Third Eye

The bump is elusive. So far, the bump is solitary. No matter how hard I try to take a good photo, the bump sees me coming and moves so that I miss the shot. I can’t capture the bump in context, because the bump knows I’m there. I shift, the bump shifts. I spin, and the bump spins in the same direction, like a shadow. When I run, the bump seems to glide at the same time and the same speed. I’ve tried to figure out the strategy: the bump doesn’t know my next step, but the bump knows each step as I’m taking it. So, even if I decide to change course, the bump knows exactly when to change course, too. It’s almost like we have the same mind or are in the same body. Completely synchronized.

I try to sneak up from behind, and I see the bump surfacing. A decent moment. Probably the best picture I’ll get on this assignment.

Toe peeks

I try to catch the bump sleeping, unawares. The bump turns toward me as I click the camera, catching me off guard. Foiled again, all I get is another obscured shot. All you can see is a curve, convex, unclear. At least the purple blur is evidence of motion, of life lurking contently in the shadows, as a shadow, breathing, rolling, trying to nudge things out of the way.

Jack O'Lantern contrast

Whenever the bump sleeps, somebody stands guard. The bump is aware of admirers, those eager to see photographic proof of existence, but the bump also values privacy and a certain amount of control over the bump’s own life. The bump wants to establish on the bump’s own terms when would be a good time to shine for the masses.

Periscope

The bump senses and greatly appreciates the excitement of friends, but can the bump meet their demands and expectations? When they ask for pictures — NOW — is that a request that the bump feels totally comfortable with? The bump loves love, has a certain affinity for attention and knows how to love in return, but the bump also wants to enjoy quiet moments to ponder life with Mommy and Daddy and develop the love the bump knows everyone deserves. Baby is a part of the bump, after all.

I know many people live far away and can’t see the bump as often as they’d like. Know that I miss you guys so much, but the bump just isn’t ready right now. I will try taking pictures again in two weeks — that’s week 20, the halfway point. Something tells me that the bump and Baby will be ready by then. Thanks for your patience.

The Effects of Butterbeer

Last month Reilly and I visited family and friends in Florida. Part of that trip included three days at Universal Studios in Orlando. Everyone who has visited Universal Studios since June 2010 has explored the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

If you’ve never been, it’s as amazing as everyone says it is. Even those who haven’t been enchanted by this ubiquitous enterprise will have a wonderful time at the park. The Hogwarts ride is inside a giant Hogwarts-looking castle. Portraits of various HP personalities adorn the heavy stone walls, and a lot of the people in the paintings move and talk to you, just like in the books/movies. Harry, Hermione, and Ron holograms come out to tell us what to expect during the ride. The effects impress, the ride thrills, and I talked to (at?) Harry during the whole ride experience. Both times.

We also rode the Dragon Challenge roller coaster twice. Two dragons go out at the same time on different tracks, and they chase each other, twist around, and pass each other at high speeds. It’s one of my favorite rides.

Harry Potter World teemed with lots of British tourists. Some may ask why British people would come to a place that simulates where they come from, but having so many of them around actually added to the authenticity of that part of the park, especially the Londony town. You can wander the town and browse various toy and souvenir shops. Ollivander’s wand shop is very popular because many children buy into the idea of a wand choosing its wizard. (We didn’t go inside the shop; the line stretched endlessly, and I wasn’t sure about the open carry laws for magic wands in Utah.)

After our first time riding the Hogwarts ride, we decided to split a butterbeer. You can find butterbeer stands scattered throughout the town, and you can choose to drink it hot or cold in a throwaway plastic cup ($3.75) or a souvenir mug ($7.50-ish). I remember from the books how delicious butterbeer seemed. It sounded so creamy and sweet, and it was one of the most popular beverages the Hogwarts students drank whenever they visited London. I got the impression that because butter was so delicious, it was also very addicting, and kids would drink it until they nearly exploded. This was my impression. Butterbeer was magical because its bubbles tickled the taste buds, and the sugar went straight to the brain.

However, I did not know about the intoxicating effects of butterbeer. Your brain does not recognize the tipsiness it causes, but apparently you can capture proof of being utterly lit on camera. Neither Reilly nor I felt drunk while we drank the butterbeer; we walked in straight lines, we didn’t pocket-dial anyone; we felt no nausea, we woke up without hangovers the next day. As much as we wish we could deny being under the influence, we know that the camera doesn’t lie. The camera has no mercy. While Reilly and I are generally a photogenic couple, the camera caught us quite out of sorts while we drank butterbeer:

Exhibit 1

Exhibit 2Doesn’t it look like we were having a great time? Notice the level of the butterbeer in the cup, and you can figure out what lightweights we are. (Remember that we split that cup between us!) I mean, we did arrive at the park around 9:15 that morning, and we had been standing in line in ponchos so we wouldn’t get soaked from the rain for nearly an hour. So while I didn’t know we’d get sloshed at the time, I’m glad we treated ourselves so early in the morning.

I just don’t know why it didn’t affect any of the kids around us that way.

Because No One Knows How to Spell

No one’s going to get my response to a friend’s recent Facebook status.

Friend: Is it wrong that I want to put up my Christmas tree before I find our forks, knives, and spoons?

Me: The tree has to go up before the utinsels! Also, I love groaning and rolling my eyes at my own jokes.

And I just feel like I’m betraying myself to explain the wordplay between tinsel and utensils.

I’ve said too much already.

Part of a Conversation on Martin Scorsese’s The Departed — SPOILER ALERT

The movie won four Academy Awards. It’s dark, but it’s funny in the right places. It’s vulgar, violent and bitter. It’s not for viewers who like blatantly happy endings. Or even subtly happy endings. If you like rats, though, this is for you.

The following is an online chat about the movie. It has been edited for clarity. Skip the rest of this post to avoid spoilers.

person 1: you watch de-potted?
person 2: yiss
person 1: whatchoo fink?
person 2: he shooted him!
  they all shooted!
person 1: he shooted weo in da heed!
  did mawk wahboag and awick bodween meek you waff?
person 2: yiss
person 1: they funny–but they say the f wodes and the c wodes a lot
person 2: wots of bad wodes!
I don’t know why these people chat in baby talk. They seem pretty darn cute, though. And insufferably awesome.

Thoughtfulness

Sometime during the process of writing my final paper two weeks ago, I decided to take a picture of my bed:

And then I thought the picture would go well with a gift some friends brought me this evening. They attended the Shakespeare Festival sometime during the week of finals and found something that made them think of me. I guess when someone says that they want to have Shakespeare’s babies, or that she and he would have beautiful genius babies, it’s not exactly forgettable. And because of this pillowcase, I’ll always remember my nights with Shakespeare.

Thanks so much for this. You’re the best.