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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pirates

Life's pretty good, and why wouldn't it be? I'm a pirate, after all.
~ Johnny Depp
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Last night Elizabeth made her debut as a pirate in the Fellows Elementary production of "Pirates of Penzance." It was the first time I had seen the production. There are some elements that were a little alarming (portrayal of law enforcement, the father giving away the daughters theme, etc.), but I guess that's the way the theatre is.

What I failed to remember is that I don't like the sound of children singing. Other than that, it was good.

Johnny Depp from Pirates of the Caribbean served as E's inspiration. Here you can see Chris helping prep her:

Elizabeth: So... you're freaking me out a little coming at my eyeball with a pencil!

Elizabeth was excited to get a tooth blacked out, but she said it was a little gross because it "flaked off after a while."





Friday, February 19, 2010

Beauty


"Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it."
~ Confucius
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Chris: What was I saying?
Elizabeth: How beautiful I am.
Chris: How beautiful you are?
Elizabeth: Yes. I meant to say nice, but it came out beautiful.





Thursday, February 18, 2010

COLD


I like these cold, gray, winter days.
Days like these let you savor a bad mood.
~ Bill Watterson
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So, I have a colleague at work who is always cold. ALWAYS. Today I told her that sitting in her office is like visiting the Botanical Center in Des Moines. She said she was still cold.

I went online to try and find something to help her with her situation. This is what I came up with:

I tried convincing some other people to go in together to buy this for her. I said that it costs about $12,000, so it would be $4000 a piece and I'd cover shipping and handling. I haven't gotten a check yet, though.
I also suggested that wearing this would mandate typing by forehead. I suggested she consult with some people she knows who are always banging their heads against things.
Final observation for this blog... why is the guy barefoot? If he's that cold, he could at least have some socks on.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Character

While I relish our warm months,
winter forms our character and brings out our best.
~ Tom Allen

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We were watching the opening ceremonies of the winter Olympics the other night. They were talking about an athlete who had gone from boarding school to Dartmouth to the Olympics.

Elizabeth: That's amazing that he could come up from that.

Me: Uh, Elizabeth... Boarding school is different from reform school.

Elizabeth: Oh, I thought they were the same.

Meaning

Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.
~ Maya Angelou
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Yesterday (Valentine's Day), Chris and the girls and I were driving and "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga came on the radio. We stopped for gas and Chris said, "When I get back from paying, I want each of you to explain to me what that song means to you."
While Chris was gone, I told Maddie and Elizabeth what I thought they should say.
Chris came back and I said, "I don't know what the words mean, I just like the music."
Elizabeth said, "It's bad and offenseive to me."
Maddie said, "It's about unattached relationships."
Chris about had a meltdown and was going to grill Maddie about "unattached relationships." I admitted I told them what to say.
Other than that, it was a pretty nice Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Gate

A gentle word opens an iron gate.
~ Bulgarian Proverb
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When I was a kid my parents had to use wire and stuff to chain up a gate on our backyard so that I wouldn't escape. One day, my mom was at the door when the garbage man came to get our garbage can from the back yard (apparently they used to do that). Before she could come outside, I had untangled the wire and let him in.
After that, I think they put a chain and a padlock on the gate. We didn't use the gate for years after that.

Then one day my brother Erik was playing by that gate and rattled it around. A swarm of wasps came out and stung him all over his face.
I have no idea what the moral of that story is. Here are a few possibilities:
* Trap the child and it will come back to punish another child.
* Locked gates and wasps' nests are the scourge of the future.
* What protects one day will cause downfall.
* If you're going to try and lock your kids up, do it inside so that they don't get a face full of wasp stings.

Architecture



But I absolutely believe that architecture is a social activity that has to do with some sort of communication or places of interaction, and that to change the environment is to change behaviour.

~ Thom Mayne


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If I were starting college today as a new student, I would study architecture. I never considered it until I was in my master's program. I wish I had.


I don't try to pressure the girls into any certain careers, but I have encouraged Maddie's interest in architecture. I assume she will do something art-related, so why not ARchitecTure?


Anyway, I also encourage the girls to think practically about their career choices. If they want to fly first class every time they travel, they need to choose a career that can support that.


Last summer, Maddie and I were shopping and she made the following observation while looking at tank tops in some store:

"I can't wait until I'm an architect and can afford - like - four of those a day and still have money left over!"

Meltdowns

To take a photograph is to participate in another person's mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out
this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time's relentless melt.

~ Susan Sontag


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Elizabeth cries every day. Usually at bedtime. Often at other times - like when she's hungry. When she is tired or hungry she gets MEAN. I refer to those times as "Elizabethan Meltdowns."