Cerebral Compendium : June 2015

By June 23, 2015 Film, TV, YouTube, Just Me, Media
TLOC

I’m really trying to focus the content I cultivate but the world is such a varied place and my interests expand considerably beyond being a mom with a progressive, female positive agenda. I love comic books, baking, sushi, Netflix, biographies, Harry Potter, NPR, National Geographic. We could be here for days.  Anyway, with such a wide breadth of interests, I come across cool stuff and I want to share those things without being too tangential and so throughout the month I’ll be putting together little snippets together into what I call a cerebral compendium, known colloquially as a brain dump.

Alton Browncast: It’s no secret that I’m a pretty big Alton Brown fan. We Cutthroat Kitchen and Good Eats often. And his soft pretzel recipe is on our regular rotation. He’s got a podcast that aggregates people from all over the food world and at times outside of it. He knows how to talk to people and that means they talk about interesting important stuff. Many of the episodes have sections with recipes and answering of listener questions about cooking. The last one was from late 2014 so I’m not sure he’s doing them anymore but there are about 50 some-odd episodes to wade through. Fingers crossed

National Geographic’s Look at Exotic Pet Ownership : A look at exotic pet-ownership through the lens of an amazing photographer named Vincent Musi . The article is surprisingly middle of the road for such a hot button topic with some truly beautiful portraits.

Ask a Mortician YouTube Channel: Finally a YouTube channel that answers all those morbid questions you’ve never been brave enough to ask. Caitlin Doughty, the resident mortician approaches heavy subjects with both humor and respect which is a really difficult balance to strike.

Summer Camp for Grownups : I never went to summer camp. I begged to go to summer camp every year for well years but it never just worked out. Now, I can go to summer camp and there will be beer. This is just one of many and it looks like they have a few across the country. Pretty fun idea. I’m so down.

An Interesting Look at How Domestic Chores get Split Up : This study is a look at how chores are split up amongst men and women in heterosexual relationships where both people work outside of the home. I doubt you will be surprised about how the chips fall but the reasons behind the disparity were of the most interesting bits for me.

Anyone see anything cool on the internet lately? Link it in the comments.

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The Longest Shortest Time

By June 19, 2015 Just Me, Motherhood, Pregnancy
Baby in pajamas sticking tongue out

After Harp was born, actually before she was even here, Deleting the Adjectives became a space for me to speak honestly about pregnancy,  motherhood and what being a person really feels like after becoming a mom. Not in a I didn’t know I was pregnant way, but in a she wasn’t exactly planned way.  As I was in the process of growing her, I looked to the internet for a community of moms who I felt connected to because I was the first of my friends to have a kid and I felt so alone in this bubble. I thought that I would find other women, especially young women who felt as confused and conflicted as I did but…I didn’t.  Most women seemed so thrilled by the idea of being stay at home moms and seemed to revel in all the things about parenting that terrified me. What I was finding was very Stepford Moms. I felt awful. I felt like I was already a bad mom and my kid hadn’t even spent 24 hours on the outside.

Over the past nearly five years I’ve learned there is a distinct need for honest narratives about parenthood that are not so cloying and willing to present the challenges of parenting as hardships to be welcomed wholeheartedly. I love my kid but that doesn’t mean I love ever single minute of every day.

One of the resources that helped me realize I am normal and not the worst mom in the world is a podcast called The Longest Shortest Time.  It’s basically a podcast that interviews parents who had some sort of surprising struggle in early parenthood. Medical, emotional, situational. Adoption, surrogacy, biological kids. You name it, they talk about it. It’s so refreshing to hear people talking honestly about the difficulties of being entirely responsible for someone else’s life while remaining these human people who are so desperately in love with their kids. If you haven’t listened, check it out and let me know what you think. I listen via the Podcast Addict app but you can check it out on their website (linked above) or on iTunes. For listeners, do you have a favorite episode to recommend? If you check it out please come back and let me know what you think.

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A Letter to My Daughter’s Dance Teacher

By June 15, 2015 Le Guppy, Motherhood
tap shoes on hardwood floor

Dear Miss Kristen,
As you well know, Monday was Harper’s first recital of the year. What you probably didn’t know is that she’s been practicing every single day for weeks, preparing for her first one with two dances and two costumes. She had been fretting about changing backstage and forgetting steps or going left when she should have been going right but mostly she’s been so excited. Literally counting down the days, how many more sleeps before her recital.

I wanted to tell you this because I know she probably won’t grow up to be a professional dancer. She’s a little pigeon toed and she is not the most graceful, coordinated creature on this Earth. She has trouble focusing, she’s sociable but somewhat overzealous to make friends. She laughs a lot,  often catches a glimpse of us in the wall long mirror and forgets to pay attention because she’s too busy waving. She’s not always the easiest student but she  loves to dance.

God, does she love to dance. Sometimes when I’m in the kitchen or the laundry room I can hear her counting herself in. Five, six, seven, eight. Toe, toe, toe, toe. Heel, heel, heel, heel. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle.  Other times, peeking around the corner I see that she’s pulled on her ballet slippers. “First position,” she says to herself, carefully aligning her feet and watching her pliés in the glass of the television screen. She even goes through the routines waiting in line for rides at Disneyland.

little girl dances in tutu

So I wanted to say thank you. For being excited to see her walk through the door every week.  For using humor to motivate. For holding her to your highest standards without breaking her spirit. For being able to see past her possible lack of natural proclivity to her interest and desire to do well.  For creating a place for her to make friends and feel like she’s part of a whole. For giving her a space where the girls (and guys) are able to forge supportive friendships. For breaking the stereotypes about what friendships between girls are supposed to look like. But mostly for the pride and joy being in dance brings her.

Love, Harper’s Mom Rachel

If you are in looking for dance classes in San Diego I highly recommend The Dance Company. Kids can start at age two and they are really awesome about having multiple classes of the same skill level so you can work around other activities. All the teachers and assistants are awesome. Harper’s primary teacher, Kristen, is actually the owner of the company. I can’t recommend them enough.

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Father’s Day Gifts Dads Want

By June 11, 2015 Family and Friends, Guy <3
Father and Daughter Laugh Together

I suck at getting gifts to people in a timely matter. Just ask my cousin, Nick. His birthday was in March but I’ll be hand delivering his gift when I see him at the end of this month. Yeah, you did the math right. It’ll be about 3 months late. I’m trying to get better about timely gift giving because I love picking out the perfect thing for the important people in my life. If you are like me and trying to plan ahead for once, hopefully this list of gifts makes it easier for other last minute gift getters.

I also try to make Father’s Day a big deal because my dad is amazing and my husband is an amazing dad.  If you have an awesome dad, or are married to one, here are some gift ideas to really show those boys how great you think  they are. This post contains some affiliate links. All recommendations are my own.

Geek Dad

Logitech Speakers : I actually own these speakers in teal . I wish I would have thought to buy these fom him before he bought them for me because we both love them. We take them everywhere. Camping, the beach, picnics, bbqs. They charge lasts for about 4 to 5 hours and you can use them when they are charging. Tiny speakers, big quality sound.
Tetris Desk Lamp : Fun and colorful and modern while retaining it’s geeky roots.
The Cult of Lego : I think geekdom starts with Legos for a lot of people. The innocence of of infinite possibilities made us dreamers. My husband could not wait for our daughter to be old enough to graduate from Duplos to the standard size.  This book is all things Lego in one place.

Sports Dad

MLB Online Membership: We are baseball people. Guy is an Angels fan and everyone else is a Cubs fan including my dad. We live in San Diego which means none of our team games air on TV where we live. The MLB online membership allows you to watch any baseball game at home or take them with you on your smart phone or tablet.
Personalized Jersey: Make Dad feel like part of the team with a jersey from his favorite sports team.

Beer Dad

Goodnight Brew: Most dads have read Good Night Moon so many times they know it by heart. This is a beer dad’s version of a perfect bedtime story.
Bottlecraft Membership: Bottlecraft is a local beer joint and tasting room with an amazing selection. Any beer guy would love to see these beers arrive on their doorstep. Locals can pick up in the store and save on shipping.

Car Dad

Gift Certificate for RockAuto.com : Guy loves to take the car apart and put it back together. Rock Auto makes it easy to do just that. According to him, they have great selection in for new and old cars, helpful customer service, and good prices.

Cook Dad

Gift Certificate to The Spice House : If the guy you are shopping for loves to master the stove or the grill a gift certificate to one of the best spice retailers is a sure hit. High quality ingredients for fair prices.
Coldbrew Coffee Apparatus: This thing made my husband a coffee drinker at the ripe old age of 27. Yeah, he pretty much didn’t like coffee until cold brew. I recommend this one because it’s the one we have and I think it’s pretty easy.

Fix it Dad

Leatherman: A leatherman is a tool that puts everything you need to build a shopping mall right in your pocket. Think of it of a Swiss  Army Knife on steroids.
The Ultimate Tool Storage Locker:  It’s hard to fix and tinker when you have no idea where that 3/4 inch socket is. A tool storage cabinent makes it easy for Mr. Fix it to actually fix it.

Outdoor Dad

Fitbit There are varying levels of fitbit. Some just tell you your steps and distance while others act as smart watch complete with heart rate monitors. Regardless, outdoor dads love to track how far their hikes or ran and a Fitbit is a relatively inexpensive way to get all the details about his outdoor activities.
GoPro: We love our GoPro. We take it camping and hiking and for long drives and roantic walks on the beach. This little sucker is near indestructible and is waterproof. Perfect for dads with adventure on the mind.

Not seeing the perfect gift?

Want to DIY? Try here and here.
Need more gift for your beer guy? Here’s a good place to look.

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