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Archive for the ‘Things I Like’ Category

Boys and Overalls

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Baby boys in overalls =Every once in a while, I hear someone who has or will be having a boy child lament the lack of cute boy clothes. Girls get adorable dresses and and, I don’t know, big giant hair bows or whatever. Boys get clothes with sports and trucks on them.

Although it’s true that many (most?) items of boy clothing are covered with sports paraphernalia and/or trucks (which, honestly, can be cute, too), there are plenty of other options out there. Overalls, for example, like those pictured above, from OshKosh B’Gosh. In my opinion, a toddler boy in overalls is pretty much one of the cutest things in the world. (And yes, the shorts have snaps so you don’t have to remove the top of the overalls to change diapers and they do fit over cloth diapers.)

(The toys he has here are the mushroom and wooden knife from the Plan Toys Fruit and Vegetable Play Set, which he loves.)

I’m still getting used to his hair, by the way.

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Note: I didn’t receive any compensation or perks from OshKosh B’Gosh or Plan Toys for writing this. I just love their stuff.

Written by Tracy

July 20th, 2011 at 9:19 am

Posted in and life,Things I Like

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The Peeps Diorama

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In 2009, Ben and I (which means mostly Ben) made a Peeps diorama for The Denver Post Peeps diorama contest. Through a sordid chain of stupid events, our Peeps diorama was not entered in the contest that year or any year since then. So I guess you could say we made a Peeps diorama just for the hell of it.

This is not the best Peeps diorama in the world, but it’s our Peeps diorama and I kind of like it. I figured I’d share it here, because at the rate we’re going, we’ll never manage to get it entered in an actual contest.

I humbly present Peep Man.

Peep Man
Peep Man Disclaimer: As vegetarians, we don’t actually eat Peeps and don’t buy them other than that time we made a Peeps diorama. That said, I’m kind of obsessed with Peeps and have been known to buy non-marshmallow-related Peeps merchandise on occasion.

Written by Tracy

April 24th, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Frank Lloyd Wright Houses & Other Architecture

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Music: Ben is working on a remix of Wheel in the Sky. I’ll post it when he’s done.
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Oak Park

I wish I’d saved bigger versions of my old photos.

This is the Nathan G. Moore house, which is probably my favorite Frank Lloyd Wright house. (I’m also partial to the Arthur B. Heurtley house.) It’s in Oak Park, Illinois, just a few blocks from my old condo (which was designed by E. E. Roberts). You can find out more about FLW houses in Oak Park and take a little photo “walking” tour here. (If you’re in Oak Park, you can go on this tour in May, which looks fantastic and, amazingly, isn’t prohibitively expensive. After the tour, you can go to Poor Phil’s and have a beer and sweet potato fries with a side of ranch for me because holy crap, I miss that place.)

I used to clerk for a judge who had lived in a Frank Lloyd Wright house. He said sometimes he’d find random tourists standing in his living room, looking around. I suppose that’s a small price to pay for living in something so amazing.

It’s easy to take architecture for granted when you’re in Oak Park or Chicago. I think it’s probably time for me to learn more about the architecture of Denver. I know pretty  much nothing about it. Oh wait, I can tell you that the Sculptured House is my absolute favorite, although I’ve never seen it up close in person (just from 70). (There’s a pretty good photo gallery of it here.) Oh man, that house is so awesome.

Speaking of architecture, The Architecture of Happiness is a good book for someone like me, who appreciates it but doesn’t know much. In an effort to improve my knowledge it the area, I’ll work on finding out more about Denver architecture and report back here within the next month or so.

Written by Tracy

March 4th, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Lots of Books

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Song: Good Life by Inner City (Katy B & Geeneus Remake)
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Soren's booksEver since I was turned off by the Dr. Sears book, I haven’t been a big reader of parenting books. There’s one I like and am reading slowly, like one chapter every few months (I don’t have much time to read and when I do, I’m not always in the mood for a parenting book). The main point of the book so far seems to be as follows:

If you don’t want your kid to grow up to be an entitled asshole, don’t give him too much crap.

This fits with the philosophy I’ve developed on my own. As a quasi-minimalist, I’m not into so much stuff (and where I still am, I’m trying not to be [See, e.g., handbags; 70s fashion.]), and I agree with the author that childhood in America has become too full of it — especially branded, complicated, flashing, noisy, annoying toys — and too scheduled with elaborate activities designed to enrich and advance and insert all kinds of bullshit and stress into our lives. Soren and I, the little hippies that we are, spend much of our time together on the living room floor, playing with stacking cups and laughing at the cats.

There’s one point, however, on which I disagree with the author. He includes books in “stuff” and recommends giving your kid only a few books at a time. This advice is intended for older children who can actually read, but even then, I think it’s kind of nuts.

I’m not saying I want Soren to be one of those kids who “reads” 100 books a day (believe me, I’ve heard parents brag about their 2-year-old “reading” 27 books every day but that shit doesn’t fool me because if a little kid is reading that many books, she’s not actually reading anything). I also understand that a large number of something can result in valuing nothing. But I don’t see the point of limiting books.

I love reading but rarely, if ever, read a non-kid book more than once. Just thinking about it makes me a little twitchy with boredom (don’t even get me started on watching a movie more than once because I do not do this, ever). I hate to hoist my own feelings about something onto my kid, but I can’t bore him with only a handful of books. When it comes to reading, he should have plenty of options.

Of course, Soren can’t read yet. He loves books as much as he’s able at this age — he loves looking at the pictures and turning the pages (of board books, of course, because he’ll kill regular pages). Even now, though, I think it would be too boring to look at the same few books all the time. And then there are bedtime stories. Even a favorite book like Go, Dog. Go! gets a little stale if you read it more than once every few weeks.

It’s entirely possible that Soren won’t even be into books. I don’t know where my love of reading came from, because it wasn’t my parents — my dad might read a book every once in a while, but my mom hates reading (I know!). Why I liked to spend evenings curled up in my twin bed with a book (Jack London was my favorite when I was a kid — I loved stories about dogs, especially those set in the North; it’s the law of the wild, eat or be eaten) and got so excited every time we had one of those book sales at school (Remember that? When you got a little catalog of books and could dreamily check off which ones you wanted?) remains a mystery to this day.

There will be a day, sooner than I imagine, when Soren will want to be one of these modern kids who reads on an iPad or whatever new thing comes out before then. I’m cool with that, but I hope he’ll still be able to appreciate the stacks of old-school books he’ll have in his room. I know I will.

Written by Tracy

February 24th, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Things I Like: Sports Edition

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  • Although the season is over for the Denver Nuggets (much to the delight of David Stern and the NBA referees, but whatever), there’s some good news for the team. Super-mascot Rocky made the Forbes “Top 10 Sports Mascots” list. (Unfortunately, some of the other winners also made my “Terrifying Mascots” list.) Even if you’re not all that into sports mascots (and I couldn’t blame you for that), Rocky is the shit. The last time we were at a game, he climbed from the court all the way up to the top of the third level (and he climbs up, like, walls and stuff, not just stairs), shot out some confetti, and then ran back down to the court, all in record time (I don’t remember how much time, but it was really fast). He does crazy shit with ladders and stunts that would be impressive if done while not dressed as a mascot.
  • This just in from the U.S. Department of Badassery: Shit, dudes, Colorado Rockies catcher Miguel Olivo. I already like the guy because I picked him up for my fantasy team after A.J. Pierzynski went like 2 for his last 873. He’s been hitting well and isn’t so bad at throwing out runners. Don’t get me wrong — that’s just garden-variety badass for a catcher. But here’s the thing — during the 8th inning of Monday’s game, dude slipped into the team’s bathroom near the dugout and — holy shit — passed a kidney stone. Then he went back into the game. (I’ve heard that passing a kidney stone feels kind of like giving birth. I have no idea if this is true, but if it’s even half as painful, holy shit.) I wish my team got bonus points for that. Dude.
  • From the LOLWTF files. I present Melo’s People of Utah:

Written by Tracy

May 1st, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Things I Like — 2/9/10

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This is the first in what I hope will be a regular feature, if you can call anything I write here a “feature.”

Apple & Brie sandwiches. This is my current food obsession. I usually get one from Udi’s when we have a meeting at work, but I’ve started making my own, too. The ingredients are as follows:

  • two slices of dense, preferably crispy bread (nuts optional but good); currently, I’m using Private Selection Harvest Grain from King Soopers (Udi’s uses their own walnut bread, which is to die for)
  • enough slices of Brie to cover a slice of bread (I err on the side of using too much, which always is my problem with cheese)
  • a little scattering of chopped walnuts over the Brie (optional)
  • thinly sliced apple (I recommend gala apples for this; you won’t use the whole apple for one sandwich; I always share the extra with the dogs)
  • nice greens of some sort (I’ve been using spinach, but any mixed greens that are fancier than iceberg would be fine)
  • a generous amount of honey mustard

Baby clothes. Baby clothes are a good lesson in impermanence; I absolutely love them but they don’t last long because Soren grows out of stuff so fast. My current favorite is a jumpsuit from Old Navy. It’s white and covered with gray script that says, “I love Mommy. I love Daddy. I love Everybody. Mommy loves me. Daddy loves me. Everybody loves me. I am loved.” Yes you are, little guy.

Places I’ve lived. I’ve always thought that places are as important as people — where you live is like a character in your life. Sometimes I get all nostalgic and start missing places I’ve lived, most of which are awesome. Favorites include the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago (awesome gym practically across the street, Ann Sather cinnamon rolls and omelets, funky little stores, super-cheap artichoke or spinach and feta pockets plus fresh figs for dinner, restaurants with belly dancers); Oak Park, IL (the most beautiful place I’ve ever lived, Thai food, Italian food, Indian food, pizza, fresh pumpkin loaf, FOOD; walking to and from the train or the el, the farmers’ market, long late-night walks and the random cats you encounter on the way; the Green Line from start to finish, architecture, everything green in summer ); Nederland, CO (dark starry nights, the amazing silence of a tiny mountain town, unpaved streets, dogs everywhere, SNOW, satellite internet because that’s all you get up there, cute little houses, early dinners because stuff doesn’t stay open late, the gym [now gone] next to the beer store). I really hope to get back to Chicago this year (we used to go once a year but didn’t make it in 2009).

Plans for good weather. I’ve always liked winter, but having a fresh new baby is making it very hard for me to appreciate snow and cold. I am so looking forward to even the little things we do every year when it’s nice outside; it’s nice to have a new appreciation for these things:

  • Rockies games
  • beer gardens (I’m sure a baby can enjoy sitting outside while mom and dad have a frosty beverage)
  • shopping for and planting flowers and vegetables
  • Ben grilling while I sit at the table in our backyard and DJ on my computer
  • long walks in and around the neighborhood (looking forward to when Soren is old enough for the super-awesome jogging stroller and it’s nice enough outside to use it)
  • City Park Jazz
  • the Rubber Duck Race in Boulder
  • hanging out in the yard in a tiny, inflatable pool on really hot days
  • hiking in the mountains, followed by beer and pizza at Oskar Blues (I really want to take Soren to Sandbeach Lake, which is just about the best place I’ve ever been)
  • ‘hood noises, including the silly music and the car alarm that goes off every time a truck drives by (which will annoy me very much after I hear it a few times this year)
  • exploring new stuff downtown.

Our neighborhood. Okay, so we live in the ‘hood. I maintain that, one day, this will be an up-and-coming area — it’s showing signs of this already. Fortunately, in our neighborhood, people are buying houses and fixing them up, instead of tearing them down and building ugly-ass McMansions and/or townhouses, like they’re doing in fancier neighborhoods like Wash Park and the Highlands. I’m happy that our neighborhood is getting a little nicer without losing its character, because the character is one of the reasons we like it here (well, that and the fact that we can afford to live here).

Written by Tracy

February 9th, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Posted in Things I Like

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