Friday, October 29, 2010

The De-Evolution of Man

Our little man in a monkey suit:

I think there is a certain age, before which Halloween is much more fun for the parents than for the kids...

But jack still manages to have a good time.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A subtitled beautiful autumn afternoon

Hmmmm, what to get into first?

Momma, can I go try to climb into Grandpa's boat?

Fine, I'll just push my sister around for awhile and try to hit as many potholes as possible.

Please don't let him do that again.

I bet Sissy would like to taste these rocks.

Quick, before Daddy these. 

Those rocks are giving me indigestion.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Henry Van Dyke (ca. 1852-1933)
from "The Fall of the Leaves"

In warlike pomp, with banners flowing,
The regiments of autumn stood:
I saw their gold and scarlet glowing
From every hillside, every wood.

Above the sea the clouds were keeping
Their secret leaguer, gray and still;
They sent their misty vanguard creeping
With muffled step from hill to hill.

All day the sullen armies drifted
Athwart the sky with slanting rain;
At sunset for a space they lifted,
With dusk they settled down again

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Peaceful beginnings

Thanks to the amazing photography of my old coach, Joel Furtek, I have been reminiscing on a part of my life that is long since past but that I still treasure dearly.  It just isn't possible to put into words all that my days rowing for UNC did to shape who I have become, but suffice it to say that it has probably been the most pivotal experience of my life.  Even compared to becoming a doctor, a wife, and a mother, rowing very literally unzipped the infant version of the person I am still becoming.  It led me to my lifelong friends, my husband, and my career, but I think most importantly, it taught me that no matter how isolatingly painful the work at hand may be, I am never going it alone and there are always people with me that depend on my ability to hold it together and find the humor and joy in the world that is rushing by not 6 inches from the gunnel.  There is just nothing more peaceful or re-energizing than skimming across a flat body of water, cutting through a cool misty fog with the pink glow of morning just beginning its dance across the horizon, and listening to the heartbeat of eight separate oars move the shell like one single organism. And to walk away one day, with the 'thunk' of the oarlocks and the splash of the catch still echoing in your mind, even years and years down the road.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cultural Sensitivity

Thanks to a wonderful book recommended by my bff, NurtureShock, Stephen and I have recently been discussing how to best raise our children to be culturally sensitive. So imagine our joy today, while shopping for plants at Lowes, when we came across this wonder of wonders:

An African American, Spanish-speaking Santa. Now if only he was singing "Dradle dradle dradle, I made it out of clay..."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Easy in Hindsight

What's that noise?  Oh wait, it's silence.  As Matilda and I were working in the yard today, scratching one thing after another off our to-do list, with our littlest one strapped very comfortably to my chest, we couldn't help but comment as we would pass each other on how easy having only one child has become.  Our eldest offspring is spending the weekend at Camp Sparty and we were assured tonight by Activities Director Bud (aka Grandpa), as we finished off our steaks (eaten in peace and at a luxuriously slow pace), that he had not expressed one iota of longing for his dear old parents.  I don't think the 2 hour delay to his normal bedtime or the chocolate Cheerios for breakfast or the naps in their king-sized bed with the dog are helping to instill a healthy dose of homesickness in our boy.  And, I must admit, though I am pleased as punch that he's getting along swimmingly with his grandparents, there is part of me that is slightly disappointed that he hasn't at least poured one out for his momma.  Now, if his sister will sleep longer than 4 hours in a row tonight, I'm sure that slight disappointment will be properly alleviated by some decent and much needed R&R.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Third Party Rising

Excellent op-ed in this weekend's NYT by Thomas Friedman:

A friend in the U.S. military sent me an e-mail last week with a quote from the historian Lewis Mumford’s book, “The Condition of Man,” about the development of civilization. Mumford was describing Rome’s decline: “Everyone aimed at security: no one accepted responsibility. What was plainly lacking, long before the barbarian invasions had done their work, long before economic dislocations became serious, was an inner go. Rome’s life was now an imitation of life: a mere holding on. Security was the watchword — as if life knew any other stability than through constant change, or any form of security except through a constant willingness to take risks.”
It was one of those history passages that echo so loudly in the present that it sends a shiver down my spine — way, way too close for comfort.
There is a revolution brewing in the country, and it is not just on the right wing but in the radical center. I know of at least two serious groups, one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast, developing “third parties” to challenge our stagnating two-party duopoly that has been presiding over our nation’s steady incremental decline.
Obama probably did the best he could do, and that’s the point. The best our current two parties can produce today — in the wake of the worst existential crisis in our economy and environment in a century — is suboptimal, even when one party had a huge majority. Suboptimal is O.K. for ordinary times, but these are not ordinary times. We need to stop waiting for Superman and start building a superconsensus to do the superhard stuff we must do now. Pretty good is not even close to good enough today.
Entire op-ed is here.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Oct. 3, 1990

And from the "Headlines That Make Me Feel Old Department," we have the following news update:

Germans Celebrating 20th Anniversary of Reunification

The Berlin Wall came down almost one year before reunification.

Apparently it has been 20 years since we (literally) watched the Berlin Wall fall. And it has been 12 years since my mother thought we were bieng followed by KGB agents plotting our demise, just outside the Brandenburg Gate. Man, where does all the time go..? Sort of makes you miss the Red Army.