Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life
My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.
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Thursday, March 19, 2009
Today, Sara had a playdate with one of her friends from school. She had one last week as well, and has another next Wednesday. She also attended a birthday party last Sunday. She's quite the social butterfly.
Meanwhile, Jared is going to the Zeum on Saturday with some friends and the first grade teachers from his school. It was something we bid on at the school auction last year. Sunday is a baby shower for Rachel's friend who's having her third kid (but first boy).
The following Saturday, I'm taking the kids and their friend Matthew to the Hiller Aviation Museum (or possibly to the Niles Canyon for a run with SP 2472). That evening, Rachel's going out on a Mom's Night Out while I watch our three plus two more. Sunday there is a music jam in Brooks Park.
On April 1, there will be a talent show at Jared's school; the day after Jared's class is going to the Symphony (and I'm going with them). Passover comes the following week and then it's Jared's birthday. Looking further ahead, we've got the Mendo trip, Memorial Day camping, camping with Jared's class, Ezra and Sara's birthdays, and, of course, Calistoga. Whew! I'm tired already!
Picture this -- your darling baby boy, his face coated in gooey-ness, sticky green balls of goop the size of peas popping out of his eyes... Yep, we took him to an exorcist, er, the emergency room. We were there all Sunday afternoon and evening while the doctor consulted ophthalmologists and performed tests. In the end, the diagnosis was as expected -- sort of.
Okay, so maybe I find out about a lot of things long after everyone else, but maybe I'm just letting everyone else filter out the crap for me. Did you ever consider that, huh? Well, in any case, I recently discovered Firefly, a fantastic space-western TV series created by Joss Whedon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame.
It follows the escapades of a group of freelance adventurers who travel about ferrying cargo and doing whatever else -- within reason -- will earn them some coin. They're not above breaking the law, but are basically good people. Kind of like Han Solo. Only not solo.
It's at least as good as early Stargate and much better than the later episodes. (Interestingly, two actresses from Firefly found their way into the Stargate world.) Sadly, it was cancelled after only fourteen episodes were filmed. You can occasionally find the complete series on Amazon for $20; it's quite a deal.
If you haven't seen it, check it out. And before you get too bummed out that the series was cancelled, there is a full-length movie, Serenity, available as well.
A friend recently told me that she had never been to the emergency room for either of her two daughters (who are about the same age as Jared and Sara). I expressed my surprise and told her that we are trying to keep our E.R. visits down to one a year -- a goal we have yet to meet, I think.
I addressed this question in relation to Vivaldi's Four Seasons last year and while it may be possible to have enough versions of that particular work, I don't think it's possible to have too much music in general. And so I continue to acquire additional albums from new and familiar artists.
I picked up a CD recently by The Blind Boys of Alabama from a live concert in New Orleans. I was somewhat disappointed, however, to find that it was not the case where a CD was accompanied by a bonus DVD, but quite the opposite. Much of the music is only available on the DVD, including several numbers featuring Susan Tedeschi and Dr. John, two artists of whom I am a huge fan.
Nonetheless, the CD is excellent -- as is, by the way, the concert DVD -- but what really stands out for me is the version of Amazing Grace. Sure, I had high hopes for it, knowing the Blind Boys' vocal expertise but what I did not expect was that they had arranged the words of Amazing Grace to fit the music from The House of the Rising Sun.
While it caught me by surprise at first, it really, really works. And it's very appropriate, too, if you think about it. So, if only for this one song, I highly recommend this CD/DVD. Of course, the rest of the music is fantastic too.
It's been a long time since I've posted a real update-on-my-life post, so I'll be y'all (that is, both of you) thought you had it pretty good. Well, I'm here to tell you that your luck has run out. Brace yourself for a lengthy and long-winded treatise on what's been happening 'round these here parts. Or don't click on the "more..." link and save yourself the torture.
If you're not using Firefox as your browser, you can stop reading this right now. Actually, what you ought to do is go download it right away. If, on the other hand, you are a Firefox user, read on to find out some nifty ways to make your browser do more for you.
At first glance, it would seem that Pizza is the perfect, all-in-one, portable meal. You've got all your groups -- grains (The crust), fruits & veggies (tomato sauce, plus toppings), Dairy (Cheese), Meat (Pepperoni, Sausage, Etc.), and Fat/Oils (in the cheese & meats). It's easy to take with you, can be eaten hot or cold, and it's a comfort food for most people. It can be homemade or store-bought. It can be simple or sophisticated. It works for pretty much any meal.
But is it really perfect? Could it be improved upon? Is there competition out there? Let's find out.
Last weekend, we stopped off after swim class at a thrift shop that Rachel and I used to frequent (back in the carefree days before children). We picked up a whole mess of books for the kids, a couple of puzzles, a really neat toy for learning to tie your shoes, and some CD's. The CD's were marked $2.99, but they were 30% off -- $2.10 each. Not a bad deal, if you ask me. So here's what I scored:
According to a UK poll, more than a third of the people surveyed believe gay couples and single people should be prohibited from adopting kids. Of those, three-quarters said that allowing gays and individuals to adopt "would lead to the breakdown of the traditional family." Okay, so I have a simple question about that: How?
Sure, I could do the math. Barack Obama had 207 electoral votes and the western states -- with California's 55 votes, Oregon's 7, and Washingon's 11 -- had yet to be called. It was but a few minutes before the polls closed and it should have been clear that Barack Obama was to be our next president. And yet, I could not yet believe it.
Then eight o'clock came and almost immediately, the entire west coast on the big map on the TV turned blue and it was over. Yes, I started crying. At that point, I started to believe it. I ran upstairs and put a DVD in the recorder to capture the concession and acceptance speeches. I wish I had done that earlier.
For the first time in a long while, I have hope. Obama wasn't assassinated. Electronic voting machines, voter purges, and polling place intimidation didn't stop him. Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States. Perhaps our brash and irreverent experiment will continue a while longer after all.
Suppose you hired someone to paint your house. You think long and hard about the colors and settle on a warm, attractive combination of almond with chocolate trim. When the painter shows up, you give him the paint samples, explain what you want, and head off to work. At the end of the day, you head home, excited to see your house with its lovely new paint job. You pull up in front of the house...
I have a sinking feeling that Proposition 8 (Vote No!) is going to pass. All I can say is that if it does, then California is no better than places like Texas, Pennsylvania, and all the other wastelands that use up good space.
It's not over yet, though. Get out there and vote (No!).
This post is part of and in support of Write to Marry Day.
There are a lot of people, it seems, who are in favor of California's proposition 8 which strips away the right of certain people to get married. I am, as I'm sure is no great surprise, not only voting no on proposition 8, but actively asking others to do the same. If you're unsure of how to vote -- or even if you're positive you're in favor of it -- I have some questions for you to ask yourself.