Archive for December, 2010

Culture shock

December 21, 2010

Rock tree

Somehow most of the Christmas shows we planned to see this season, for one reason or another, got jammed into this last week.

We saw the Rockettes and the tree; the NYC Ballet’s The Nutcracker (our friend Molly did a bang-up job as a “child” and an “angel”); the Brooklyn Tabernacle Christmas show; and Unsilent Night, which is more of a parade of participatory performance art than a show and one of my favorite seasonal activities.

We had a blast, and added a few photos to the Christmas set on Flickr. I’m a little show-weary, but in a good way.

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Correction: Next year is 2011

December 15, 2010

To those of you who have received our holiday card without noticing our glaring error–thank you for overlooking it!

To those of you who thought we might have gone crazy–you are, of course, right.

Next year is not 2010, even though our card says it might be. My tired, thirty-something eyes managed to skip right over the wrong year when proofing the dang thing. At least the web address is right, so you can hopefully read this correction.

I discovered the wrong year this morning, after I had sent out half the cards. This mistake was followed by forgetting to pick up milk, neglecting to move the car for alternate side parking and failing to show up at the designated location to pick up my winter share CSA. At least I remembered to go to work and to pick up Charlie from his after-school play date.

My thoughts on why my brain seems to be missing half its pieces:
1) I’m getting old.
2) I have too much to do.
3) Charlie has kept me awake every night since before Thanksgiving asking for blankets, water, company to the bathroom and various other requests. He’s recently moved to a new bed and is not yet fully accustomed to it.

I think it’s #3. I hope it’s #3. That at least means there is the hope of eventually sleeping and making fewer mistakes.

In the meantime, I have to go check on the water I left running and the pot that’s been on the stove too long. Ugh.

Santa Land 2010

December 14, 2010

Santa 2010

Santa Claus!

The first year we visited Santa Land, Charlie was more interested in the penguin and the moose characters than in the man in red. Last year, he even asked Santa where they were, since they did not make an appearance at Santa Land. They weren’t there this year either. The line elf said the moose and the penguin were at the North Pole, along with the reindeer. (The elf almost got herself in trouble when she said the reindeer were in the stables. Charlie was ready to visit them and feed them carrots.)

This year, Charlie’s been talking about Christmas, Santa, Macy’s, the Rockettes and the box of decorations in the closet since before Thanksgiving.

Finally, today, we made it to Santa Land. He was excited all day long and managed the courage to ask Santa for a Sesame Street toy. Now, I just have to help Santa’s elves make it happen.

The best singer in the church

December 13, 2010

Yesterday, Charlie and I stood in line for the Brooklyn Tabernacle Christmas show. The line was long, the seats filled up quickly, and we didn’t get in.

We were both disappointed, and agreed to try again another day.

On the way home, I remembered that Immaculate Heart of Mary was having a Christmas chamber music concert, followed by the lighting of their numerous outdoor trees and angels. So Charlie and I stepped into the church for a bit. (He didn’t last long.) And stayed in the drizzle for the lighting.

The crowd, with the teen choir leading, sang “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” and “Silent Night.” I stopped singing the first one, about halfway through, because I didn’t remember all the words. Charlie told me to keep singing. So, I hummed until I could catch up.

Later that night, he said his favorite part of the day was when I sang Christmas carols. He said, “You were the best singer in the church.”

Coming from a family of wonderful singers, and being by far the least talented in that area, it made me feel really nice that for one lovely night, for one little boy, I was the best singer of all.

Dyker Heights Christmas lights

December 11, 2010

Dyker Heights Christmas
Dyker Heights Christmas lights, photo by Steve Garufi

I’ve heard about the Dyker Heights Christmas lights for a few years now, at least since we moved to Brooklyn and maybe before that. Somehow we never ended up visiting them. The holidays get so busy with office parties, shopping, Santa sightings and preparing to travel that it’s often hard to fit in everything that looks fun.

We will, however, be visiting Dyker Heights annually from here on out.

Last night, we went out for a casual dinner at La Taqueria in Park Slope followed by a little window shopping and a drive through the heart of Dyker Heights.

The neighborhood was lit up like the Disney World electrical light parade. It was AMAZING! The houses were fully dressed in lights. There were moving carousels, giant Santas, two-story-tall toy soldiers, and even a live Elmo.

This year, we were tired and cold, so we stayed in the car, making loops along with many other cars. Next year, we’ll plan to park and walk so we can see it all!

The truth wears off

December 11, 2010

“We like to pretend that our experiments define the truth for us. But that’s often not the case. Just because an idea is true doesn’t mean it can be proved. And just because an idea can be proved doesn’t mean it’s true. When the experiments are done, we still have to choose what to believe.”

From “The Truth Wears Off: Is there something wrong with the scientific method?” by Jonah Lehrer in the December 13, 2010 issue of The New Yorker. An intriguing piece about “cosmic habituation” in the data used for all experiments and a re-examination of the scientific method.

It’s Christmas time!

December 6, 2010

Gingerbread house

I’ve started a Christmas photo set on Flickr. Check back regularly to click on the photo above for new pictures.

We got our Christmas cards back from Snapfish a few days ago, and I realized I better get in gear updating this blog! Once our summer vacation trip ended, way back in July, I somehow went too far offline.

Between my new job in August, our trip to PA over Labor Day, and Charlie’s transition to Greene Hill School in September, I have been alternately too busy, too worried, too stressed and too lazy to keep up with all the photo-taking, communicating and blogging necessary for mothering.

Since we put the web address on the cards again this year, I knew I needed to update my photos for all the relatives. There are several new blog posts and photo sets in the archives under September, October and November.

My New Year’s resolution has come early this year: keep up with this blog! Even when I can’t share all the dirty details, it’s nice to have a record of what’s happening in Charlie’s life. He’s changing so fast, and looking back at his ideas, photos and videos makes me realize how far he’s come.