Marta Maria

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Location: Viljandi, Estonia

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Weekend with Marta

Yes, that's me in my underwear and Marta in her underwear too. That photo was taken on Sunday morning after somebody opened the backdoor and let Marta outside so she could roam. I didn't have time to dress Marta (nor myself) before she got on both feet and had me chasing her. And in case you are wondering, that line in the front of my underpants is not my vagina.

Anyway, it being Memorial Day weekend, it was decided to give naine a break and for me to drive to Setauket to spend Saturday, Sunday, and half of Monday with my offspring. Naine looked very nice as we drove away, and I was very afraid Marta would cry because she was no longer near her emme's bosom. Yet, because she no longer nurses perhaps, Marta was interested in the journey and was very interested after her Uncle Ian got in the car.

Once at my folk's place I spent most of Saturday and Sunday alternating between chasing Marta around the backyard and doing manual chores like spreading mulch near my parents small fish pond. I was afraid Marta would have a hard time going to sleep with me - without her mother there - but both nights we shared the big bed in my old room and did fine. I also got to sharpen up my diaper changing skills.

My mom - Marta's mimi, was very good and hands off, letting me chase her most of the time. Mimi did take Marta out to the store I think, I can't remember. I was a bit tired.

One way I got to rest was to plop Marta in front of the TV set so she could watch Finding Nemo, which she really likes. It actually is pretty entertaining - even for a *sigh* adult like me. Ian also did a good job babysitting - he liked to tease Marta. They spent periods of time saying "You stop! No, you stop!" to one another.

Marta ate well both nights. She had a lot of corn and ate a lot of ice cream. My Mom tried to get her to eat her dinner by saying she would get ice cream in the end, but Marta persisted and got ice cream anyway, without eating that much dinner.

On Sunday afternoon I took Marta to the beach. The first place we went to was the playground at the beach, but Marta had already started developing a cold and snotting all over herself. I also didn't like being in the playground with the older boys (5, 6 years old) who were throwing rocks at each other.

We then played by the beach. I gave Marta an hour and a half and she used every minute of it. Again I spent most of the time chasing her and picking her up out of the water when she realized it was too cold. On Sunday night, Marta was pretty sick. She wheezed all through the night and I did my best to make sure her head was propped up.

Monday was the parade. I think she was mostly bored by it. I was a little tired too. Mimi dressed Marta up in a patriotic hat and we went to the parade with Marta in a red wagon.

At the parade we met up with Virginia, an old friend from high school who has a daughter about six months younger than Marta named Elizabeth. There was another person I went to high school with there who also had two kids. I guess I'm falling behind in the competition to populate the Earth!

We left my parent's house at about 2 and dropped Ian off at Jamaica station in Queens. Then it was just me and Marta on the Van Wyck Expressway home to our digs on Rockaway Beach. Marta was sick and it was a warm day. I made sure to check she was still alive, and, yep, she was.

Finally at about 4 pm yesterday, I got to hand the keys to Marta back over to her Emme, with a little bit more respect for what Epp goes through every day of her life :)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Marta language

Marta likes to use the second syllable of a word for the whole word. She does this especially in English.

For example:

Yogurt = 'Gurt in Marta language. As in "Issi, I want 'gurt. I want 'gurt."

Guitar = 'Tar in Marta language. As in "Issi, I want you to play 'tar. Let's play 'tar."

And finally,

Massage = 'Ssage in Marta language. As in "Marta wants 'Ssage."

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Just Marta

I recently found this in the dark corners of the Internet. It's a page devoted to Martas from all over the world.

I would say that the majority of Martas come from Spain and Poland, judging from the submissions to, which actually belongs to a woman from Spain.

Other Martas are from all over the world including the Canada, US, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, and Latvia.

Anyway, maybe we'll register Marta there. One of these days...

Monday, May 15, 2006

Santa Marta, Columbia

Did you know that Martas all over the world have their own city? That's right - Santa Marta is a seaside resort on the Caribbean Sea on the coast of Columbia.

From Wikipedia:

Santa Marta was the first city to be founded in Colombia and second in South America after CumanĂ¡ (1521) in Venezuela. It was founded in July 29, 1525 by Spanish conqueror Rodrigo de Bastidas. It is located on the country's Caribbean coast, and was often raided by pirates throughout its early history. El Libertador Simon Bolivar, died in a ranch named Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino on the outskirts of Santa Marta in 17 December 1830.

It had a population of 521,482 in 2000 and is, today, an important port city. It serves as the departmental capital of Magdalena department.

Set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, this city is one of great contrast. From the Spanish colonial buildings of the old city to the modern luxury beach front apartments of Rodadero.

In recent years, Santa Marta has attracted large numbers of people displaced by the paramilitary groups operating throughout the interior of the country. The warm climate and the possibility of occasional work serving the tourist industry increasing the cities popularity. Santa Marta is also one of Colombia's major maritime commercial ports.

Santa Marta was also the site of the 1928 Santa Marta Massacre:

The Santa Marta Massacre, in Spanish, matanza de las bananeras, was a massacre of workers for the United Fruit Company that occurred on December 6, 1928 in the town of Cienaga near Santa Marta, Colombia. An unknown number of workers died after the government decided to send the military forces to end a month long strike organized by the workers' union in order to demand better working conditions.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I'm Glad We Got a Goat

Marta's original due date was around January 4. Later they moved it up to January 8 or so. So we were thinking that if Marta was on time, she would be a Capricorn - you know a sturdy, business savvy, social climber, but if Marta was a little bit late, then we would be stuck with a nutty, close=to-extraterrestrial-as-humanly-possible Aquarian.

I consulted an online astrologer at the time, who informed me that, it would be best if we had a ambitious goat rather than an aquatic philosopher in a house that already contained a brooding, pissy Scorpion and a crabby, homey Cancer the Crab. He also told me that he doesn't normally give away such advice for free.

But in the end, we got our goat. She likes simple stuff. Climbing up bookshelves to get a book. Climbing in and out of the bathtub. Watching TV. Drawing pictures of balloons. Feeding sheep. She is down to Earth. In fact so Earthy that she - as of now - thinks astrology is just crap. The other day she was looking at an astrology book I bought - called Nasty Astrology - and flipped through the book going "Oh look, a lion. Oh look, a goat." When I tried to explain to her that she was a goat, she looked thoroughly perplexed.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

New Amsterdam and Marta the Movie

When I first met Epp, I was a recently-graduated journalism major in the very far away city of Helsinki in Finland in the summer of 2002. I was in a group of about 15-20 fellow journalists and I had imagined that the Estonians, Austrians, Bulgarians, and Russians would all be wearing their national costumes.

We all had to introduce ourselves and identify our place of origin. But when I went to say my country's name, I said "New York" instead. Oops. I should have said the lengthy and bland sounding "United States of America." But I said New York, and, I have to say, it seemed more appropriate. The world has its international cities. In New York we wave our American flags and (most of us) speak English - but often it seems we are to the US what Hong Kong is to China. Part of the map, yet spiritually distinct.

I lead you into this maze of words because in digging up my dead ancestors I have found that many of them lived in this city from its founding. Some of mine, and Marta's ancestors were the earliest Dutch colonists to arrive in New York. If you ask my Irish grandmother if she's Dutch - she'll say no, and she'll be mostly right. The Dutch in our family line occured so far back - 17th century - that if you were to do the math, you'd find someone like my grandmother to be less than 1 percent of Dutch origin.

My grandmother's grandmother's name was Annabelle Jaynes. Her great-grandfather's name was John McEvers, born in 1766 in the City of New York. McEvers was of Irish descent, but his grandmother was named Katerina Van Horne, a Dutch woman. She was born a few blocks from here in lower Manhattan in 1702. The McEvers relocated to Ontario, Canada in the 1780s following the establishment of the American republic with good reason. John McEvers' father - Jacobus McEvers - also called James McEvers - was the stamp distributor in the Royal Colony of New York. He's actually a historical figure. As you can read here:

Cadwallader Colden, a venerable Scotchman, then eighty years of age, was acting-governor of New York. He was a liberal-minded man, but duty to his sovereign and his own political convictions compelled him to oppose the popular movements. James McEvers was appointed stamp-distributor for New York. The Sons of Liberty demanded his resignation. The governor protected him. When, late in October, stamps arrived, McEvers, alarmed, refused to receive them, and they were taken to the fort at the foot of Broadway for safety.

It's kind of interesting to find yourself living in a place that really has been home to your family for - in one way or another - 300+ years. So that makes us true New Yorkers.


So yesterday in the office, we were trying to determine who would play us (and our spouses) in a movie. It has been long established that the famous Hollywood actor to portray me would be a long-haired, unshaven, gangly, awkward, and goofy Keanu Reeves.

But who would play Epp? At first I recommended Tereza Heinz Kerry as a joke, but later sank deep into thought. Who would play my wife? My colleagues suggested an East European (how original!) but most of them are models, not actresses. So I kept thinking and thinking. And I eventually decided that I would choose the super-hot French actress Juliette Binoche to play the Estonian journalist Epp in the Petrone movie.

There aren't enough child actresses out there to consider for he role of Marta. However, I might suggest one in the mold of the famous 1930s actress, Shirley Temple. You know, a little cute white girl with puckish charm. Shouldn't be that hard to find. Then again, Marta could just play herself!