Friday, February 29, 2008

The Great Argus Pheasant

Owen's favorite animal at the zoo is the Great Argus Pheasant. You can hear the bird from anywhere in the zoo, and Owen refuses to leave until he's seen the bird in action.

And here's Owen's version:

Here's another, but with a little lion mixed in.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Afternoon conversation

Owen: "Please watch Ehl-mos World?"
Me: "Um, later. Let's just keep playing for now."
Owen: "Please watch Ehl-mos World?"
Me: "Later."
Owen: "Please watch Ehl-mos World?"
Me: "Owen, what did I just say?"
Owen: "(stares at me for a beat)...please watch Ehl-mos World?"
Me: "Didn't you already watch Elmo today?"
Owen: "Yah. Please watch Ehl-mos World AGAIN?"
Me: "Ask your mom."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Aloha Vote

Here's a great Slate article that sums up the events of last night quite nicely. It sure was fun being part of history!
"Tonight's crisis is the result of all our enthusiasm," Obama supporter Susan Atwell tells me at the auditorium door. "But no one fainted. No one got punched in the nose. We all survived, because we're a laidback community." She smiles and looks around the slowly emptying space. "The aloha spirit got us through."

A caucus for us

Erin, Owen and I participated in our first Democratic caucus tonight. And let me tell you, we caucused the s**t out of that place (where s**t = snot. This is a family blog after all).

One of my office mates works for the Obama campaign and she told me to show up 30 minutes before the doors were scheduled to close at 6:30 pm. It turns out that we could vote even though we weren't registered in the state of Hawaii. In HI, you can caucus as long as you are (1) eligible to vote in any state and (2) haven't yet voted in another state. I looked up our caucus location on the nifty Barack Obama website and made plans to meet Erin and Owen at Nishi Moncho Ramen at 5:30 so we could fuel up for a night of democracy and Change. Shoyu yakisoba noodle plate? Yes we can!

We arrived at Manoa Elementary school at 6pm to find the main playground packed with about 1000 people. There was a full metric shload of people there to vote.
We were instructed to wait in a succession of lines. In the first line we had to fill out two forms: one to register to vote and the other to figure out our precinct. Erin will have to fill in the details here because I was chasing Owen around the basketball courts. The second line was for a couple more forms, again I'm hazy on the details. But while we waited in the lines, the length of the lines doubled and then doubled again. The turn-out was amazing. Say what you will about the current president, but you've got to admit that he's done wonders for the voter turn-out!

After standing in line for 2 hours, which was 1.5 hours past when the doors supposedly closed, we waited our turn to get into the cafeteria where we would cast our votes. Erin went in first and I stayed with Owen. After about 5 minutes, an older gentleman grabbed the microphone on the stage and announced, "OK. This is crazy. At this rate we'll be here until midnight. I'm making an executive decision here. You no longer have to find the table representing your precinct. Just sign the attendance sheet, cast your vote, and get out of here so more people can vote! Vote and move people!"

Owen promptly started to melt down since it was fast approaching bed time and he hadn't taken a bath or read a single book. Plus mommy had been gone for 5 minutes while we stood in the middle of a crowded, extremely noisy hallway. I decided to run in and vote with Owen flopping around in my arms. It mostly worked until he got free, climbed onto a table, screamed "MOMMY!" and threw his shoe. I grabbed Owen, the shoe, my ballot and in one motion cast my vote and exited the gym. Erin came out a couple minutes later, flustered and red-faced and said, "I didn't even get to vote. Let's get out of here!" Apparently the people at the other end of the cafeteria--where Erin was trying to vote--hadn't heard about the change in procedure. So while I was executing the express vote-n-scoot plan, Erin was being bogged down in an additional layer of paperwork. Total pandemonium.

I wasn't about to go through all that we went through without Erin voting. So I grabbed her ballot, ran past the guy manning the door and tossed Erin's vote into the ballot box. Hopefully my act of voter fraud wasn't captured on tape. But just in case, we made a beeline for the car and got the frack out of there. After he was in his car seat, Owen said, "Owen have fun caucus!" We laughed and sighed our agreement. The night was pretty fun, despite the craziness of it all. Sensing that our defenses were down, Owen then asked for ice cream. Mommy and Daddy couldn't help but concur that ice cream cones were most definitely in order. We grabbed 3 small soft serve cones and enjoyed the ride back home.

UPDATE: As of 4am EST, Obama is running away with the race, garnering 73% of the vote with 25% of precincts reporting. Go Barack, go!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Suppper club shout-out

While gone are the days of the world's best supper club (I miss you, ladies!), we've been fortunate enough to sneak right in to a group of other lovers of cooking and enjoying delicious meals as a community. We hosted many of them for thanksgiving dinner, which I'm sure got our foot nicely in the door, and last Sunday we attended what will hopefully be a monthly gathering of young families around a central theme.

February's theme - SOUP'S ON. That's right, even in Hawaii it gets cold enough that you want soup... well, then again even I can't consider 68 degrees soup-worthy weather. I simply love that we all wore slippahs and kept the soup warm by placing the huge pots on an outdoor grill.

My best recollection of the lineup:

Pupus: Cheese platter, poke with avocado
Soups: Homemade Thai-ginger soup with salmon and rice; Thai-ginger soup with coconut and chicken (this was a purchased replacement for a homemade wild-mushroom green onion soup that was unfortunatley lost in a blender accident); Tuscan White Bean soup with Kale and cheddar croutons.
Homemade breads: Rosemary bread sticks, Sourdough loaf, Olive bread (my fave)
Dessert: New York Style Cheesecake with mixed berries (this was my contribution), Chocolate swirl bundt cake with vanilla ice cream.

Stay tuned for next month's report.... which there's rumor will be a Carribbean theme.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

One, two, fwee, foee, fie...

Owen has no need for 13 and 15. But really, do any of us?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Year of the Gau

Happy Chinese New Year!

UPDATE: It has just been brought to my attention that Gau in Cantonese means something completely different than "semi-sweet gooey mound."

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Bathtime Conversation

Owen was taking a bath when he got a strange look on his face, looked down and then we both heard a loud noise that was not unlike the horn on one of those old-timey Model T cars: "arOOOOgah." Then a bunch of bubbles rose to the surface.

Owen: (visibly shaken) "DADDY! What happened? What that make-it that sound?!"
Me: "You just had a little gas."
Owen: "Woah! Owen have loud gas!"
Me: "Yup, sometimes gas is loud."

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

More Owen vids

I'm starting to think the boy is going to be a movie star or director when he grows up, because he is absolutely obsessed with being filmed ("take picture") and then watching his own instant replays (or dailies, as they're called in the industry). The good thing is that he's finally figured out that he has to actually do something in order to watch a video of himself doing that thing. Before, he was constantly requesting non-existent videos: "Owen watch movie brushing teeth?!"

The downside is that about 20 seconds into any shot he starts requesting to watch it. You can here his "Wat-thit!" and "See-it!" at the end of most videos these days.

Owen trying to fly like a birdie:

Owen after requesting, "Daddy take picture Owen running with book." Listen carefully at the 0:11 mark.

Owen practicing his jump shot.