International Day

International Day at the kids’ school, one of our favorite events, always a joyous celebration. Yesterday was packed with campaign events, but Kavi wanted to dress up as a Sri Lankan princess, and it is basically impossible for me to say no to that. It was a fun time walking in the fashion show. Taking selfies of two people of still significantly different heights while incorporating a Sri Lankan lion flag high on the ceiling is quite challenging!

The Sock

So yesterday I was hosting this big potluck for a large group that I didn’t know very well. I came home from work around 2:00, sat down on the couch to do computer work, and almost immediately fell asleep for half an hour. I NEVER nap, so this kind of startled me, but okay. Guess I was more tired than I realized. Made a cup of tea, puttered around straightening up — the house was already fairly neat, but there’s always counters to wipe down, etc.

Then the kids came home — they got their snacks, and then I got their attention and said hey, I’m having a party here tonight, please finish your snacks and then go upstairs so you don’t get anything I’ve already cleaned dirty again. They agreed.

Twenty minutes later, they decide to play outside instead. Great! Outside is even better than upstairs. I keep working, until the next thing I know, I hear shrieks of laughter, and turn around to find that Anand has someone found an old dirty sock outside, FILLED IT WITH DIRT, and is now swinging said dirty sock around, sending clouds of dirt everywhere it bumps into — tables, walls, etc.

I admit, I completely lost it. I yelled at him for throwing around dirt; I yelled at Kavi for not making him stop or at least not telling me he was doing this. I am not normally a yeller, so the kids aren’t used to it. Anand burst into loud tears and ran upstairs. Twenty minutes later, Kevin and Kavi came down and asked if I needed any help cleaning, and then *I* burst into tears. I was just SO, SO frustrated.

Hugs and kisses all around, and then K&K helped with the last half-hour of clean-up (there really wasn’t that much to do) while A stayed carefully in bed watching tv and playing video games so he wouldn’t make any more mess. All was restored to normalcy.

Should I have expected a 7-year-old to be able to make the connection that dirt is dirty? Opinion is divided on that front. But I admit, I was having a lot of sympathy for the parents in that Korean video that’s going around — poor parenting moments happen. Hopefully, our kids quickly forgive us for our occasional humanity.


Thanks to Kat and Nara and two lovely women whose names I’ve already forgotten, sigh, who helped me clean up after last night’s OPALGA potluck. Even though it was a HUGE party (I think the biggest we’ve had here when it was too cold to spill outside, so ALL the folding chairs got pressed into use), and the table and island were just stuffed with food, the clean-up was done in about 15 minutes with all the help. Much appreciated, since I have a busy day today with four events upcoming!

I didn’t take any photos, sorry, but had a terrific time — we even spent at least half an hour belting out show tunes at the spinet; as one delightful man said, “Honey, this is the gayest your house has ever been!”

Possibly in *both* senses of the word. I was really happy. 🙂 I have GOT to get a queer open mic going in Oak Park; I miss this energy. And I’d really like to connect this group with high school group — they’d get a lot from each others’ company, I think. Of course, I need to meet the high school group first….it’s on my list!

Hasty Baste

Feeling moderately accomplished that when Kavi told me that she’d like to walk in the fashion show on International Day at the school this Sat, I was able to pin up one of my sari blouses to mostly fit her and then quickly sew a coordinating wrap skirt out of some patterned gold sari fabric I had in the basement fabric hoard. She was pleased; mommy win.

It’s the simplest kind of sewing — just a big rectangle with a folded hem at the bottom and a bigger hem at the top, that I could thread a ribbon through. (Nicely contrasting neat selvedges meant I didn’t even have to hem the sides.) Kavi could have sewn it herself, actually, now that she knows how to use a machine, but I could do it easier and faster (and I’d have to do the ironing part for her anyway, as we haven’t taught her to use an iron yet). Twenty minutes from concept to finished wrap skirt is, I admit, v. satisfying.

Then, profit.

Had a really nice meeting with Teresa Powell, Village Clerk, who kindly helped me think through a little more of my arts center idea — also talked a bit with Michelle Vanderlaan (owner of SugarCup) last night after the trustee forum. People are so helpful, and with every conversation, I get to refine the idea a little more. Right now, I’m leaning towards having both a for-profit and a non-profit arm to the center, dividing up something like this:
– rent out the space for small, cool weddings and other events (corporate events, etc?)
– offer monthly membership ($50? $75?), which gives access to co-working space (meeting rooms, quiet work rooms, and the cafe area)
– charge for tickets to shows in the performance area (splitting profits with performers of course)
– charge for writing classes, which aren’t offered really in Oak Park yet, as far as I know — I don’t want to teach them, but I bet I can find good people to do so
– cafe / bar / shop selling local artist & writer goods, along with basic yarn and needles / hooks, other basic art supplies
The non-profit area TBD! But any other ideas for for-profit would be welcome; I’d like to develop that section well before I go meet with the OP Development Corp. to talk about what kinds of spaces are available in the area.
Also thinking about space needs now, like room for a little mobile stage, big enough for a few musicians to set up, or a small play, or an officiant and bride and groom)


Kavi texted me while I was out attending the trustee candidate forum to say that her club (which is Kavi and her three best girlfriends, all nine years old) want to have a bake sale and donate half the proceeds to the children’s hospital and she was treasurer so it was her job to organize it and could I help?
I don’t know where this sudden impulse came from, but you can be absolutely sure that I will help!!


Before I go crash exhaustedly into my bed, wanted to post my International Women’s Day red. Oddly, I don’t seem to own any straight out red, so it was more maroon. And it was cold out, so I had a sweater on. But my hat was maroon too, so perhaps that counts. As for why there are flowers atop my hat — that story will have to wait for tomorrow. (They’re real!)


Locals, I have a request. But first, big thanks to Julie Nilson Chyna, who came by yesterday to help me stuff door hanger bags. She also agreed to take on precinct 25, which turned out to be about 75 doors of likely voters — she’s planning to have her daughters distribute them. This is standard operating procedure for a campaign, but it’s all new to me, and I find it fascinating.
There’s this system called VAN (voter activation network), that you can buy access to, and then it gives you all kinds of info about who has voted in the past. For us, we looked at people who voted in the last off-year election, since they’re the most likely to vote again in this one (usually only about 10% of people vote off-year), and then VAN spits out walk sheets for each precinct, listing the voters’ names and addresses.
There are a lot of other ways you can fine-tune the results, via demographic info — you could ask for voters over 65, for example. A little spooky, what the government knows about us.
Thanks as well to Karen Steward Nolan and Cassandra West, who took precincts 10 and 24. There are 36 total in Oak Park — if you’d like to volunteer to walk a district for me and distribute materials, please let me know! Usually it seems to be around 75-100 doors, and it needs to happen sometime between now and April 4th.
Door-hanging will save a lot in postage costs, and I am trying to be fiscally responsible here with donor money!