Posts from March, 2009

The quick brown fox jumped over the good, but lazy Parker family.

found photo: ballston common, arlington, va

Sunday, 29 March 2009


[Ballston Common, Arlington, Virginia.]
IMG_0546, originally uploaded by [ecpark].

provisioning for two

Sunday, 22 March 2009

picture-1well, I’m sitting in a Rehobeth old navy, while the lady sparkler and a good friend (lightingchickknits) run around buying “loose-fitting” summer dresses.

there was a sale, and size-too-large dresses from old navy are bound to me better than full price maternity-wear.

I haven’t had much to do with the whole pregnancy thing. the vast majority of nesting is going to fall on my lap, but that’s okay because the absolute majority of incubation is no where near my lap.

and, it seams like preganancy isn’t slowing baby-mama down. the other night, she was barefoot, in the kitchen, cooking dinner, and when she was done she sewed on two buttons on our coats … it was very nineteenth century of us.

(I should have been slaving away in the fields, but sadly I was just working 11 hour days on a computer.)

and I realized, life is pretty okay. sure, both of us are going to turn into stark-raving lunatics at somepoint in the next 229 days, but … it’ll be good.

p.s. we got 6+ dresses, all of which have plenty of space in the middle area (a-line, princess, empire, etc).

p.p.s. I got three pairs of boxers. I didn’t want to be left out.



The State of the Birds

Thursday, 19 March 2009

[Photo]Over the last two weeks, we’ve been going nuts at the office as we run up towards Earth Day 2009. However, in the process, we managed to launch a nifty little site talking about the importance of bird conservation.

We recently participated in a sweeping study that looks at the health of bird populations around the country and what this means for the future of our birds. With that in mind, and in full recognition of how incrediably strong our birding community is, we launched a mini-site where people can learn about the threats to birds in the U.S., share their best places to bird, and submit their favorite bird photos.

We also threw in a sweet little desktop screensaver of bird images from our Flickr community.

the longest twelve weeks

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

this is going to be the longest 12 weeks of my life. it’s barely been four weeks, and I have already screwed up the whole “keeping it underwraps” thing thrice.

of course, it started with the inadvertant google reader posting

and last week I told you about the Obama boom, but what I left out was that I became so flustered during that conversation because I knew something I otherwise shouldn’t have known that I ended up outing us when challanged.

(note: never point out to an expectant father that while often you can tell the sex by 16 weeks, it’s a little shakey until 20.)

a common thread here is that i’ve been exhausted since February. i’ve been working crazy hours, but pregnancy has shrunk the size of a walnut … which means she is getting up every night at 11, 1, 3 and 5. interestingly enough, she goes right back to sleep … but i’m awake for half an hour, staring at the ceiling.

so, disaster was in the cards yesterday at the chiropractor … I was exhausted, and the doctor asked if my back was keeping me up. I said no, my wife has been getting in and out of bed a lot … to which she replied “Congratulations! When are you due?!?”


fifty-five days left until 12 weeks, and it can’t come soon enough.

I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune after 2 months of the exact same conversation — what’s the preggers equivalent of “so, how’s married life treating you?” — but right now the whole honesty thing is looking pretty good.



there and back again

Sunday, 15 March 2009


gi_overviewthe lady sparkler’s had a busy week of interviews. la madre de la sparklet has been shopping for a new baby doctor ever since he/she/it announced, “oh, by the way … I don’t deliver babies anymore.”

mental note: add that to the list of things you could have mentioned three months ago …

it’s a little early to be doing dry runs to the hospital, but all the practices that baby mama interviewed were out of sibley memorial hospital here in DC and we had only the faintest idea as to where that was.

and, knowing that i was going to be the one driving her raging hormones around in case of emergency, i convinced her that we might want to discover whether we can actually get to this uncharted hospital in a hurry or not.

what can I say … I’m a planner.

it turns out that “we” have picked the farthest-away hospital in the District (at least that doesn’t involve crossing a river, thank god).

to be more specific, there are six hospitals that are closer — though admittedly two of them you could go in pregnant and come out missing a kidney.

I digress…

so, we took a little drive to sibley. I offered to strap a watermellon to her waist and dump a gallon of water on her lap … you know, for authenticity.

she declined — unless I let her wail hysterically, dig her fingernails into my arm while I drove, and leave at three in the morning … you know, for authenticity.

I declined.

so we hopped into our little jetta, and meandered our way west through the city: Cleveland park, van ness, tenleytown, American university, spring valley. (we passed like 200 churches, which I think is a good sign.)

five miles, twelve stoplights, three stop signs and a traffic circle later, we arrived at sibley.

the lady sparkler announced that the trip went “pretty good.” I announced that she better be planning to be induced at a time of our choosing.

it only took 12 minutes, but it felt like thirty … and that was without sparklet trying to bring an abrupt end to his/her claustrophobia.




obama boom

Friday, 13 March 2009

obama_change_posterI’m hearing rumors of an Obama baby boom … at least anecdotally.

I had lunch today with a friend who is expecting the first week of august (which minus 9 months = election day), and he rattled off three different friends (not including us) who were making babies between the election and the inauguration.

imagine the ramifications … the senior class president for the class of 2028 will be decidedly liberal. they will have to put yet another trailer behind each of DC’s public high schools. it’s possible that in the 2032 presidential election, the District will pull 98% dem, instead of the usual 95%.

“cats and dogs, living together … mass hysteria!”




Monday, 9 March 2009


l5885028630_8698we saw “ballerina” tonight, a documentary by bertrand normand which uses five russian ballerinas at different stages of there careers to examine the life of a ballet dancer.

i am pretty sure i was the only man there who dragged his wife along, and not the other way around.

I fell on love with ballet in Russia, when I first saw a production at the Marinski — the theatre featured in the documentary — when I was in high school. in college, I was the resident light designer for the dance department for my last two years.

and no, I’m not gay … thankyouverymuch.

the film was beautiful, with stunning shots of st. petersburg mixed in with great behind the scenes footage of the dancers rehearsing and performing. I was in heaven.

one of the opening scenes showed a class of first years at the prestigious Vaganova Academy, with their tiny builds and their incredibly petite features … which made me think:

first, this could never have been filmed in the united states, because our seven year-old look like NFL linebackers by comparison.

second, if baby sparklet is a girl, she has no future in ballet unless, well, she isn’t actually related to either the lady sparkler or myself. neither of us have any discernible coordination, nor could we be mistaken as petite, I’m the least flexible person on the planet, and my wife would have punched the artistic director in the nose after his first note on her performance.

little sparklet can be pretty much anything she/he wants to be when when [it] grows up …

… but not a ballet dancer.

… and it kills me.



yup, we’re pregnant

Saturday, 7 March 2009


well, looks like we *are* pregnant … the lady sparkler went in for a blood test early this week, and it came back a big ol’ thumbs up!

we’ve already told the future grandparents, but have managed to track down any of the aunts and uncles quite yet. it’s hard to get peoples attention without ruining the surprise.

the Virginia parkers were in town this weekend (for my father’s birthday) so we got to tell them in person. the Houston spindlers got a phone call, but it turns out they already knew she was pregnant by the time they picked up.

so, now begins the long wait … we’ve got 64 days until we reach the 12 week threshold where it becomes safe to blab about sparklet (temporary nickname for currently genderless future sparkler) publically.

speaking of which, yes, we are going to find out the gender before hand, though TLS “feels” like it will be a girl. (and, no, I don’t know what that means either…)

speaking of which, we just found out that the lady sparkler’s ob-gyn no longer delivers babies, so we have to come up with an artful way of getting our friends to recommend someone without letting on that we have an eminent need to act on their suggestion.

two other things of note: we’ve started compiling a list of “must do’s” before the baby pops out… including redoing the closet in the second bedroom (which TLS has annexed as her own) and replace the death trap of an electric curcuit-breaker box our home inspector warned us about.

we’ll probably be fine on furnature to start (sans crib, natch) and we are going to try and avoid getting a bigger car (though may need to invest in some kind of luggage rack considering we max out the trunk when travelling already).

oh, and the lady sparkler keeps talking about painting, so that’s probably coming, too.

second item of note: we’ve agreed on the fact that a last name like “Parker” needs to have a fairly conventional anglo first name to “match.” (for instance, Andrew Parker works … Enrique Parker does not.)

with that already established, I’m thinking the name thing will actually be bearable, and maybe a little fun.

last thought … we are legitimately super-excited about raising sparklet in the city. everythin within walking distance, the zoo, the limited space that win let us over-accumulate baby crap … everything.

these are exciting times!



bad facebook meme week, part three: iphone psychologist

Friday, 6 March 2009


in part three of “bad facebook meme” week, I’m supposed to shuffle my iPhone and use the first twenty song titles to answer the questions below:

what do your friends think of you?
imaginary (evanescense)

what if someone says you’re okay?
under the weather (kt tunstall)

how would you describe yourself?
buffalo (kathleen edwards)

what do you like in a [wife]?
stay (dave matthews band)

how do you feel today?
it’s the end of the world (REM)

what is your life’s purpose?
the mercy of the fallen (dar williams)

what is your motto?
lazy dreamer (liz phair)

what do you think about often?
city of blinding lights (U2)

what is 2 + 2?
chloe dancer (mother love bone)

what do you think of your best friend?
fuck and run (liz phair)

what do you think of your love interest?
who’s to say (vanessa carlton)

what describes your life story?
wish you were here (rasputina)

what do you want to be when you grow up?
crazy in love (beyonce)

what [did] you dance to at your wedding?
love me two times (the doors)

what will they play at your funeral?
hey, jupiter (tori amos)

what is your hobby?
hurt (johnny cash)

what is your biggest fear?
grey street (dave matthews band)

what is your biggest secret?
freakshow (muffy nixon)

what do you think of your friends?
pumpkin soup (kate nash)

what will you post this as?
in my head (anna nalick)

some of these are disturbingly telling …

plant a billion lights

Thursday, 5 March 2009

I’ve never seen my name in lights, but maybe this is the next best thing … this week, someone donated space on the billboards that surround times square to the plant a billion trees campaign.

(that’s the nature conservancy’s tree planting effort in the brazillian rain forest that I raised money for last earth day — and helped launch as part of my day job.)

I haven’t heard anything about who the donor was, or how they chose us, but it’s fantastic to see such an important cause get the recognition (imho) it so richly deserves.