Thursday, July 20, 2017

What are you reading this summer?

I know summer is for reading chick lit, but I have been reading some great non-fluffy stuff lately.

This month my book club is reading Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, which is about defectors from North Korea. And then last week I finished Funny in Farsi: a Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America. Both were exceptionally well-written, and both offered a fresh perspective on worlds very different from my own. Lots of great learning for me this summer.

We have also been reading about black history. I am pretty sure we are about halfway through all the black history picture books at our library, and I have read a few books on my own too: Hidden Figures, Just Mercy, and We Are the Ship.

Homegoing has been recommended to me three times now, so even though it's historical fiction, that is definitely on my list. Any other good black history recommendations? Or summer fluff recommendations? I am open to pretty much anything.

b perry

p.s. here is my current to-read list.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Unexpected Treasures

 a much younger brother and sister

I don’t actually know what I would grab in a house fire, but I can assure you I won’t be crawling through the smoke to our bookcase or cedar chest. I suspect I might catch myself in a dead sprint to my pantry -- not for the good chocolate or foreign spices, but for the “inedible swill” my husband has begged me to throw away for years.

I would run back into our burning home for a juice box of Hi-C that expired in 2011, a half-eaten bag of banana chips from last summer, and a tiny collection of hard candy whose date of origin is philosophically and morally upsetting to my husband. I, generously, am willing to forgive Chris for this oversight because I understand that the difference between priceless and worthless can be in the eye of the beholder. So it is with my growing shrine to now-inedible snacks.

Well, not entirely inedible. I’d take a gamble on sampling the hard candy; maybe even try the banana chips. That violently orange box of Hi-C, however, is considerably more questionable than it was when it was boxed. I should have consumed it then, or at least I should throw it away now, but I hang onto it because when it comes to “having your cake” and “eating it,” I guess I’m not really hungry.

My brother gave me that Hi-C on his first trip to see me in San Francisco. He has loved Hi-C for as long as I can remember, and I love him even more than he loves Hi-C. Most of our things could go up in flames, but I will shed bitter tears at the death of that juice box. Sure, it is heinously ugly and almost certainly a biohazard, so it doesn’t hold the charm of rescuing a beloved handmade quilt, but what can I say? Nostalgia just isn’t what it used to be.

b perry

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Classic Dates

There are, I swear, five pictures of Chris and I when we were dating. This one is from our honeymoon.

Chris and I haven’t done many of the “classic” dates. Maybe it’s because we dated for like forty-five minutes before we got married, or maybe it’s because we’re not seventeen, but we have never seen a drive-in movie or gone mini-golfing. We did go bowling one Thanksgiving, but I had recently suffered an air-hockey-induced finger injury and only sent one totally humiliating ball down the lane.

This weekend I want to take our family bowling, and just the thought of it has gotten me so excited. I am trying to think of other classic dates. Roller skating? Outdoor movie? It’s summer, it’s the perfect time for this stuff! What else should I put on the list?

b perry

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Ultimate 4th of July

July 4th is next week, so I wanted to remind you about Taylor Swift’s party last year, and let you know that the Perry’s Patriotic Party will not be quite this lit. 

This weekend I received an invitation to join the American Association of Retired Persons. I don’t know who is selling my information, but this is the third or fourth offer, and the first was extended when I was 22 years old. Some might be insulted at the insinuation of aging prematurely, but not me.

About a year ago I had to answer an icebreaker question, “Who would you chose for your celebrity girl squad?” After hearing other responses it eventually became clear that the question was inspired by Taylor Swift and her army of beautiful rich friends. The other girls had Buzzfeed-worthy squads with models, musicians, and actresses, but not me.

Before I heard all the other responses, I thought for a full fourteen minutes about my ideal celebrity girl squad. I could only think of one person:

Ruth Bader Ginsburg 

How cool would it be if The Notorious RBG wanted to hang out with you?! What if you lived across the street from her and every week or so she stopped by after work to have some tea and cookies. Today I could tape a note on her door that says, “Hey you really nailed it this year! Let summer begin!” If my Fourth of July plans included matching sweaters and Scattergories with Ruth, I’m sorry, T Swift’s instagram would have nothing on mine.

It’s not that I don’t want to be friends with Karlie Kloss (she is definitely my first age-appropriate choice), it’s just that I think the AARP is on to me. Maybe not the retirement part specifically, but I think was born 70 on the inside and I’ve been aging into my personality for 30 years. Yes, that includes the crotchety Get Off My Lawn stuff, but it also includes a desire to be warm and soft and grandmotherly. I want to mail cards on your birthday or bring over your favorite pie in the middle of the day.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go catch up on this month’s book club and turn in early. Though compared to my demographic, to say I like to go to bed “early” would be to engage in careless understatement.

b perry

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Popsicle Potluck

It is toasty in the Bay right now. Every year there are a couple weeks in June where we’re escaping to every cool place we can think of. What are your best beat-the-heat strategies?

Before we had kids we would go out to dinner or see a movie. We went to so many movies in the summer of 2013… Not a Bay Area example, but we paid like forty bucks in London to see The Freaking Lone Ranger. What a truly terrible movie, but it was so cold in there.

After Jack was born we developed a pretty comprehensive list of the places on the peninsula that have air conditioning. My favorite is the Cantor Center for Visual Arts on Stanford campus. On the most blistering Sabbath Days we started walking along the beach in Pacifica or driving up to foggy San Francisco.

This year our house has air conditioning. IT IS COOL IN OUR HOUSE EVEN THOUGH IT IS ONE HUNDRED DEGREES OUTSIDE. WE CAN STAY HOME. WE CAN COOK FOOD. WE CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT. WE HAVE AIR CONDITIONING. Do you want to come over? It’s very comfortable here.

This week we planned a little “potluck” at our place to share the coolness. When I read our Summer Bucket List to Chris, everything was in alphabetical order. I said, “Play tag, popsicles, potluck…” and Chris said, “A popsicle potluck? Yeah! When are we doing that?!” And what better time for a popsicle potluck than the first day of summer. I made some tiny pops for the teething among us and picked up a few fruity flavors at Whole Foods. I can think of no better way to honor and celebrate the first day of summer and our blessed air conditioner.

b perry

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summer Bucket List

We’re two rooms into our fort-building goal! 

This summer I actually made one of those totally bonkers Summer Bucket Lists with like 150 ideas. It started when Chris and I talked about our summers as kids. Then we brainstormed a bunch of free activities for toddlers. Then I heard about this store called Target, and I'm not sure what we ever did to deserve that place. Lastly, there is Pinterest. It was not a difficult list to make. There are simple things like flying paper airplanes and bigger things like roasting s’mores at Loch Lomond.

Are you a Bucket Lists person? I absolutely love hearing about these. Do you have a desire to climb the tallest peak on every continent or (from one of my favorite picture books) eat 300 cookies? My hopes and dreams are usually unambitious (e.g. from another picture book, to one day own matching silverware). I don’t have any bucket list items of my own, but that cookie one sounds pretty good. Tell me about yours! What could be more fun than stealing the goals of my friends?

The Perry Family 2017 Summer List is on the order of “inspiration” rather than MANDATORY, but it’s been a fun experiment in bucket list territory. Of the things on that list that I actually insist we do this summer
  • At least one SF outing 
  • Regularly go to the Farmer's Markets
  • Read in the shade
  • Have a big family picnic
  • Really try to find a snow cone/shave ice 
  • Build a fort in every room in the house 
  • Check out 100 books from the library in one day 
  • Make a bunch of Fruit Loop necklaces 
  • Plant something from the Half Moon Bay nursery 
  • Take Jack to a t-ball game 

What’s on your list this summer? Do you want to come over and try out our bubble machine from Target? Are you baking any berry pies? Can I invite myself to your summer excursions?

b perry 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

First Birthday

We tried to fill Zoe’s first birthday with all her favorite things. Lots of family walks, amazing naps, dance parties, and nine different cheeses. It wouldn’t have mattered what we planned, she would have been the happiest camper for any activity, because that’s who she is. It is who she has always been. 

Zoe was born at the beginning of an unusually dark time for our family, and since birth she has been the brightest ray of sunshine: laughing, smiling, happily entertaining herself, napping like a champ. If it’s true that eyes are the windows to the soul, then she has stained glass masterpieces into a cathedral of a soul.

She is our diamond in the rough. She is the baby we needed. She is the only baby for us.

b perry