21 July 2007

It's All Fun & Games Until Somebody Puts an Eye Out.

I, apparently, have lost a shitload of childlike wonder over the course of my life.

This was confirmed by watching The Last Mimzy with the offspring the other day. It was a wonderful, magical movie. Any of you who don't agree, please note that I make no claims toward being a good movie or book critic. You want a comprehensive review, you'd best check in with Lorraine or Eric or someone. That is not what this post is about anyway. It is about my reaction to the film, in particular, the aforementioned loss of childlike wonder.

I mean, it's no newsflash that I tend toward the cynical, that sarcasm is actually in my DNA strands, on both sides of the family. I've passed that shit on, too: the offspring are all about a well-timed sarcastic remark.

Little smartasses.

So I'm no Pollyanna. Like I need that warped reality in my life.  Even so, I had a decidedly grown-up reaction to the film. And not in a good way. It seriously annoyed the hell out of me that those kids did not go to an adult, namely their parents, for help. I mean it pretty much pissed me off. I wanted to slap the nincompoopery right out of their heads. I couldn't keep my mouth shut about it. I kept making all kinds of sarcastic comments, like "Dude, it's called a seizure, go get your friggin' MOM!" My kids were like, "See, you're like one of the grown ups in books who can't see magic anymore."


This sucks, because when reading books of that nature, don't we all still identify with the protagonist? Don't we all still believe in magic, at least for the time we're lost between the covers of the book? Who wants to identify with the parent who can't see the magic? Or worse, the parent who won't even believe the kids?
Nevertheless, while watching The Last Mimzy, I kept bouncing back and forth between "Ooh, cool!" and "OhmyGAWD, will you go get your friggin' Mom before you put out an eye with that thing?!"

I mean, I'm sorry, but you find something washed up on the beach that is obviously behind some seriously supernatural shit, you don't just slide it under your bed and figure that you, out of all people in the universe, a five- or ten-year-old child, have a handle on that shit.  Please.  These are the kinds of the kids who will be reaching into bonfires to rescue dud firecrackers in a few years.

Still.  Even the knowledge that I am, of course, absolutely right, did not stop me from being disturbed by my strong reaction. So much so, that I later tried to psychoanalyze myself, with the help of a generous glass of cabernet.  I came to the conclusion that I was basically projecting the Mimzy kids and their safety onto my own offspring. If my kids had also been saying things like "What the hell is that kid doing sticking her arm in there?! Does she want to lose a friggin' hand?!" I probably would've felt better. I could rest comfortably in the knowledge that my own offspring, upon finding some crazy, supernatural shit on the beach, would come to me and say,

Hey, Anyu, come check out this crazy, supernatural shit we found washed up on the beach. It looks kind of cool, but it could be dangerous, and if I disappear through a wormhole or something, I want someone to know what happened so they can bring my ass back. And look, I've put on my helmet.

They would say this, because I've done a bang-up job in raising the little hellions and they are on a bright and successful path to the future, unfettered by the peer pressure of their clueless little friends or the influence of the media.

So not a Pollyanna here, people.

Parenthood drives us out of the magical realm. It transforms us from adventurer to protector. It shows us danger where we once saw only excitement.

Hey, we rationalize, somebody has to watch out for the little angels' best interest, somebody has to safeguard their future, because they're sure as hell not doing it for themselves. They're too busy atomizing body parts in a magic sphere because a magic toy told them it was okay.

Can grownups really not see magic? Is it just the parent thing that does it, or is it all of us? And does it come back, like when we're grandparents, once the protector role has fallen to the parents who were our children? Actually, is that why aunts and uncles and grandparents are "the cool ones", because they can leave the protecting to the fun-sucking parents, and still see the magic?

I wasn't always a grownup.

When I'm with my friends, or lost in my own book, I'm not a fun-sucker. If my kids could've known me as a kid, we'd have had a blast. We could've sneaked down a manhole cover, or climbed out of an elevator between floors, or flown down the steepass hill that was Winding Way Road on a tandem bike with no hands.

It must start with that first, "Hold on tight!" when we reluctantly release the big-girl swing and let her fly out alone, unprotected. The magical realm slips farther away until, by the time she's in another city, riding the metro alone at night, magic is barely visible at all, beyond the threatening mist that surrounds it.

I wasn't always a grownup. I hope it comes back when I'm old.

Mimzy photo credit: popmatters.comGrownups Are Obsolete photo credit: John Tsombikos (graffiti artist, Borf)

17 July 2007

A Photographic Tribute to My Camera: Around Town

Various shots from around Seattle.


Heart Rocks

Birds at Sunset

The 60s Live On in Fremont

Folk Life Festival

Fountain Fun

Dancers at Folk Life

(I just loved these guys)

Hell & Damnation

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
(Bat-n-Rouge softball game, Dykes v. Drag Queens, Pride kick-0ff)

Our Favorite Drag Queen
(The only one to run the bases in high heels! Go, girl!)

(Photo credit: the Male Offspring)

Pike Place Market

Post Alley

Piano Practice
(Summer 05)

Sunset at the Beach

A Photographic Tribute to My Camera: Flora & Fauna

OK, pretty much self explanatory.
The first one is for Sling, inspired by his canine pic.



Where's Waldo?

Rhodie Bloom



Porch Hounds


16 July 2007

A Photographic Tribute to My Camera - Olympic Peninsula

The Olympic Peninsula. Mist, rainforests, miles of grey ocean beaches. Solitude.
These are from different trips over the last 3 years.


Brave Tree
(This is actually on the Oregon coast, south of Cannon Beach. Good call, Hat!)

Above the Beach

Ruby Beach
(I think)

My (much younger) Son and Friend


Oyster Shells

The Eldest Daughter

The Ocean Dwarfs Her

Daughter and Seagull

Hungarian Friend's First Ocean

Sea Grass

A Photographic Tribute to My Camera: Oregon

Summer 2005. My Hungarian landlord's daughter, Viki, came to stay with us for the summer. Her first time on an airplane.

Teen Demon went to track camp in Oregon that year, so we picked her up and made a trip out of it, driving down through Oregon to Crater Lake, back up the coast on the Olympic Peninsula around back home.

This is the Oregon part of the trip, sunny, hot and perfect. The high desert skies were the the bluest I'd ever seen. Pictures don't really do it justice, but plucky dear Camera did his best to capture the essence of that summer trip.

Wildflowers at a Roadside Lake

Reaching for the Sun

Icy River Race
Viki and the Male Offspring (pre-growth spurt)

Riding the Current

Oregon Summer

Lonely Tree

Twilight Mountain View

Crater Lake

Phantom Ship


Nature's Castle
(The orange rocky formation, on the right is the Pumice Castle.
Click on it to see it -- I love this)

Wind, Mist and Moon