Red Hat, Jumping Jelly, Kurt Vonnegut, and Opportunity

We took a picnic up to Jared’s office since he’s been going in so early this week, and since it was 75 and sunny outside (a special little nya to the Minnesotans who - I hear - were snowed upon yet again last night…). It was fine outdoor dining: turkey + cheddar on white, Sun Chips, and carrot sticks all around. And I was feeling lucky we made it out of the house with all the people dressed and combed and shoes on AND a picnic lunch. Go me.

The best part was the approach. As we turn onto the street that Red Hat is on, Elliott recognizes it (Jared brings the kids here to hang out in the game room and visit his office on Sunday afternoons almost every week - they LOVE it), and says at the top of his tiny lungs, “Had Hat Ah-fice!” “Had Hat Ah-fice!” It is the sweetest thing ever. He adores the Red Hat logo, and his favorite movie is “Had Hat Show”, which is actually a marketing DVD that Jared brought home from his orientation on his first day of work. It has a bunch of segments on it, but the one Elliott talks about is this one - it actually has a way cool beat, some great vintage video clips, and is really fun to watch (it’s about 3.5 mins long):


It’s Elliott’s favorite show.  Ha. What a GEEK (in training). But you can hear the dun-dun dun-dun beat in the background of that? Elliott loves to go, “Had Hat! Dun-dun, dun-dun!” whenever he sees the logo.

Jumping (but still Strawberry) Jelly 

Back to lunch. It’s also very  cool that the Red Hat corporate headquarters are on a college campus. Well-groomed grassy areas and sidewalks all over the place. So we took a walk. We chased each other around on the grass. We climbed on benches and played tag with sticks. All I can say about this tiny golden space of time is, if they ever start making an implantable eye camera that I can just blink and take photos with, I will be the FIRST one to sign up. I wish that so often these days.

At the end, I was holding Elliott in one arm, and Rowen was between us, holding each of our hands. And she says, “Look! We’re a walking sandwich!” (Remember the whole strawberry jelly thing from a few days ago? She loves thinking of herself as the middle of the sandwich - and we’ve also established that Elliott is the peanut butter). Then she starts hopping up and down, and says, “I’m the jumping jelly!” And thus wins again, the funny of the day.

Kurt Vonnegut 

Kurt Vonnegut, whose Slaughterhouse Five I just read a couple of months ago, died today.  Considered to be one of the great anti-war novels (written by a former POW from World War II, it has this kind of ironic detatchment to the whole story that makes it so fascinating, and of course the message is timely, even 38 years later. I should go look up more of his stuff.

Here’s what I wrote about him on January 16, halfway through Slaughterhouse Five:

Kurt Vonnegut has this droll sort of self-deprecating style, that is full of moral commentary but comes across as simply “Wry 60’s guy”. And you know what? Books I read have different effects on me. I can absorb the plots of some, the language of some, the poetic word choices of some, but rarely, only very rarely, am I inspired to actually write something down.

I haven’t felt the need to pick up a pen and WRITE something, that wasn’t an article or journaling for a layout, in I can’t even remember how long. But I turned out the light last night, with Vonnegut’s words in my head, and the rolling cadence of his sentences, and had to turn the light back on and get out a pen and write things. That felt good. Keeping a “journal” has always been too much pressure for me. But this was just a sort of free-write, and I can’t even remember what I said… but it felt good and I slept soundly. So it’s all GOOD, right? :)

 It’s hard to see literary lights go out. Not that many authors that I read are still alive in the first place, but this work had an effect on me, that I’m glad I took the chance on.


One more note. A fellow scrapbooker, Jen Gallacher who I have only met through message boards, discovered in December the devastating news that her 12-year-old son has cancer. They were able to remove some of the tumors, but they have spread. He was released last Tuesday and given from weeks to months to live. I can’t even imagine any mama having to go through this.

My friend Tania Willis has started a blog, and is collecting donations via Paypal, to help defray some of the expenses of the Gallacher family (they have three children, including Joey). Tania is organizing this benefit, and has asked some of our fellow scrapbookers to donate products or time or talents to be given away as a series of drawings. Each $1.00 donated is another entry into the drawing, for things like idea books, people scrapping your photos for you, that kind of thing. Not to mention the honor of simply lifting up hands that are hanging down, so low right now.

Loudly in my head when I heard this, came ringing the words which I quoted just a couple of weeks ago:

“To worthy causes and needy people, we can give time if we don’t have money, and we can give love when the time runs out.  - Jeffrey R. Holland

Nothing more needs to be said there, except that there’s always room for more love in the world, when our time  (or money) for giving has run out. That’s something I need to work on.”

And just like that (because I am blessed to often get what I wish for - at least in the way of opportunities for improvement), I’m given another opportunity to work on this. :)

If you don’t have the money, but have time and love, I can get you an address to send cards to Joey and Jen and her family. The community of scrapbookers is an incredibly generous one, for time, for talents, and for love. I am SO glad to be part of it.

PSF is a Hybrid Day tomorrow! Can’t wait!

(cross your fingers for a good email newsletter day…)