Friday, March 27, 2009

Flashback Friday

My brother Tony, 1962. Wishing him a happy birthday this Sunday.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Flashback Friday

My mom, kneeling/center, with fellow girl scout troop leaders, early 1960s

Monday, March 16, 2009

A somewhat random collection

Our consolation is the longer days, although we still find ourselves a little thrown off to find it still light at nearly 7 p.m. Getting warmer, too.

Friday's movie, thank you Mr. Netflix, was 1776!, a film version of the Pulitzer-winning Broadway musical. I had fond memories of having seen it in 8th grade; that was 1976 and our class did a lot to prepare for our trip to Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, and D.C. in celebration of the bicentennial. It's an odd movie in many ways, and watching it now I'm utterly amazed that the good sisters of St. Ignatius deemed it appropriate for us. Apparently Love American Style was a big influence on the playwright, as a constant presence in the story is the, ah, yearning that our founding fathers had for their wives back home.

Anyway. Dean's very interested in early American history and he thoroughly enjoyed the movie. What makes this worth watching is that so few re-tellings of the days leading up to the writing and signing of the Declaration of Independence (especially those aimed at children) make these key points clear: the Continental Congress was an assortment of primarily wealthy men who wasted a great deal of time on petty matters; that they, as a group, had no clear vision of independence and that about half of them actively opposed it; that it was the unrelenting drive of John Adams that brought the Declaration to the table at all; and that the Civil War was inevitable right from the beginning (political and philosophical division of the north and south, the abolition of slavery given up for the "greater" cause of independence, the sovereignty of the states). The sexual innuendo went over Dean's head as it went over mine when I first saw it. It does take a pretty static situation (roughly the month before July 4, 1776 in congress) and make it a good story. I'm not saying you have to see it (if I did, you'd be cursing me through a few regrettable showtunes, I KNOW you would), but you might want to see it and might want you older kids to see it if they are interested in history.

We got Dean's bike tuned up and road-ready this weekend, and wondered about the economic 'downturn' given that every errand we ran found us surrounded by what seemed to be lots of people shopping. I find myself feeling anxious and uncertain about things, and more than a little freaked out every time we buy something that isn't food.

AH -- big news -- I knew there was something: Caleb was born March 11, the second son of my nephew Nick and his wife Erin.
We're planning to get to Chicago next month to meet him, and his big brother Noah, and reconnect with family. And go to the zoo. And eat decent pizza for a change.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Flashback Friday

My baby's feet, May 1998

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And SPEAKING of Liverpool

[Photo courtesy of]

Our man Torres! Scoring against nemesis Real Madrid, bringing our boys up the next step in UEFA Champions League play. Love it. Just wish we could see the matches on our tv at home. Just still wish Dean could meet his hero someday.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Not talking about the time change

It appears that perhaps after 6 months to a year, I'll have had the chance to show you a bit of last October's trip to Disney World. I do not exactly know why everything seems to take so long. As a person who has primarily lived life with a reasonable degree of crispness, it's hard for me to adjust to the idea that really wanting, really needing, really meaning to do something today often means that I might just have a moment to get to it within a month or so. The thank-you notes unwritten, sympathy notes not sent, the quilting, sewing, crafting projects awaiting attention.... I think I don't make lists anymore because of all the time it would take just to document the un-done, not to mention the depression it would instill.

But I take no small amount of comfort in knowing I am not alone, and this is just about the way we live, collectively.

If I had a magic wand, I'd wave it to make Ken's birthday wish come true. In case you were wondering. He turns 50 in August and would like to celebrate his birthday (drumroll, please) at...

...Disney World. The good folks at Disney will need to extend one or another of their special deals in order for us to make this work, and even then it's a bit of a long-shot. Of course we've been talking for a couple of years, really, about the fact that this birthday would be coming up; it has just taken Ken a long time to figure out his heart's desire. It makes me laugh, though, in a good way. I remember when "Paris" was the answer to that question, although perhaps it is best that times have changed since we couldn't make that wish come true right now anyway.

I sound blue, I know, but I don't mean it. Dean had a triumphant return to the soccer season last night with his first practice; his team has a new assistant coach from England who has played the game all his life. Dean was somewhat disappointed that the guy is for Birmingham and not Liverpool, but you can't win them all.

Monday, March 9, 2009


I was remembering this morning that when I used to work with my mom at a glass company (she was secretary to the president, I was in high school and helped out doing things like microfilming records in the summer), 10:30 or 11 was the time that the truck pulled up out front. The truck, unlovingly called 'the garbage truck,' was one of those quilted metal vans out of which are sold hot coffee, donuts, bagels. Cartons of white and chocolate milk. Cigarettes, maybe. Of course there were people who went out every day for a treat, and to smoke. For us it was more of a once-in-a-while, or Because it is Friday kind of a thing. As a denizen of corporate America, I had the convenience of a coffee shop right in the building where I worked. Thinking about it, every job I ever had except for this one had some means of supporting the coffee-break culture, of taking care of the 'I need a treat' feeling.

So here I am at work on a Monday, which is a bit unusual (I don't usually work on Mondays or Fridays; you may think that's 'lucky,' but then that would mean you haven't known me long enough to know that it has been a life's ambition to reverse the "week" and "weekend" schedules and this is as close as I've ever come to realizing that dream). It snowed this morning; not totally unusual, but we're all walking around acting shocked and affronted. It was extra dark, of course, 'thanks' to the time change. What I'd really like is another hot cuppa coffee and an old fashioned donut. There's a very specific type of donut that's called an 'old fashioned' -- it's a very plain cake donut. I'd also like not to be at work, but I'm racking up a lot of extra days to take off this summer so it's not the worst thing. And I really do need to get back to it.

A virtual coffee break, looks like. At least I don't smoke.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Flashback Friday

My dad, Paris, c. 1952