Sunday, October 2, 2011

October 2, 2011: Camp Out and Book Fair!

Sorry, I HAD to lead with this... makes you wonder what happened to prompt this sign into existence...



Whirlwind weekend.  As I took off my Orange County Children's Book Fair badge and threw it into my car, it landed on my I Love Marketing badge from last week, which was sitting on my NIH badge from the week before!

Told you September was c-r-a-z-y.  This Thursday, I speak again, this time leading an interactive Colloquium on the benefits of music therapy in the cancer setting at the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine on the UC Irvine Campus.

It just never ends...
I once heard of this word, it seems to be the opposite of yes...
I just keep forgetting what it is... :P

Look closely; can you see the rainbow?

So.... the camp out was Friday at Ali's elementary school in their big back field from about 4pm to 9 am the next morning.  I was in charge of music and A/V, so I ran the iPod filled with kids music.  Thanks to Jodi Angier for burning 4 CDs of music for me as I had no music aimed at elementary school kids!  I did a drum circle during the dinner time just to bring in a new angle, and it was sparsely attended, but those who did, enjoyed it very much.  I also accompanied the principal on classical guitar while she read bed time stories to the little ones, and that went over really well.

The comedy was watching this long retired boy scout completely befuddled by the canopy that went over my rental tent.  THAT took way too long and was just embarrassing!  Follow that up with "the air mattress debacle..."  So, we have a queen sized air mattress, and it turns out the pump is NOT battery operated like I thought.  So I set out to borrow "a pump" from another camper.  The first pump I overheated, the second pump I ran out of juice, and it wasn't till struggling with a third pump that I finally got the stupid air mattress full.
I also forgot that it is a home air mattress, not a camp mattress, so the thing rises up like 18" from the ground and uses up half the space in the tent!



After only about 15 minutes on the thing, Ali and I start rolling into each other.

It has a leak!


I also brought a little therm-a-rest backpacker's air pad and ended up smushed against the wall of the tent on this thing while Ali hovered above all by herself on the now hammock of a mattress.

Tearin' 'em down...

That part was no fun, not was the TWO middle of the night potty runs Ali sent us on, one of which she adamantly denies ever happening.  Peeing in the middle of the night while camping is one of the low points for sure for so many reasons.

Great mexican food for dinner and pancakes for breakfast helped ease the pain (a little), but over all, I'm still tired and sore!

Log rolling to get the air out...

Yesterday, after coming home from the camp out, Ali and I watched Rio for the umpteenth time.  We decided we will definitely make a pilgrimage to see Carnival someday - particularly the Sambodoro, which is basically the "Circus Maximus" of dance.  This is where the 2 day long parade takes place, and if you want to simply have your brain blown away, read up on how many people are a part of each parade team, and all the things they get judged on... it is amazing.  If you get hung up on the skimpy outfits, you miss the whole thing.  It's a cultural thing; they are combining their african, catholic, and native cultural heritages into the biggest celebration of joy on the planet.  Samba is amazing.

How was that for a quick tangent?

Then, today, I had the pleasure of joining an author at the OC Children's Book Fair named Darrin Anderson.  Darrin publishes his own childrens books to raise money for charities, and he has written a story about Charlie Knuth, one of the most amazing success stories in the EB BMT clinical trial, and has chosen P.U.C.K. to receive any proceeds made from the book!  Darrin's own son died from a rare disease as well, and these stories are the stories his son, Henry, would make up at bed time.  They are adorable, as is the whole story.  You can check out more and buy his books by CLICKING HERE.

Our humble booth!

Anyhow, we shared the outdoor booth today and braved the indian summer to share books and stories with the attendees.  It was hot, I'm not gonna lie, and frankly, it zapped the life out of us.  We did raise a little money and sell some books, but we also learned A TON about how to actually "work" a booth.  Neither of us had any prior experience running a booth at a fair, so we left a lotta money on the table with the people who did stop in, and missed out on hords of traffic that we didn't have a plan for how to attract their attention enough to break stride and check us out.

It's all good; we both admitted going in that the important thing was to learn what we could today so we could do it better next time.  At least we were there!

Then, it was off to the grocery story, pick up Ali from afternoon bible study, and back home to watch Arsenal lose to their bitter North London rivals.

Now, before I forget...

Remember Bruno Serato and the Anaheim White House?

Bruno was officially nominated as one of CNN's Top 10 Heroes of 2011!

So, will you please vote for him?  You can vote 10 times a day; it's really easy.  Just CLICK HERE.

Thank you for supporting Bruno who in turn is supporting P.U.C.K. by donating a luncheon at his restaurant on Wednesday January 11, 2012!

God night.


  1. Whoa. That is all I can say... crazyyyyy. The campout story is HILARIOUS. I can picture it.

    Will vote!

    Julian looks like you, what a cutie.

  2. You're confusing people :) that's Bella!

    Can't believe your school has a campout. I would love that! !! What great memories for Ali!
    Ask Ken about "camping out" with Jack....good times!

    If that urinal was at an elementary school....I know why that sign is there. Unfortunately my kids don't read I'd need a picture if I posted one......blech.

  3. I know that pic was Bella, but the pic from last post is what I was referring too :) I read both at the same time.