Saturday, April 18, 2009

Snow-globe shakeup

The older I get the more I think about growing up in the '80s. Saturday-morning cartoons, Duran Duran, Bob's Big Boy ... weekly treks to the video store. The hallowed VCR — our sanctuary on Friday nights. "Falcon Crest" wasn't big in our house. We wanted MOVIES! So my dad would drive us to our video store (independently owned mind you) to pick up a movie, two if we were splurging. Every '80s one-off movie I've seen probably came from that store on Niles Street. I distinctly remember how excited we were to bring home "A Night In the Life of Jimmy Reardon." River Phoenix with big hair, what could be better, right? WRONG. The movie sucked. But "going to the video store" became an institution in our house and my memories surrounding it are some of the best I have. And I guess that leads me into this post: making memories out of ordinary things.

With Baby G due to arrive in a month, we've had quite the schedule at our house. We're staring down a new dirt road and I can't help but feel like others around me are too. Dirt roads may evoke a negative image for some, but not me ... I love a rutty dirt road. But with that said, the crossroads for some are harder to bear. The newspaper laid off 25 more people recently, breaking the the hearts of many of my journalism friends. I blame Twitter. Just kidding — only slightly. Also, my dad was forced into "early retirement" thanks to a lackluster oil industry. Forty years of grit all for a so-so severance and "Hey, it's been swell." But that's OK. Dad's dirt road is paved in Oregon green. He'll finally get to build his hot rod and bask in four seasons.

To take our minds off the rigmarole of a bad economy, we've sought out our own affordable adventures — when we have a rare day off together.

Here's David and Liam checking out "duckies" at our zoo, otherwise known as CALM. The boy was agog at all the animals, and loved it when a goat licked his hand.

And speaking of animals ... this neighborhood cat has taken a liking to Mistar Blond — Liam's latest nickname, courtesy of Mom. As you can see, this cat is huge and likes to chase you. It waits for Hot Dog to come out and play on most days.

Like most media-obsessed Americans, we have our shows we faithfully record. "Lost" is getting good this season — finally. But I'm afraid "American Idol" is a shoddy excuse for entertainment. But we still watch it. But, our reality fix lately can be summed up in one word, Dog. David recorded a "Dog, the Bounty Hunter" marathon, and it was like watching that first batch of "Sopranos" episodes. We were glued to the TV. For Halloween this year, he'll go as Dog and I'm gonna rock the hell out of Beth, that's all I'm saying.

Another adventure on the cheap was a drive to Kernville for a day of winding roads, river revelry, breezy air and a French dip at the cafe.

Here's David and Liam contemplating the rapids.

We've also discovered Fresh & Easy markets. I LOVE THIS PLACE. They actually have "hybrid-only" parking near the front. Oh, and their hummus is the best.

Liam update: He's all about robots these days, calling everything that remotely looks like one, "a robota." David picked out a toddler version of Optimus Prime and we also got him "Wall-E" on Blu-Ray. Hopefully these items will give him solace when his whole world is shaken like a snow globe in a month.


Missy said...

That sucks about the paper and your dad. But at least he does have some good things to look forward to.
And the fact that Liam likes robots! How cute :)
Your worl will change next month but I have a feeling the transition won't be too hard. I can't wait to see you all soon.
And- that video store on Niles, we went there religiously every Friday too!

Grammie said...

What is it with these Gardner men and "Dog"?? Michael loves that show. He was very upset when it was off the air for that while. He jokes around with me, that when he retires he's going to become a bounty hunter like "Dog", and I will be "Beth". I just tell him "I don't think so". You'll have to post pictures of those Halloween costumes, that's a great idea. Liam is so cute, he will love Baby G, it will be a change but he will still love his new baby.