Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm not easily suckered...

... but Barack Obama is awesome. I know, I know... this was an infomercial. I know he paid tons of money to have this aired. I know that he's still a politician. I know that he's not perfect. I'm a pretty critical viewer of news, advertisements, and propaganda, but for the time being, Obama's thirty minutes made me really excited to be an American. After eight years of fear, divisiveness, and power mongering, he reminded me of what America is really all about. Hope. Opportunity. Community. Innovation. Unity. Barack Obama will reweave these ideals into the fabric of our culture.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Facts of Life

There are some weekends when you just have to take the good with the bad. A few weekends ago, my brother, Dan, rolled into town from Thailand for a visit full of good food and much nostalgia. In addition to taking us out to a delicious meal at the Oceanaire, Dan ventured to a local soccer game where my nephew Desi was juking jokers and scoring goals.

Dan was hoping to make a cameo appearance in the blog and we were hoping to get a pic with him lurking somewhere in the background, but none of those came out, so here he is one of him with Ads.

A few hours after the game, we all reconvened at my sister's house for dinner. The boys were out and about with friends, Dan was asleep in front of the TV, and Mike, Laura, and I were hanging out in the kitchen while Addie started her dinner. She'd been pretty quiet and a little warm throughout the day, but was fairly cheerily gnawing on a piece of pizza. All of the sudden, she put down her sippy cup and her arms went rigid. Her eyes went kind of blank. My sister and I called her name, but she was totally unresponsive. "She's seizing," my sister said.

She picked her up out of her high chair, but Addie was still not responding and her limbs were jerking lightly. Her breathing was labored. "She has a fever," my sister noticed.

They were going to hop in the car to take her to the ER, but quickly decided that an ambulance would be faster. Laura carried her daughter outside to wait for the ambulance and talked to the 911 operator on the phone. Addie's eyes were rolled back in her head and her skin looked mottled. When Laura turned her over, saliva ran out of her mouth. She was making small, "uh" sounds every so often.

The ambulance arrived quickly -- more quickly than we'd expected and the EMT led Laura and Addie into the back while a few neighbors came out of their houses, panicked that something had happaned to one of the neighborhood kids.

While Mike got ready to go to the hospital, we took an inventory of where the other kids were. Poor Dan was asleep through all of it, so I woke him up just as my parents called. I described what happened to my mom through a lot of sobs. She put my dad on the phone -- he's a pediatrician. I told him what happened as the ambulance pulled away. "Did she have a fever?" he asked. I told him that Laura said she was warm when she picked her up. "Yup," my dad said reassuringly, "we see this all the time. It's a febrile seizure."

Sure enough -- we got a phone call a short while later from Mike and Laura at the hospital saying that Addie was alert. The EMTs -- who Mike and Laura said were the nicest people ever -- said that they have about one a day come into the county hospital. They happen to children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years and are caused by a sudden fever. In the aftermath during a conversation with my mother-in-law, we actually found out that Eric had one too when he was a little kid. He'd had a fever and so his mom put him in a bath of cold water. We're guessing that it might have been the sudden drop in temperature that caused it in his case. We're fairly confident that he has no long term effects from the seizure -- but now when he does something strange, we just blame it on the seizure.

It was probably one of the most terrible things I've ever seen -- especially because it seemed to take her so long to recover from it and because it felt like there was nothing we could do. God forbid any of you should have to be witness to this, but if you are, rest assured, it will end and they'll end up being just as cute as they were before.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Note from Minnesota: We're Not All Ignorant

Some of you may have seen the footage from a rally in Lakeville, Minnesota this weekend. In the clip, a Shakopee native, a 75 year old mother of five and grandmother of seven, asks a question of John McCain in one of his town hall-style forums.

"I can't trust Obama," she tells McCain. "I've read about him and he's not... he's not..." she stammers before lowering her voice conspiratorially. "He's an arab."

McCain's efforts to allay the woman's fears were in the right spirit, even if he was a little misguided when he suggested that the opposite of an Arab is a "decent family man." In an interview after the forum, CNN asked the woman where she heard that Obama was an Arab. Apparently she read it in a letter. If we saw said letter, she insisted, we'd be as scared as she was. After further questioning from CNN, it was clear that the woman had conflated "Muslim" and "Arab" and was worried that Obama would turn the United States into an Arab/ Muslim country. Even when the CNN reporter told her that Obama is not a Muslim and is, in fact, a Christian, she insisted that because his father is a Muslim, it's in his blood.

Let me assure you that not all of Minnesota is so ignorant and not all of us would be so bothered by having an Arab or even a (gasp!) Muslim in office. In fact, Minnesota's fifth congressional district elected the first member of congress, Keith Ellison, in 2006. He was sworn in on a Koran once owned by Thomas Jefferson. In spite of this, the fifth has not dropped off the map, we are not burning in hell, God did not smite us. We're doing pretty well, actually.

So please come and visit Minnesota. Please don't write us off as another bunch of ignorants worthy of nothing more than a fly over. Just because one of us is ignorant doesn't mean it's in our blood.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

We're going to No-Coast!

So first off, sorry for the long hiatus. I've been distracted by pigs, pitbulls, lipstick,... oh, and the end of the world as we know it vis-a-vis the financial crisis.

But it's official: Lars and Addie are going to be a the No Coast Craft O Rama this year, December 5th (3 pm to 8 pm) and 6th (9 am to 5 pm) at the Midtown Global Market here in Minneapolis.

I'm currently working on figuring out which items that will be available there -- but my stock will definitely include many bags and a few items for the home (some of which will make great stocking stuffers) and a few new designs. I'll keep you posted here.

Even if you're not coming to No Coast to see the Lars and Addie stall, you should come to check out the one hundred vendors that are going to be there. All handmade, all the time. Hope to see you there!