Sunday, May 21, 2006

Grand Prize in our home...

The Dragonfly Knight
by Alex, age 11

Alex designed and drew this knight as an entry in a Lego Magazine contest for original concepts for their Knight's Kingdom series. This was not his first draft. He first spent days carefully considering all the possible themes and color schemes. The new knight could not be like any of the other Lego knights. Other crests on the knights' shields include a bear, lion, monkey, hawk, bull, snake, scorpion, and dragon. Once Alex decided that a dragonfly would be the most unique and noble crest, and he chose a new color, different from the other knights', he began sketching his concept for the plastic action figure. He challenged himself to draw several drafts, until he felt certain he had drawn the best knight he could.

Hard work is good, and the reward comes from the passion and the love of the job... but sometimes you hope for a bit more, like recognition, appreciation. We all love Alex's knight. We were certain Lego would recognize his effort, his sincerity, and his thoughtful design.

(Dang it; I am trying to show him a mature, brave face, 'cause we can't expect to *win* everytime, but how can I show him the 'brave face' when I feel totally disappointed too! Those bums don't know a good thing when they see it, and I'm hopping mad. They didn't even print the winners' art in their magazine, and what would it have hurt them to print winners and honorable mentions? )

Lego may have missed something, but around here, Alex wins my heart everyday. He works with love and caring. He applies his skills, patience and interest wherever he can, and it reflects in all of his accomplishmnets. I have no doubt that good things and plenty of prizes await my talented son.

Should I...

1. Take the train to Union Station and go touring around Little Tokyo?
2. Take the train to Union Station, explore and then take the Gold Line east and spend the night?
3. Stay home, teach, clean, pack, organize, find a house and serve the children 3 healthy meals?

Scud. I cannot honestly call my life "depressing," but it is definitely aggravating.

Since missing out on the *Poo-poo* house we have found maybe two other houses that were decent, but
they too have fallen through for one reason or another. Bob, the landlord, has indicated that his building plans are with the
city and we may have more time to stay in the Tree-House. But... this means more time in limbo, and of course I have started packing, so we are living in the dreaded mode of being In-yet-Out. A lot of our favorite junk is packed, and a lot of our cluttering junk is piled about us like grim reminders that we are not living at our optimal best... so to speak. My Mom's visit was good for improving morale, but now I need to get over my aggravation and throw away clutter junk, sell unnecessary junk, and finish packing priceless junk.

One last rant (for today): Renters have to be small and apologetic, compliant and groveling, and it is a demeaning, demoralizing way to live. We have things like toys and clothes and furniture. We have six people's worth of stuff, but when it's moving time I feel like we are a warehouse of materialism and accumulation, and I feel embarrassed, ashamed and ridiculous. We have pets, we have vehicles, we have a hammock, but no trees to hang it from, and we have to find a place that will accept all of us, so we have to conform to 2 line ads that advertise '3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and no garage, or no yard, or no pets, or no place to hang a hammock.' Property managers don't know that I make a friendly neighbor, that I garden, that our children are really sweet-natured. Landlords are looking for the dents and dings that tenants leave when they are busy living, and my mind is always calculating the damage we are doing to someone else's home. Owning a home is tough; it takes responsibility and sweat equity, I know. But if you are in your own home take stock of the sweet pleasure of answering only to your own schemes and designs, and never dreading the landlord's knock. In another year or three, check back with me when I *itch and moan about replacing the plumbing or making the mortgage on our own house; trust me, it'll still be way mo' betta than this.


Tarie said...

May I ask why your family always has to rent houses? I'm sorry, I'm guessing you posted about that before I started reading your blog.

Natalie said...

We sold our home 3 years ago, thinking we were going to leave the state; that plan fell through but housing prices in California have since become over-valued by hundreds of thousands of dollars. There has been some debate about whether this is a housing bubble or the way of the future, but recent indicators suggest that like the housing market in the mid-90s, there will be a correction. We are waiting for the bubble to bust wide open.

Tarie said...

In that case, God bless for the house-for-rent hunting and I really hope the bubble bursts soon for your family. =)