Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Here We Go, Warhol, Here We Go [clap, clap]!

This past Saturday was the BIG GAME, so we took Donovan to the Warhol.

The thing about going to the Warhol on a BIG GAME day is that the stadium is literally a block away from the museum.  Its the oddest and most fitting Pittsburgh juxtaposition.  The game was to start at 4 and we got the the North Side at about 10:30 am and we still got stuck in traffic.  Luckily, the Warhol has a teeny tiny parking lot--I wanted to take photos of the 2 signs they had at the entrance to it: "WARHOL ONLY" and "NO FOOTBALL PARKING."  Mike and I wondered how many times the guard at the entrance hears, "Awww, c'mon!" on a day like that.  It was actually really fun to see everyone setting up to tailgate.  As we were getting out of the car, I looked across to the parking lot across the street and a couple of guys were splitting wood for a fire.

I would also mention that taking Donny to the Warhol was pretty much akin to taking any all American kid to a department store to see Santa Claus.  One of Donovan's favorite books is Uncle Andy's Cats and we told him we were taking him to Uncle Andy's Museum.  The downside of this arrangement is having to stay in character with your kid and refer, in public in front of all variety of hipsters, to Andy Warhol as "Uncle Andy."  I'm sure Warhol was a kind and loving Uncle to his nieces and nephews but I just know too many stories, not of bad behavior per se but behavior unbefitting someone you're teaching your kid to call "Uncle."

Anyhow, Uncle Andy's Museum was a huge hit. I don't have many photos because, as an ex docent, I gave up prime photo ops in order not to break any museum rules. Wisely, the Warhol lets you take photos in the silver cloud room. That, of course, was the hit of the day. To get Donovan to leave we pretty much had to carry him out sideways like he was some sort of battering ram capable of having a tantrum. We also got a couple shots of him in a room that was all televisions and headphones: that was also a big, big hit.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Quiz Will Follow

Last night Donovan told me, "My favorite letter is G, my favorite number is 9, my favorite color is red and my favorite bus is the 54C!"

So now you know.

Friday, January 7, 2011

I was reading Blow by Blow last night while Donovan was playing in the front room.  This was our conversation:

D: Stop reading!
Me: Why?
D: That's my paper!
Me: No, its my book.
D: [looking at photo on cover] She's wearing a hat!
Me: It's a pretty hat, isn't it.
D: [thoughtfully] She's thinking about butter.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wherein I Use My Lunch Hour for New Year's Pontification

The snow outside is making everything look so crisp and new and the thought I am actively denying is “I should’nt be here.”  Here being work.  I’m thinking of my kitchen and how the snow must look outside the window.  The backyard will be much improved, cosmetically speaking, by this snow.  And would’nt it just be great to look up and see the snow as I take bread out of the oven or work on a huge batch of bean soup?
For the past 7 months or so, I catch myself shaking my head, wondering at my evolution into someone who thinks baking bread, mending clothes and mopping that damn kitchen floor would be more fulfilling than a career.  But then again, my life has changed in many big ways in the 10 years since I started my current job and even before those changes it was never a comfortable fit. 
In thinking of what I want to do with this next phase of my life, the metaphor I keep coming back to is that of a sprinkler.  The beauty of a sprinkler is that it’s powered by what it does:  its more or less the definition of itself.  Is that too esoteric?  Whatever—that’s what I’m thinking of as I stare down the barrel of my own 45 (ha! Nice!  Good birthday double entendre, there!).  “Let be be the finale of seem.”

Apparently, I yearn to be a Simple Machine.

So that is what I, in all my financial stupidity and infinite naiveté, am working towards.  A life where I work but where my work is part of a bigger picture that includes the rest of my life.  Why choose between a career and giving my son more attention so he can get over his developmental delays more quickly?  Why choose between having health insurance but only getting to see my family in Ohio twice a year (my Dad died 2 years ago and I still have not seen his headstone)?  Why work 8 hours a day to make enough money so we can buy bread, baked goods, soup, vegetables, and cleaning products that I could make/grow better and much more inexpensively if I didn’t have to work 8 hours a day?   

I want to volunteer at my kid’s school and visit my friends who are now in their 80s and who probably could use some help getting around.  I want to go home once a month to do chores for my Mom and her sisters.  I want to be a good person, a good citizen. 

It would also be nice not to stare at a computer screen for a good portion of the day

Why bring this all up here?  Well, why not?  The kid is obviously a big part of this thought process.    I had no idea how much time having a kid would take—and that is not a complaint.  The older I get, the more sense Home Economics makes.  I grew up in the prime era of Women In The Workplace Feminism—my Mom the lunchlady was a union rep for her lunchlady union!—and I understand it, I do.  Financial autonomy and equality are necessities in the modern world—denial of such is institutionalized oppression of the worst and most corrosive kind.   But I keep thinking, “At what cost?”  When do I get to decide what is of value to me?

I get to decide when I take responsibility for myself and, by extension, my family. Which sounds an awful lot like Feminism, if you ask me.

Alright then.  I can do that. 

And now, back to work.