Archive for August, 2011

The Trouble With Ann Arbor

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

There are so many things I love about Ann Arbor–the feel of community, the wonderful proximity to the University, the affordable cost of living. I could go on in more minute details about why I love it so (I’m starting to think there was something more in that kool-aid I drank)–but there are downsides, too.

No, I’m not talking about winter. (But reader beware–it will be here before you know it and then pretty much all of my blog posts will be about how much I hate snow and cold). What I am talking about is how this is a city full of transients. While I love the fact that there is a great big University in town, I hate that people come here with the intention of eventually leaving. This is especially hard when the people who come here are so frigging awesome and I start to love them and their company and their families and YET THEY STILL LEAVE. I’m tempted to quote Huey Lewis and the “Power of Love” here but am restraining myself.

So this upcoming week two (2!) of the moms’ that I have come to care for so much are departing this wonderful town and they are taking their children (and their husbands) with them. BOLLOCKS I SAY. One to Washington DC and the other to North Carolina. Both are places I would like to visit but, let’s be honest, there’s nothing that can recapture and impromptu walk to the Farmers Market with baby in tow or a mom’s get-together brunch where alcohol before 11am is fully encouraged and good heart warming conversation is the norm.

I wish I had better photos of them all together, but alas, I am reaching into the depths of my archives for these. January 2010. They weren’t even one! But it just shows how they’ve known each other a majority of their short lives.

Lars & Bjorn--The Scando Twins

Lars & Bjorn--The Scando Twins

Charlie & Bjorn before mobility kicked in.

Charlie & Bjorn before mobility kicked in.

Lars, Bjorn, Charlie.  We used to line them up on the ground when they were immobile and take their photo.

Lars, Bjorn, Charlie. We used to line them up on the ground when they were immobile and take their photo...

…and so to Laurie, Scott & Charlie and Kelly, Owen & Lars we wish you safe travels and great times on your respective journeys and upcoming adventures.  I was secretly always hoping you’d both stay in Ann Arbor (I blame Barack Obama for such audacity)…but have come to terns with your imminent departure.  I cannot imagine going through these first two years without either of you and will miss you all so very very much.

the soundtrack to our lives

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Some songs make you feel like you’re in the movies–as though you’re a visitor in the moment and you’re looking in on your mirror-image self  A visitor in your own moment.  The last album to make me feel this way might have been Imogen Heap’s Speak for Yourself on a road trip to the UP in winter and going further back, Travis’ sophomore effort The Man Who while on a trip in Scottish Highlands.  Those are both great albums but my obsession is Bon Iver, now.

It has been so long since an entire album has made me feel like these songs do.  It is amazing and if you listen to it on an open country road, or in the kitchen while you’re making dinner, or before you go to bed and you’re brushing your teeth, or while you’re watching your son play with his train set—it makes you think and be sad and happy in a really fantastic way.   It makes you remember the power that music has over you and not in a “GOD I LOVE THE SMITHS BUT THEY MAKE ME WANT TO SLIT MY WRISTS” kind of a way.  (I still do love the Smiths, btw–and still a little bummed I couldn’t figure out how to work “There is a  Light That Never Goes Out” into our wedding).

I’m full of sap but dammit if I get you to listen to this album it might all be worth it.  It was on NPR first listen but apparently that has expired so all I am left with sharing is “Calgary”.  It is still a very good song (but not my favorite).   That honor goes to Michicant, appropriately enough.  LISTEN.  LISTEN AND BE HAPPY/SAD/WHATEVER.

R.I.P. Jani Lane. Sorry About That.

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Megan: Lars I think I can kill people with my mind
Lars Jensen: ok
Megan: you seem dubious
Megan: but literally
Megan: I was thinking of Warrant
Megan: for the first time in YEARS
Megan: YEARS
Megan: It is freaking me out
Megan: I have no idea why I was thinking about Warrant, either
Megan: Lars I have some power
Megan: I am a magician
Megan: of death
Lars Jensen: how do you event know that band
Megan: I was hardcore when I was in third grade
Lars Jensen: i think my brother listened to them
Megan: your brother is hardcore, too
Lars Jensen: yeah he was into iron maiden/megadeth/metallica
Megan: figures.
Megan: seriously, though
Megan: aren’t you a little frightened
Megan: this also happened with someone else
Megan: I thought of them
Megan: and they diee
Megan: died
Megan: OH YEAH
Megan: I think it was like Dana Plato from Diff’rent Strokes
Megan: like I was like “whatever happened to her”
Lars Jensen: why would you kill her
Megan: I don’t know! I have powers I don’t even yet understand
Megan: I’m just a little worried I”m somehow connected to greater more ethereal things
Megan: in the cosmos
Megan: and I could accidentally kill a bunch of people
Lars Jensen: you have been reading too many books
Megan: I read romance novels and books about wizards and great american classics
Megan: what could possibly go wrong with that assortment?

[EDIT]  I have just been diagnosed by my colleagues as  having a God complex.  This is a tough sell for an atheist. 

The Second Anniversary of the Birth of Bjorn

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

Perhaps the first year was just a blur–but on this second occasion to mark the birth of Bjorn, I am finding myself oddly nostalgic and a little bit sad that the once to-be-named BBJ is now a thriving, healthy, happy and wonderful little toddler.   He is sweet and funny and kind.  He is any generic personal ad’s dream date.  [He does enjoy walks on the beach, fyi].  He is practically perfect in every way.

Bjorn had a GREAT week of second birthday festivities that started with his Nonni coming into Ann Arbor from San Diego to celebrate with him.  Going to the airport is always a treat–why go to Disneyland when you can have a layover in Detroit?  We didn’t actually go into the airport…but we did get to go through the tunnel that goes under the runway AND see a bunch of planes taking off.  Oh, toddler bliss!  We picked up Nonni and headed back to Ann Arbor and kept Bjorn up to an inadvisable late hour playing and reading books.

Friday was Bjorn’s actual birthday and we didn’t do much in terms of celebrating because we were going to have his birthday party over the weekend (and he didn’t know any better).  We did let him have ice cream after dinner, though–and let me tell you–that kid LOVES ice cream.  Again, up to an ungodly hour but this time he was hopped up on sweet sweet cold dairy concoctions.  If Bjorn wins the award for best toddler ever, Lars and I at least win a runner up award for most non-structured parents ever (there’s got to be some rockstar parents who do a worse job than we do with structure–which apparently kids thrive off of.  woops!).

Saturday marked the big day.  As in his first birthday party with friends over.  We invited his buddies from Gretchen’s House over for pizza, cupcakes and just gluttonous food in general.  At the last minute, Lars decided it was hot enough for a wading pool in the backyard–but we didn’t tell the other parents that we would have a wading pool out so when they came over, none of the kids were in their swimsuits nor had the appropriate accessories for water activities in the backyard.  Cue Morgan & Ian jumping into the wading pool fully clothed.  Things digressed rather quickly and eventually all four of the little guys were running amuck in the backyard with just their diapers on.  It looked like a Pampers Commercial on speed.

Photos from the Big Day can be found here.

It was a great time and we were so glad that all of his friends and his grandparents could come and celebrate with him.  This kid has a good life rich with people who must love him lots–both in Ann Arbor and elsewhere.  We wish we could have celebrated with so many of his other little buddies across the country.  If only there were teleportation devices we could make use of…

This week beyond his birthday has been getting back to normal.  Lars and I took Friday off to go to Saugatuck (again!) with our friends the Intrepid Mudies–who made the trek with their two year old Ian and their one-month-old Baby Luke.  Bjorn seemed pretty intrigued by the little baby.  I was pretty intrigued myself–and its a good reminder how of far these little guys have come since their newborn days.   I still think of Bjorn as my “small little guy” but compared to Baby Luke–oh man, how they’ve grown and how many things they’ve learned!

Happy Birthday, Bjorn!