterday getting reacquainted with the Sesame Street characters. Elmo is relatively new, right? I don't remember him when I watched it in the '70s, though I know he was around by the time my little brother watched it in the early '90s. And now you've got this variation, which I think my favorite.

We were also happy to spend some this time yesterday with our friend's two kids so we can get used to deciphering toddler-speak, as seen here:

Is she cute or what?

I had my first dream about being in Ethiopia last night. I guess it's slowly starting to sink into my subconscious that all this we've been preparing for just actually might happen. I won't go into the boring recount of the dream, but two images that stand out: young female lions wandering the streets and antique-buying tourists in rickshaws. I am very aware that I will (hopefully) encounter neither of those things while in Ethiopia--this just shows how little I know now of life-on-the-streets in Africa. Those images I guess came from vague, tucked away knowledge of safaris and movies like Out of Africa mixed with some New Delhi. I'm looking forward to experiencing up close and personal life in Ethiopia.

I am completely unashamed to admit that I adore the movie, Mr. Holland's Opus. From start to finish, I completely buy into what some people call the movie's 'sappiness'. I don't care--I love it. That ending makes me sob like few movie endings can (and it's nice to see Terrence Howard in a more innocent time, before we knew all about the freakish importance of baby-wipes to him).

So I was excited when I first found out that, not only did Ted go to the high school where Mr. Holland's Opus was filmed, but that the house he grew up in was right next door to the house Mr. Holland bought for his family in the movie. And now we live in this neighborhood, and I always get nostalgic when I drive by the school, and last night I got to wander the halls for the first time when we went to see a collection of one-acts that our neighbor's sophomore son is in.

It was fun to look around at the gorgeous architecture. The school still has most of its original details, like these stained-glass signs in the auditorium (which is the auditorium in that sob-inducing last scene of the movie):
Ted had fun looking at all the old framed photographs hanging on the walls and occasionally finding family members, like his sister who was a Rose Festival Princess:Or his dad, who taught math and coached basketball, even leading one team to the state championship:
I definitely felt my age last night during the plays when the subject matter included rape, promiscuity, wife-beating, and smoking (one kid actually smoked a cigarette on stage). If this hadn't been a high school production, it wouldn't have shocked me in the least (hello? Magnolia is one of my favorite movies). Our neighbor whose son played the wife-beater who gropes both the breasts and "nether regions" of the girl playing his wife told us that before the last production, the introduction to the audience was made by two topless girls, holding paper signs over their chests. What?

I'm really not a prude, really. But this is high school. When I was in high school, of course we all talked about these things when we were alone with our friends, but our teachers and administrators would never have allowed our drama department to veer even slightly away from yearly productions of musicals like Annie my senior year and would have sh*t a brick if any attempt was made to even vaguely reference any of the subject matter included last night.

To their credit though, the current drama teacher does a great job, as do the students. All the productions last night were produced, cast, and directed all by the seniors. And this summer, a group was accepted into the Edinburgh Theater Festival, making the trip to Scotland to participate, which is a pretty big deal. I just couldn't help having a jaw-dropped, gaping look of shock on my face watching these "edgy" productions by teenagers who are playing rapists and middle-aged, smoking wife-beaters. Weird.

On that lovely note, I'll wish you all a happy weekend. Hope it's as gorgeous where you are as it is here in Portland.


Anonymous said...

wow, i'm kind of shocked by the high school drama dept too. that is amazing. i'm amazed they can get away with that?

Tara said...

What the crap?? Topless girls and groping? That is so unreal! I can't believe that the school and parents are ok with that. Wierd.

Jana said...

um. you are not "old" because you were surprised at the production. it's totally ridiculous, in my opinion.

Carrie said...

The topless girls with signs seems a bit over-the-top, but the rest seems fine. My high school was accepted into the Edinburgh Fringe Festival during my senior year, but I didn't go since it was the summer before I started college and I felt done with high school.

Rusty and I watched the Schulz documentary. I wish I didn't know as much about him now.