I’m back from my whirlwind trip for the Journey Home taping. It was even better than I thought it would be to meet everyone at the Coming Home Network. I think the taping went extremely well, with just one tiny hitch: I was allergic to something in the studio.
This happens to me occasionally, most often in restaurants. I’ll be sitting there, chilling, then — BOOM — my nose suddenly feels like it’s been doused in extra-strength itching powder. Coherent thought processes come to a screeching halt, and all my energy goes into furiously rubbing my nose. I used to think that dinners out were some of the worst occasions on which this could happen, since it’s distracting and bizarre to sniff and snort and rub my nose all over my face while other people are trying to eat. Alas, I had not considered “Semi-Live TV Tapings” on my list of “Worst Times This Could Happen.”
The Journey Home is taped-as-live, i.e. there’s no editing and no do-overs, and so when the itch bomb hit about 20 minutes into the hour-long program I knew I was in trouble. It is my most fervent prayer that I understand correctly how the cameras work. As far as I know, when a camera’s red light is on, that indicates that it is the one being used for the shot. When it goes off, they’ve switched to another camera. Based on this theory, when the red light would go off on the camera that was pointing at me, I would throw my hand up to my nose and scratch furiously like a madwoman for about five seconds, then put it down just in time for that light to come back on. If I am incorrect — if by some macabre twist of fate the red light indicates that that camera is not in use — then it’s going to be a really, really weird episode of the Journey Home.
A couple of pictures from the taping:
On the left is me with author/speaker Kevin Lowry, who blogs at Grateful Convert; then with host Marcus Grodi, who has a new blog called From Our Back Porch. Also, I note for the record that I am 6′ 0″ and wore shoes with a two-inch heel. (Yes, I had to throw in a few jokes about the Coming Home Network discriminating against non-super-crazy-tall people.) I also got to meet JonMarc Grodi and his wife Teresa, which was another big highlight. Really great group of people.
When I was going through security at the airport, while I was having my ID checked an officer who’d been standing nearby walked up and asked me, “Who is that in the picture?” His tone caught me off guard; he asked it almost in an admiring way, not like he was suspicious of anything, but like he meant it as some kind of compliment. I didn’t think my driver’s license photo was all that great…though I did fix my hair that day…and seeing my children acting like rabid animals at the DPS office did put that intense look in my eyes that could be interpreted as energetic enthusiasm instead of the rage it actually was. I blushed and answered the officer, “It’s me!”
Then, after I went through security, when I looked down to put on my shoes I caught a glimpse of this:
My Our Lady of Perpetual Help necklace from Axis Mundi…which is what, in fact, the agent had been asking about. Sooooo, the right answer to his question as to the identity of the gloriously depicted woman in this pendant, so worthy of praise as to be crafted as an icon, surrounded by glitter, holding the infant Christ, was “The Most Holy Blessed Mother,” not, “Me.”
We just got our Chinese CDs. I’m psyched. Which reminds me: Remember that Chinese language poster I mentioned when I first brought up the subject? You can’t believe how much mileage we’ve gotten out of that thing. Folks would come over doubting my homeschooling abilities, perhaps recalling the time I asked if Watch Mommy Surf the Web could be considered a subject, silently noting that I am often available by phone by what should technically be homeschooling time. Yet they see that poster, and all doubts are erased. They remark on it with amazement (in facial expression if not words), like, “I didn’t realize you’re the kind of family that has a Chinese poster!” Their attitude transforms from one of skepticism to one of deference to me as a Chinese-poster-owning homeschool teacher. What’s amazing is that I have never lied and said that we actually use it to learn Chinese; I’ve ever even implied that it has any use other than covering my three-year-old’s attempt to create a portrait of Barney on the wall. Yet people see that poster and just start attributing competence to me left and right!
My dad is a big astronomy buff, and got this great shot of the Venus transit this week:
What’s crazy is that he did it with his hand-held camera:
He detached his telescope’s solar filter, and looked through it to see when Venus appeared (I didn’t realize you could see it without magnification!) Then he held the solar filter in front of his Nikon P500 and snapped the shot (at ISO 1500 with 1/100 shutter speed). He’s very clever like that.
I was glad to see that Grace posted the apology I emailed her about the whole margarita incident. It’s an important lesson for anyone who would dare seek out drink recipes from me: We often concoct our own beverage recipes, and usually just eyeball the amounts. Thus, when I am tying up the instructions, I’m forced to estimate quantities. And I am not very good at that. As Grace and Simon found when their margarita turned out to be flammable.
It was something that occurred to me late at night a couple of days after I sent it. I was lying in bed, about to fall asleep, and suddenly my eyes shot open and I thought, “I think I told Grace to put way, WAY too much tequila in that margarita!!!” The next day my husband suggested we pull up a traditional recipe online and see what it suggested. “See!” he assured me. “That’s very close to what you wrote down!” I breathed a sigh of relief, but no sooner had I begun to relax when I noticed with horror the note at the bottom of the online recipe: SERVES 4.
I’m always on the hunt for good Spanish-language songs. Anyone have any good suggestions? I like a lot of Shakira’s old stuff before she broke into the English market. In general I’m not a huge fan of mariachi music, with the shining exception of Los Caminos de la Vida, which brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. I also recently discovered Las Piedras Rodantes, and have listened to it about 50 times in the past three days. But I think my favorite song en español — which is one of my favorite songs, period — is La Ciudad by Gustavo Alberto. I cannot manage to find anything about Alberto as an artist, nor can I find where to purchase this song. All I have is this Youtube video, which was recorded here in Austin at SXSW, which I listen to all the time. Enjoy: