Sunday, December 28, 2008

In the paint

Naomi loves to paint. She does it nearly everyday.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Santa stopped by the tower a week early

The presents have been opened and the girls have left the scene for a few moments to pack up some toys for our afternoon plane ride to San Francisco where we will join in a second wave of Holiday festivities.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jewel in the Oval Office (Sally Jewel)

Sally Jewel is sitting next to Obama at this table. Sally is one of the finest executives I know. 
She is the CEO of REI, a University of Washington Regent, a wonderful climber, hiker, adventurer, storyteller and she is the Chair of the Initiative for Global Development, a brilliant force of leaders who have come together to end global poverty.   I wonder what particular conversation is about?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Boardman Lake

Oatmeal for Simone, Kaya, McKinley, Liam, Simone and Cora after the first night at Boardman lake.   

Naomi and Simone hiking in.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Naomi holding forth on the stairs.  
No hands as they are busy downing milk and twisting locks.

David, Naomi and John enjoying the island waters.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Brody's brother arrives or tea party with Brody

Simone and Naomi's are good friend's with Brody and love to visit with him in Sun Valley.  

Brody invited Simone over for a tea party and he made mint tea and cookies.  He had it all planned out. There was a table set with the miniature tea pot, cups and plates and a vase with a flower in it.

The only thing he didn't count on was that his new brother Finn might 
have a smelly diaper just when he was introducing Simone to him. 

Jennifer makes sure Simone doesn't lose hold of baby Finn.

Playing on the giant bear.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Her medium is plants.

Do you know any artists whose medium is plants? Kim Turos, who recently moved to Seattle, works in a vernacular of organic media. 

Gnarly old roots hang from the 70 foot ceiling like grand synaptic nerves sending messages from one giant bulbous form to another. It is something to behold. Her studio is wild too. It's a glorious industrial cathedral.

David, Simone, Naomi and I stopped by to see Kim and her husband John Gilleland recently. Simone set about watering the plants. There are probably 50 giant pots needing H2O. This could take a long we open some wine and enjoy the extraordinary surroundings.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Take Your Time

Simone and Naomi visited the exhibit of Danish Iceland artist, Olafur Eliasson at MOMA.  There was a smoky mysterious room and a foggy room and a round room that changed colors and a wall of boxy mirrors all much bigger then them....which I should add was a theme on this last trip to NYC, so much of the art we saw was giant (Robert Therrien's plate and bowls.)

Another favorite with the girls was "Who's afraid of Jasper Johns" at the Tony Shafrazi gallery. The flight of stairs into the exhibit space on West 26th street had become a waterfall and the girls got in it immediately as it was 100 degrees outside.  The walls of the gallery were covered in a wallpaper of the previous show with new art mounted on top of it. It was hard to tell what was real and what was wallpaper.  An image of a guard stood next to a live guard.

Back in Seattle Naomi 
and Simone had a great time at the 
Lawrimore Project's Susan Robb exhibit, "The Challenge That Nature
 Provides."  Simone sang her heart out in the private booth and cooked 
delighted in the charred marshmellows from the Digester's fire.  The Digester's fire is fueled by methane from art dealer waste.  A hearth from the ecologically progressive future for sure. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fishing at twin ponds on crazy hair day at Evergreen School

Simone's Pre-School class made fishing poles today. The three year olds added hooks and sinkers, squirmy live worms (or bright salmon eggs) and went fishing at twin ponds, just a short hike into the woods from the school. Last year they caught a fish. This year they needed to cook up hot dogs and smores over the coals as there were no nips from the tranquil waters. 

The woods were beautiful! The weeping willow made some lovely shadows on the water to protect the young fishermen from the sun.

It turns out that today is more than just Fishing Day. It is also one of the Evergreen School's Spirit Days. This one is called "Crazy hair day" and the kids take those instructions seriously. Wild things appear on their heads...including, on Eliza, an embedded water bottle buried under her golden locks to create a "Volcano" on top of her blond head. If you look closely at the photos you'll see some spray paint on a shorn scalp (Daniel) or some exciting pink hair (Claire) or extra silly pony tails (Ruby, Evelyn & Simone) or red hair (Zane).

In the next picture you can see that each preschool student has a buddy from the Third grade standing with them. These buddies have been visiting them throughout the school year for fun projects. I overheard one buddy trying to get his underwing to try some of his suggestions about what fishing technique would attract the baby coho salmon to bite his worm. The buddy explained to his 3 year old understudy, "You see you are just half my age, which means I am two times your age and thus I know twice as much as you." The youngster did not understand this complex math at all and thus proceeded to do his own thing with the fishing pole.

Here are the 12 third grade "buddies" standing with 12 preschoolers and 3 teachers about to head out for the hike. Everyone has their fishing pole upright as they are practicing how not to knock into one another with the many poles.

This photo also shows the kids tying strings to poles to make fishing rods. They added the weights, hooks, and the bait to those hooks, a bit later.  

In the back of the classroom picture you can see a fish tank. Right before we left on the fishing expedition, Simone told Dorothy Shark-bait, the fish that lives in the classroom fish tank, "Don't worry Dorothy, I'll bring you a worm, we have more than enough bait. There will be worms left over."  The picture also shows the planets hanging from Teacher Judith's =classroom ceiling.  A few days after this event, the same ceiling was strung with a gray whale, an orca and a blue whale amid a massive bloom (or swarm) of jelly fish.  All of which, the kids made. It is a wonderfully creative place.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Home Depot or Cart Etiquette

We hardly ever seem to be able to obey the proper cart etiquette. 

The girl enjoying themselves in the cart at Home Depot.  They love building projects.  At least for the fist 10 minutes.  Naomi gets sidetracked with play tools and deep ito her own building projects.  Simone tends to jump in with fortifying snacks, which is why the bookshelf has cherrios smashed inside the slats.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

You Complete Me

If you look at the window behind Simone you will see, in the lower right, the seam for the door to the Western Bridge. A Seattle museum founded by Bill & Ruth True to exhibit contemporary art. Simone was inspired to do a chalk drawing of her own outside the museum after seeing the exhibit, "You Complete Me." Below are large photographs viewed with 3-D glasses.

The girls hooted and hollered through Switzerland artist, Andres Zybach's yellow passageway. As they stomped down the ribs of the tunnel, the hydraulic system was activated, creating gurgling noises and sending paint into tubes which spew color down the gallery walls across the room.

The last image is from a grey bouncy house by artists' Eli Hansen & Oscar Tuazon. A la " a thinking room" that had the girls climbing the walls.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The manufacturing of controversy about Evolution!

I like this article by Valerie Tarico about the manufacturing of controversy about evolution!

The article points out that we have seen this insane manufacturing of controversy (manufactroversy) in the past.

"The fact is, there is no scientific controversy about evolution, just like there is no scientific controversy about whether tobacco causes lung cancer or whether human activity causes global warming. However, in all three examples, someone powerful and well established loses out when and if the scientific mountain of evidence becomes common knowledge and widely accepted. "

The "anti-science" forces (I'm not sure what else to call them) created a movie called EXPELLED about creationism. They ardently say they aren't creationist, they just believe in intelligent design and then they ardently say they are creationists and that intelligent design is creationism. Logic is not a strong point in this movie. The film is produced by Premise Media who previously brought us the ultra violent, Passion of the Christ.

How in the world did people get so easy to fool?

Paul Abrams takes a look at the movie and says Blashemy! Paul reminds us that science is indifferent to our preferences, it is what it is. Humankind ignores that reality at its peril.

The National Center for Science Education put together a comprehensive website about the crazy movie.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

David and Naomi after work

It is 5:45pm on a gorgeous day. Simone, Naomi and I are in the Chinese Room. Simone is finishing her afternoon nap in the double wide stroller. We have circumnavigated Seattle's business district with stops at the library, Sculpture park and Aquarium.

Naomi is awake and happily checking out the carved Chinese dogs and the other relics in the room. David finished a long work day in the office and has come up to join us. What a lovely golden finish to what had been a heavenly day "out and about" the city.

We are eagerly watching the development of the big hole in front of City Hall as we hear that a park with a jungle gym will go in alongside offices and housing. We'd love a place to climb and swing downtown! Here is the block (Cherry, 4th, James and 3rd) where that is hopefully in progress.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Legislation Trumps Jurisprudence & Deciphering the Siberian Wolf Code

On Saturday morning we headed North to Simone's ski class at Snoqualmie. En route Simone asked me to turn on the radio. So I did and "Stop in the Name of Love" by Diana Ross came on. Simone said, "That was just the song I wanted." I was laughing for 5 miles. Later we found a talk show on the radio about fixing things. They pointed out that many things today are created with one use (or a particular lifespan) in mind. The hair dryer doesn't open, though to fix it, one would simply replace a fuse. Most toasters today don't have crumb trays, so there is no way to scrape the heating elements as we did in the past when they started getting rusty. One caller into the fix-it show wanted to repair his "reputation" which has us all in stitches as the fix-it team took that on. They advised that "he stay at the table" keep talking to the folks who had written him off and keep doing his best to hold up his side of the bargain in life whenever he had an "opportunity" to do so. Simone was quietly listening to all this. In time, they assured him, his good name would be restored. "What is a good name?" Simone said. "I don't like my name. Can I change it to Naomi? That is a good name for me."  The radio show went on...The fix-it hosts warned the man with the tarnished reputation not to be sensitive to what other folks say as they pointed out that 95% of what other people say is about them and that he should establish his own criteria of success. At this point Simone piped in again. She liked the idea that perhaps NOT listening was good and she said, "I'm tired of having to listen to other people and do what they say...and Mom they just said that listening to other people is a bad idea. Did you hear that Mom?  It was on the radio."  Hard for me to stop laughing long enough to respond.

As we drove North to snow country, I found myself thinking back to a conversation from the day before with Virginia senatorial candidate, Governor Mark Warner. I asked him if, assuming he gets into office, he and his fellow senatorial pals (the "radical centrists" as he calls them) would propose legislation protecting the rights we now have under Roe versus Wade (along with other bioethics and privacy rights we need) since I feel that we have already lost the courts (5 -4 in the Supreme Court) and much worse than that in the lower courts. Legislation trumps in jurisprudence so this is one way we may restore and protect science and privacy rights going forward. Gov. Warner replied that he thought it might be a Pandora's Box to start legislating women's rights. He worried that attempting to do so might open us up for a backlash and the other side might take the opportunity to remove the rights we have today. I believe that as a nation, this is a conversation we need to be brave enough to stay at the table and have. Why do I believe this? Well, in Washington State we haven't been able to protect the right to purchase "Plan B" at a pharmacy and though we have been in the courts trying to protect our citizens basic rights for years, we are getting shut down. I see legislation as a way to get this out into the open where I believe it will be clear we need to protect the rights of all of our citizens.

Simone is in "Treasure Trails," the youngest group of skiers who meet every Saturday at Snoqualmie. Katrina, Jake and Logan (also pictured here) are in the more advanced classes. They are part of the "Ripacheeps" "Ice Vipers" and "Aslan's Toxic Monkeys" and have spent the better part of the past two months skiing deep into the snowy northern woods searching for clues to decipher the Siberian Wolf Code. Last week they located the crown (Logan and Jake are holding it) and the Staff (in Katrina's arms). Heroes! Next week they will search for the missing jewels that go on the spikes of the crown. The crown comes from a long line of gold bike helmeted Kings and Queens from Siberia...Such finery!

After skiing we headed to Zander and Scott's birthday party. Our tribe, so to speak, was there in grass skirts and diving gear as it was a surf theme. Our evening was powered by Kevin's scrumptious chocolate ganache birthday cake. The kids were intensely hyper and wild. Here is a video of them jumping on a mattress and racing through a big cardboard box in the basement.

When we got back to the tower, we discovered that Simone's bicycle had arrived and was in the lobby (Thanks William!) Simone jumped on and took it for a spin on the terrazzo before we headed up the elevator to do a circle around the chinese room's deck.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Double-wide jaunt through urban landscape

We left the house in the double wide stroller. Simone was working in her easy erase writing book sent from Grandma Patt.
Simone was also in charge of documenting this particular afternoon romp with her camera. She pointed out that "We need a picture of the tower, a picture of a train and a picture of the new gate to China town!"
So we set off due south to the International District to see if any of those could be found. We usually have a list of errands on these afternoon jaunts but we also have a rather lengthly list of favorite places we want to visit and certain urban projects we like to keep an eye on. One of those urban projects is William Justen's 1521 Second Avenue building! As you can see it is coming along. The homes have floor to ceiling windows so from the outside all you see is glass. For errands today we had 25 pounds of books (about as much as Simone weighs) to return to the library. En route Simone did take a few pictures but it wasn't long before she fell asleep and I took over camera detail.
Simone and I love the bodies climbing the parking garage wall that you see pictured here. We wish our hands and feet could stick to upside down surfaces like that! The girls take turns sleeping on the walk. When Simone is awake she likes to help push the stroller. When Naomi is awake she likes to stand up in the stroller and so I have to hold her so she doesn't tumble out...and can't take any pictures.
(Double click to see more detail.)