Saturday, September 11, 2010

our week

It's been an interesting week. Wednesday night the kids and I headed downtown for Trinity Arts Live at Backbeat Cafe. The weather was bad, but it looked mostly to the east of us. Just as I got on the freeway, the emergency broadcast activated, and I realized we were on a collision course with a tornado. I thought the mall a few exits away would make a perfect shelter, so drove as quickly as I could over there. We parked on the lowest level and entered the mall, to the sound of tornado sirens. Once inside it was safe to browse stores, and we even ventured up to the top floor to eat dinner in the food court when it seemed that the twister was not nearby.

Our bellies full, we headed downtown again, into an eerie light. The lineup was well worth the drive- a 15-year-old singer who accompanied herself on guitar, poets- including Gail Atwater and Julie Poe, the M.C., and other musicians we enjoyed, too. The crowd was small because of the storm, but friendly as always.
Thursday was the last day of Ramadan. Leila came home and told us that some of her friends weren't going to school since Friday was Eid, and realizing that it was okay to keep the kids out for the day, we decided to do that, too. H took them back to the mall to buy presents at Build a Bear and Lego, and they ate at the same food court stall as Wednesday night. I had to go to work, and then meet the piano tuner at home, who not only tuned it but adjusted the pitch, hopefully in time to save Leila from a tone deaf future. Then in the evening we had dinner with friends- delicious couscous and other good comfort food. I made a semolina halva (cake with syrup and nuts) that was well received.

This morning my friend and I got to workshop with Naomi Shihab Nye. I wanted to cancel, feeling overwhelmed and tired from the busy week, but hearing that the workshop was full and people were being turned away, I knew I should not waste my spot. And it certainly wasn't wasted. She is an excellent teacher and poet, and the day stirred my creativity and refreshed me more than a lazy day would have.

We finished off, the kids and I, with an evening of art openings- my friend Ruben Nieto had a show go up at Central Trak. I was surprised at his large paintings that abstracted out from comics as I am more familiar with his lego pieces. Ali said, "I don't know who this person is, but he's a good drawer. I mean painter."
The second gallery we went to, 500x, was hot, hot, hot. The art was interesting, but we were melting, so we headed over to Barry Whistler where Michael Miller's new show was opening.
They had air conditioning as well as interesting art. As usual, I ran into professor's and friends and recognized faces from the Dallas art world.
The kids enjoyed the art, somewhat, the food and drink, when it suited them, and the other kids they ran into. One conversation Ali had with the four- year-old son of a prof: "Can you count to a hundred and infinity?" "Yes." "Me, too."
We popped into the new, big Whole Foods for pizza, mini pastry desert and a pair of earrings from the Art-O-Mat machine. While we were eating our pizza, a thunderstorm broke and we drove home through pouring rain.
"What I've learned in my life," Leila said wisely, as we drove through the downpour, "Is to always look on the bright side."

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