Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cleaning house

Yesterday, I had to mop my own floor for the first time in almost a year. Don't hate me.

Of course I've spot-cleaned the floor during that period. And I've vacuumed and dusted and cleaned toilets and sinks and most any other housecleaning task you can imagine. But a full-scale floor mop? Nope.

But yesterday, Tuesday, the usual day our houseboy comes, was Eid, the major holiday to mark the end of Ramadan. So our houseboy didn't come. Since the girls and I had already prepped the house for cleaning, though, we decided to - gasp! - do it ourselves. How novel.

So we broke out the broom and the vacuum and the Dettol and the mop and went for it. I was immediately reminded of all the things I dislike about trying to clean floors with the "help" of small children. Miriam kept whacking things with the long broom handle. Magdalena dragged her blankie through a dirt pile. Both of them walked through a freshly mopped section of floor, leaving little footprints. Then they fought over who got to mop which stair. It brought to mind all over again how awesome it is that a dude comes to our house once a week and cleans it while the girls and I walk to the library and then go home and read books together.

Of course I know that sweeping and mopping and vacuuming are valuable skills to teach children, and I promise I'm not neglecting that (as evidenced by yesterday). My kids are definitely aware that it takes work to clean a home - it just so happens that a lot of the work is done by an Indian guy instead of mom. And for now, I'm taking advantage of this season of life.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cheese prices

Last week we did fruit prices. Today, cheese!

I wish I wasn't such a cheese-dependent American, because dang, that stuff is expensive here. I think we eat less of it now than when we lived in the US, but it still gets me every time I shell out seven bucks for 8 ounces of parmesan.

What else is on offer in the cheese aisle at Carrefour in the UAE?

A wide selection of ghastly mozzarella cheese, for one. And at $6.70/lb, no less! I tried a cheaper brand of this stuff on pizza once and it never really melted. It just got all shiny and goopy, and it was practically tasteless. The bar mozzarella is much the same. What I do now (I am obviously not too ashamed to admit) is wait for the good imported mozzarellas to almost expire, at which point Carrefour reduces the price by half. Then I buy about eight bags and store them in my freezer. I win.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The end is near

Tomorrow is the last day of Ramadan. Here's a final (?) installment of Ramadan observations from the UAE.

First, the traffic. When it's not Ramadan, the roads are congested for a good chunk of the day and some of the night, too. But the peak traffic hours are at least predictable - you can plan your errands and outings for the times when the roads will be relatively clear in the direction you need to go. During Ramadan, however, the predictable patterns fall apart to the point where there somehow manages to be horrendous traffic all day long, with most of the drivers battling low blood sugar along with the usual road rage. Then, right before iftar (around 7pm in the UAE), everything clears up all at once. I drove down Emirates Road (an 8-lane freeway that is usually chock-a-block with Ferraris and Porsches and dump trucks and buses and huge SUVs barreling along at 120+ kph) the other night at 7.05pm and I saw about five cars on the road, total. It was the eeriest thing. There were plenty of cars pulled over by the side of the road, though. I have to wonder if they were breaking their fast on the go.

If they were, well, I hope they picked up an Iftar Pack at Carrefour before heading out:

Friday, August 26, 2011

August 26th, outsourced

Interesting (and disturbing) reading from the NYT about "half abortions" - selectively (and voluntarily) reducing twin pregnancies to singletons.

Ooh, I loved these photos of NYC going from day to night in one frame.

This post by my friend Anna made me laugh and laugh (and I'm not sure I would have thought of the magnet solution myself, so kudos to her.)

Last week I linked to a feature on Hollywood's worst Southern accents. This week, from a different source, it's the worst British accents. I was shocked, SHOCKED, to see Dick Van Dyke's Mary Poppins performance on this list.

Re: the DC quake, here's a thoughtful explanation of why so many people felt it. I slept through a 5.6 earthquake when I was 11 years old, so this was good for me to read. Also, silly East Coasters - anyone from the West Coast could tell you that you're not supposed to run outside during an earthquake.

There's still time, and hope, for a Ramadan miracle for two American hikers recently sentenced to eight years in an Iranian prison.

I promise this article about graphic calculator trends is interesting. Personally, I believe I sported a TI-89 in AP Calculus in 1998, how about you?

Just the thought of Ken Jennings whipping everyone in a Disney Store trivia contest made me giggle.

Finally, some perspective on the Krakauer/Mortenson debacle. [HT Tim]

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hospital adventures

(Please note that I got a little too excited in yesterday's post when I was converting the price of strawberries from pints to grams to kilos to pounds, and then dirhams to dollars. You can now see the corrected amounts in the original post.)

Out of nowhere on Monday, I had an intense, freak of nature pain in the tissue surrounding my lungs. At first it was just uncomfortable, but then it hurt to breathe deeply and then it hurt to sleep. I had one crazy night where I was convinced there was something inside of me trying to get out via a tunnel it was burrowing through my lungs and then out my left arm (being miserably awake at 3am with intense pain will make such scenarios seem plausible and/or likely). I don't like to break out this analogy very often - really, there's no need to - but it was the most intense pain I've felt since childbirth. I'm not saying it was AS painful as childbirth, just that nothing has hurt me since then as much as this mystery pain in my back did.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fruit prices

Sometimes when I go to the grocery store, the produce is in terrible shape. I have to re-do my weekly meal plan on the fly because the broccoli is moldy and the green beans have spots all over them and the cabbage is black around the edges and the bananas are rotting in a swarm of flies and the green onions are that freaky huge kind. And this is the stuff out on display, mind you. I sometimes wonder if there is a standard for putting a batch of produce out for purchase, and how low it must be if moldy broccoli makes the cut time after time.

Other times - and there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the pattern - the produce is all gleaming heaps of fresh, verdant fruits and vegetables, and I don't even have to pick over the spoiled stuff to get at the good pieces. I love those days, and Monday was one of them. Here's a look at a good fruit day, and the prices I pay for what I buy.

(Keep in mind that to stave off sticker shock, I've made the conscious decision that UAE prices are a firm normal for me. So while I want to hear what you pay for strawberries (for example), and while I am capable of being happy for you and your rock-bottom prices, please don't judge me for spending what I do. Usually, it's buy strawberries at x price, or buy strawberries never. I choose to buy strawberries, every time.)

Bananas, usually from the Philippines (does the US have country of origin labeling these days?). These cost 5.4 dhs per kilo, and I bought 1.5 kilos for a total of 8.4 dhs. Translation: 67 cents per pound. There's not a whole lot of change in the banana stock levels or prices throughout the year. They almost always come from the Philippines, and almost always cost around 6 dhs/kilo.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The final fiasco

I mentioned in passing that the process of getting from Istanbul to Sharjah was a bit bumpy. Here is that story, and then I'm done blogging about Turkey, I promise.

First, an overview. We walked out the door of our hotel in Göreme at 11am on Friday, August 12th. We walked in the door of our house in Sharjah at 7pm on Sunday, August 14th. That's 56 hours of travel, folks. During those 56 hours, we took almost every conceivable mode of transportation: bus, bus, train, walk, ferry, ferry, taxi, bus, plane, taxi. WOOHOO.

Everything went as planned (a bus from Göreme to Kayseri's bus station, then another bus to Kayseri's train station) until our train from Kayseri to Istanbul arrived four hours late, at 5pm on Saturday the 13th. Fortunately, our flight didn't leave until 1am on Sunday, so we still had plenty of time to get to the airport. We walked from the train station to the ferry terminal at Kadıköy (a truly heartbreaking task, since you can see one from the other but it's across a shallow bay, so you have to walk in a wide arc overland through lots of crowds and traffic). From Kadıköy, we hopped on a ferry that our Turkish friend had told us would get us closer to the airport express bus stop than where we were.

About 20 minutes into that ferry ride, we got to talking to a Turkish couple who was playing with Magdalena and found out that we were on the ferry toward the wrong airport! When the Turkish man found out we wanted Sabiha Gökçen Airport, not Atatürk, his face went ashen. Fortunately, we still had - what, six hours until the flight left? So it was no big deal. He talked the ferry operator into letting us sit on the ferry until it turned around and went back to Kadıköy, and that's what we did. We were happy to not have to pay double fare, and called it our Bosporus Cruise, on the cheap.

Finally, we were on our way in the right direction. We took a taxi to the airport express bus stop and got on. By that time, it was approaching iftar, so the bus employees handed out simple sack dinners to all the passengers. Little did I know, that would be the last food any of us ate for over 12 hours.

Tips for traveling on an overnight train

1. Definitely get to the train station on time. I say this even though chances are your train will be a little or a lot late, depending on how far into its journey you are boarding. It's better to be there, ready, at the expected time, because the stops are very short. The conductor blows the whistle and then that's it - the train leaves, with or without you.

2. Expect the train to be late, unless you are boarding the train at its point of origin. Our train from Istanbul left exactly on time but lost a couple of hours along its route. On the way back to Istanbul, we boarded the train about halfway through its journey and it was half an hour late. You can ask the train station employees when a certain train will be arriving, and they just might know the answer. Then you can adjust your (and your kids') expectations as necessary. Because hoo boy, if they are anything like our kids, they will be beyond antsy to get on that train.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ramadan in Turkey

All the guidebooks cautioned us against traveling in Turkey (where the vast majority of the population is Muslim) during the holy month of Ramadan. They warned us of the horrors of closed restaurants, the unavailability of food, irritable public employees, and irregular schedules. Clearly, those people have never seen what impact Ramadan can really have on a place. Like the UAE, for instance, where you can be the hungriest tourist in the world and it won't change the fact that pretty much no restaurants anywhere are open, except McDonald's, and even then it's only going to open at 11am, and even then, it's only for takeaway.

(Drive around town at 3am, on the other hand, and you will have your pick of eating establishments that are open for business.)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hiking in Cappadocia

(Basically, I could blog about our trip to Turkey indefinitely. Have you noticed? But don't worry, only a few more posts about Turkey are forthcoming: one about Ramadan/food, one about another overnight train ride, and one about the fiasco that was our return flight home.)

When we were deciding where to go for our summer trip, somehow the sentence "I want to go somewhere where we can just go hiking every day" was uttered by one of us. People, GÖREME IS THAT PLACE. We were there for five days and we went hiking at least once a day, sometimes twice. Some of the hikes we walked round-trip from our hotel. For a few of them, we bummed a drop-off or pick-up off the hotel minions. All of them were fabulous.

Maybe you already know this, but the Cappadocia region of Turkey is known for its "fairy chimneys" - exotic rock formations that pepper the landscape and have been carved out and used as churches and houses for centuries. When you go hiking, you hike through the fairy chimneys and explore all of the ancient houses and churches you want.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Turkey oddities

Sprinkled liberally throughout Sultanahmet Park in Istanbul were these people with bunnies. They seemed to be selling something, and they always had little folded-up strips of paper on the table by the bunnies, but we never seemed to get past the part where they let the girls hold the bunnies for free. Huh.

Friday, August 19, 2011

August 19th, outsourced

It's good to be back and surfing the internet again.

Here is a (very brief) roundup of a few of the new words and exiled words in my old work project, the OED. [The Atlantic]

Muslims living on the upper floors of the tallest building in the world should fast two minutes longer than us peons on the ground, didn't you know? [via Andrew Heiss]

Sometimes I hate movie trailers. They give the ending away, or they show all the best parts, or they show only the best parts but they're all stupid so you know the movie will be stupid, or you don't like the actors in them. The trailer for One Day managed to offend me on every single one of those levels. And I'm not the only one. [The Guardian, via GFY]

Read this sample chapter of Modelland, a soon-to-be-released YA novel by Tyra Banks, and tell me again with a straight face that Twilight is poorly written. If your brain hasn't exploded by then, that is. [B&N, via GFY]

A woman was in active labor during her Illinois bar exam and gave birth two hours after finishing it. OH YEAH. [Jezebel, via WWDTM]

I almost, almost don't believe this story about a team of explorers that tried to reach the North Pole by - wait for it - hydrogen balloon, in 1897. What? [mental_floss, via GFY]

OK, so he's kind of a jerk about getting a ticket for not riding in the bike lane, but at least he was a really clever jerk. (Sorry if I already posted this a few months ago. I don't remember putting it on Outsourced Friday, but if I did, then well, it deserves to be shared again.)

Here is an interesting article (w/video slideshow) about terrible Southern accents in movies. The one showing a clip of Nicolas Cage in ConAir literally made my jaw drop open in horror. However, I have to say that some of their reasoning isn't iron-clad. People can change their registers if they want to, so just because Miss Teen South Carolina talks a certain way on national television doesn't mean that's the way she talks when she's sitting at her kitchen table. Also, I was shocked to see Christian Bale included on this list. I thought he was one of the best accent chameleons out there. This is the guy who gave all his publicity interviews for Batman Begins in an American accent so as not to detract from the image of Bruce Wayne, for crying out loud.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The sights in Istanbul

What did we see in Istanbul? I'll tell you.

The great thing about Istanbul is that most of the big attractions are located in one small area of town. If you are standing outside the Blue Mosque, you can look over and see the Aya Sofia, right across the street. Since everything is so close, you can walk almost anywhere, and even take a break at your hotel in the middle of the day, and go out again later.

Blue Mosque.
We visited the Blue Mosque first. I happen to think the Blue Mosque is most amazing as viewed from the outside, but it's free to go in, so why not?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The souvenirs I didn't buy

As I've mentioned before, selling almost everything you own makes you loath to acquire new possessions. But my will was sorely tested on our trip to Turkey. I saw a lot of things that I coveted for my own, and I came very close to buying some of them. Somehow, however, I persevered and came home from Turkey having purchased no souvenirs. Instead, I will take these pictures out and gaze at them lovingly from time to time, and take comfort in the thought that the pictures do not require care or cleaning or packing or selling.

Also, I should note that I didn't take pictures of any of the awesome souvenirs for sale that we see all the time here (or saw all the time in other parts of the Middle East). These were things that struck my fancy that were peculiar to Turkey.

First and foremost were these bowls and dishes done up in the most beautiful patterns you could imagine. I am a sucker for these.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Turkish street food

Turkey had some of the best street food that I've ever seen. Some of it I already knew I loved, some of it I was too afraid to eat, and some of it I only experienced by proxy, via my children.

You can't see the actual spit in this picture, but the rotating roast chicken that is sliced and placed into sandwiches is ubiquitous in Turkey. I actually like the taste of that stuff, but I got sick from it once in Syria and then I also saw a guy with a really hairy back (and no shirt) tending the spit one time and I haven't been able to eat it since. Too bad, since it is delicious and cheap.

One thing I did love was the also-ubiquitous watermelon. If anything keeps me from buying watermelon on a regular basis here at home, it's that I hate trying to find a good one, and then slicing it properly, and then cleaning up the mess and finding a place to store the leftovers. HASSLE. It was heaven to have these random Turkish dudes do all of that for me.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Getting to Istanbul

We are lucky to have a low-cost regional-international airline (the farthest away they fly is Kiev) based at the Sharjah airport, about ten minutes from our house. The airline is Air Arabia, and we flew on them for the first time back in February when we went to Qatar. It's like Southwest Airlines, only not as nice. US-based low-cost carriers may brag about having no frills, but Air Arabia is the real thing, and the fares are dirt cheap.

I've never been on a plane ride like the one from Sharjah to Istanbul. The passengers were as motley a crew as you could imagine, with lots of interesting varieties of BO on offer (sorry, it's true). There was one very extended Egyptian family in the mix and they took over the entire public and some of the private space on the plane once the four-hour flight got started. Parents fell asleep, kids were running up and down the aisles. Then the parents woke up and carried out lengthy conversations over half a dozen rows at such a volume that I could not hear what Jeremy was trying to say to me from the row in front of me. It was madness in the sky.

Life in hotels in Turkey

We made it home, hooray! At this point, I've abandoned the idea of doing a Day 1/Day 2/etc sequence of blog posts, so I'll highlight some great/terrible experiences and do thematic posts on other topics. Here we go!

First up: a post about the hotels we stayed in during our trip. You should know by now that Jeremy and I don't mind staying in a crappy hotel every once in a while, but since we were with our kids on an extended trip, we decided to take it up a notch (in quality). Quick hops through uncomfortable nights of no sleep are fine when you can look forward to being home the next day. When you have ten days of heavy sightseeing and exploring stretching out in front of you...not so much.

TripAdvisor ended up being the most helpful resource when we were trying to figure out where to stay. I especially loved that we could filter the reviews to feature the ones written by people traveling with their families.

In Istanbul, I knew we wanted to stay in the Sultanahmet neighborhood, because that's where everything is (and that's where we stayed when we visited Istanbul in 2004). I had dreams of staying at Hotel Sebnem again, but somehow, the price for a room there seems to have quadrupled since our stay there in 2004. Sad. Instead, we found a room in a converted house in Sultanahmet (I'm beginning to think every hotel in Turkey is actually a converted house), not too far from the Blue Mosque. Our room was on the third floor, up a rickety spiral staircase that the girls loved to climb and descend in a reckless manner.

This was the view out our window:

Ha ha. The building next door was under construction (perhaps it was a house being converted into a hotel?), but at least they knocked off work before bedtime each night.

Friday, August 12, 2011

August 12th, outsourced

I spent about 90 seconds goofing around on the internet this whole week, so I only have one golden nugget for you: this article about the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound. [HT Ashi]

We're only a bus ride, overnight train ride, and plane ride away from being back home in Sharjah, at which time the deluge of picture-ridden posts from Turkey (which currently reside on my camera and in my brain) will commence.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hotel downs and ups

We had a little hiccup in our hotel plans here in Göreme. We spent one night at the place we had reserved ahead of time during this busy tourist season, and it was awful. The room was clean enough, but it was extremely cramped. The hotel was really just a huge house converted into separate rooms and it was brimming with guests, most of whom were childless, carefree backpackers content to sit up late and chat in the lobby while getting slightly drunk. The problem was, our room was located almost directly off said lobby - there was the lobby, and there was a door, and there was us. It got really old right about, oh, the time we wanted to go to bed. The other side of our room opened up through screenless windows (that we wanted to remain open due to the heat) to a communal courtyard where still more people were chatting. When Jeremy went out to complain to the hotel owner, he asked the drunk people to be quiet. Guess where they relocated to? The courtyard RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR WINDOW. It was almost comical when Jeremy stuck his head out the window at 11 o'clock at night to tell them to be quiet, six inches from their faces.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Turkish Bath...with children

When I was a student in Japan, I distinctly remember one night when all us girls were sleeping in a dormitory-style room with the study abroad director's wife as chaperone. She got changed into her jammies right there in front of us and laughingly tossed off some comment like, "giving birth to five children has destroyed most of my sense of modesty, sorry." At the time, I didn't really understand that. Now, having given birth to two children, I TOTALLY DO.

Outside the Turkish Bath in Goreme.
As manifest by the fact that today, I went to a Turkish Bath, with my kids. The Turkish bath experience requires one to be mostly or entirely naked for vast swaths of time, and there's no point in going at all if you're not down with that. It's not fleeting, discreet nudity, either. You are naked, and there are people scrubbing the heck out of your skin with exfoliaing cloths, and then rubbing you down with strong soap, and then rinsing you off, all in an open, women-only area where other bathers are enjoying the same treatment. Ready to hear more?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Turkısh and Russıan

The language sıtuatıon ın Turkey ıs so fascınatıng to me. I don't even say that as a lınguıst - I say that as a regular person. I remember thıs from when we were here ın 2004 - hardly anybody here speaks Englısh, at all.

Now, before you assume that I'm some entıtled Amerıcan complaınıng about a foreıgn country's refusal to make my lıfe easıer - well, just know that I'm not doıng that. I just thınk ıt's strange that a country so keen on joınıng the Western world or the EU or whatever ısn't workıng on learnıng a language that, you know, people elsewhere actually speak.

I'm not talkıng about random people on the street. I'm talkıng about people workıng dırectly ın the tourıst ındustry, people who deal wıth foreıgners day ın and day out, most of whom would try to use Englısh as a lıngua franca. But no - Turkısh only spoken here. Lıke I saıd, I fınd ıt fascınatıng. Jeremy studıed Turkısh for all of four semesters as part of hıs fundıng agreement at the Unıversıty of Arızona, and you know what? He ıs breakıng out hıs mad Turkısh skıllz all the tıme. You know how usually the lıttle snıppets of a foreıgn language that you learn from a phrasebook are totally useless because the person you're talkıng to can usually understand such sımple thıngs ın Englısh anyway? Well, that ıs not the case ın Turkey. Basıc, basıc stuff lıke numbers and greetıngs are met wıth blank stares unless you say ıt ın Turkısh.

Monday, August 08, 2011

An overnıght traın...wıth chıldren

(I apologıze ın advance for dotless ı's and random punctuatıon/spellıng errors. Turkısh keyboards wıll do that to you.)

I guess we'll start wıth the mıddle of our trıp, whıch ıs that we took an overnıght traın from Istanbul to Kayserı (Cappadocıa, central Turkey) last nıght. I have to belıeve that ıt ıs now one of the hıghlıghts of Mırıam's lıttle lıfe - can you ımagıne beıng 5.5 years old and sleepıng on a traın that ıs wındıng through the gorgeous ınterıor of Turkey? I was quıte excıted myself, and ındulged ın a few brıef moments of pretendıng I was Agatha Chrıstıe.

We settled ınto our sleeper compartment at about 4pm on Sunday. The prıce of two tıckets was slıghtly less than we were payıng for our hotel ın Istanbul, whıch set me to thınkıng about some sort of scheme where one could see both Istanbul and Cappadocıa, but on an every other day schedule to save on accomodatıon costs (I haven't worked out the fıner detaıls yet). However, one of the reasons ıt was so cheap was because we were only requıred to purchase one compartment = two berths. Chıldren under the age of 12 can travel for free, whıch ıs fabulous, untıl you remember that a tıcket entıtles you to a sleepıng berth, and that you wıll each now be sharıng that sleepıng berth wıth one of your chıldren.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Where we are

Well, we're on the road. We left on Thursday for our summer vacation trip that I alluded to here. Since I would enjoy this kind of thing, I'm going to give you a chance to guess where we are. Some clues:

- The entire cost of the structure of our trip (airfare, train tickets, hotels) is only slightly more than the cost of one plane ticket to the US from Dubai.

- Ninety percent of the population of this country is Muslim, so Ramadan is observed.

- But we can eat and drink in public and it may be insensitive, but it's not against the law.

- And church is on Sunday.

- And actually, we are ın the exact place as one of the FP Ramadan photos I lınked to on Frıday.

Any guesses?

The answer is TURKEY.

We are havıng a blast, but (or perhaps so?) ınternet tıme ıs ın short supply. As you can ımagıne, I have a lot to say. I hope to get some photos up soon!

Friday, August 05, 2011

August 5th, outsourced

The answer is YES, you absolutely DO have seven minutes of spare time to watch this acapella 90s dance mix, brought to you by Danish people.

I don't know this guy personally, and I'm not terribly interested in theater, but every summer I read his blog about taking a group of UVU students to London for a theater tour and find it so amusing.

Ramadan Kareem!

I had finally reconciled myself to Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in The Hunger Games movie. And then I saw THIS. Folks, this could be really, really bad.

Are you reading YA lit? You should be. Does anyone else remember the days when you really couldn't be caught dead reading YA books unless you were a YA? Harry Potter changed so much.

I cannot get enough of pictures of North Korea. Love them.

I swear I've found a reason to post this video several times already on my blog, but I'm not going to bother finding one this time. Here you go.

Happy week!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

I am the messenger born to run at home: what to eat?

(Sorry, I couldn't resist combining all the book titles into one sentence.)

I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak. (3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads) I want to write a really thoughtful, nuanced review of why this book didn't live up to what it could (so easily!) have been, but I don't think that's going to happen.

So I'll just say this: I Am the Messenger is a victim of the YA lit vs. Adult lit trap. It tries to straddle the divide, not knowing which category it truly belongs to, which audience it should really play to, and as a result, it falls into the abyss.

If you knocked the ages of the main characters down a few years and took out the completely gratuitous scattered profanity and (usually oblique) sexual references, this is a YA book to its core. However, the story, as written, wouldn't work that way. In order for the book to unfold as it does, the characters need to be as old as they are (19-20ish). Zusak has them doing things and living in ways that advance the story in essential ways but wouldn't make sense with younger characters.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Happy birthday, Magdalena

Three years ago today, Magdalena was born.

There's nothing this girl likes more than dancing, so I made a tribute video for her.

Happy birthday, Magdalena!

Monday, August 01, 2011

A series of unfortunate haircuts

Poor Magdalena. In her almost three years of life, she has had exactly one good haircut. It doesn't seem to matter who does the cutting, or what the style is - it never looks quite right.

I think it's my own fault. I started the curse of the bad haircut when I cut her hair for the first time back in January 2010. Let's just say I didn't really understand how bangs are supposed to work. Maybe we can also say that Magdalena was squirming a lot so that's why I did such a bad job. Yeah...that's it.
And of course this was just days before her Uncle Dave got married, so she was in about a million gorgeous professional pictures looking like this. Argh.


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