Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dear Daddy...

Dear Daddy,

I like you so much that I wish I could give you a big bar of chocolate for Father's day! (Mr. Baseball)

Thank you for Daddy. Daddy plays with me. Wrestles me. He take me to the baseball field. (Monkey)

I like that Dad plays baseball with me! (both!)


Mr. Baseball and Monkey

A Little Interview About Dad:
(mostly answers from Mr. Baseball with a few from the Monkey thrown in)

How old is Daddy?
100 years old

Where was Daddy Born?
Las Vegas (Mr. Monkey said in the water!)

What's Daddy Favorite Food?
Lemon juice

What does Daddy like to do?
Play baseball

What's Daddy job?
To play with me - Monkey
To work at Ohio University- Mr. Baseball

Does Daddy like sports?
I love Baseball with him- MB

What's his favorite?
Basketball -Mr. Baseball
He love football -Monkey

What does Daddy do around the house?
He cleans the house.

What time does Daddy go to bed?
Really late- MB
In the dark time- Mon.

Thanks for being the best Dad ever! Happy Father's Day. And to Papa and Grandpa, we love you both. Lets play soon!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Yes, Master....

Master of the Universe

Master of English

I did it, er, give or take a few papers I've got to grade, that is. I am now a Master of English.
Thank you. Thank you. You're too kind. Really, thank you. Have a S'more.

For a number of reasons (not the least of which was the 50$ gown rental fee I would have had to pay) I chose not to "walk" on Friday afternoon (other reasons include a desire to hold off on all the pomp and circumstance until I'm actually done with my PhD, as well my acute aversion to stuffy convocation centers full of uncomfortable, sweaty people fanning themselves with programs and wishing that the speaker would cut to the chase).

Instead I spent the day packing boxes and playing with the boys. We took a bike ride with Mr. Baseball's new trail-behind (a recent acquisition from a stranger in Columbus. Long story short we walked in to a Dick's Sporting Goods in Columbus on Monday and because the store didn't carry trail-behind bicycles the sales clerk offered us his old one for free. "My boy is fourteen and we're done with it," said the man (his name was Phil). He offered to bring it to the store parking lot after his shift and we accepted. "Just pay it forward," is all he said. Nice guy. Very Nice. Thank you Phil).

Because we are moving in a little over six weeks, and because I'll be teaching every day during the last five of those weeks, this was our week for summer fun. Monday we went to the zoo. Tuesday night we went camping at Lake Hope State Park. Thursday we had a friend over for dinner and a discussion with the missionaries. Friday we went to another BBQ. And Saturday, hmmm... Saturday is a blur. I seem to remember riding our bikes to the store and forgetting our food at the bike rack on our way out and not realizing our error until we were all the way home).

Here are some pictures from the past week or so...

The zoo was a big hit. We got half-price tickets because we used a park-and-ride near the zoo and took the bus in.

We had chicken salad sandwiches and chocolate cake for lunch. Thanks again, Leo, for the chocolate cake.

Poor Monkey spent so much time at the zoo trying to catch up with the longer-legged members of the family. He did great.

The first time we've ridden the bus together since living in Japan. Nuts. What's wrong with this country that public transit isn't more practical?

95-year-old carousel = Big smiles from the boys.

It was cooler at the zoo than we expected, which meant the animals were out in droves-none of this lying around in the shade looking like helpless captives resigned to eating dietary biscuits for the rest of their lives. The monkeys were swinging, the bears were pacing, even the snakes were up to greet us when we stopped by the reptile hall.

I imagine that 50 degrees or 100 degrees, these guys don't look much different. But they were cool. The sign said that no one knew how old they were because they keep outliving all the researchers that have studied them.

Everyone was pooped by the afternoon so we caught the 3:30pm bus back to the park-n-ride. And it's a good thing we did, or we would have missed Phil at the sporting goods store.

We camped in a small cabin at Lake Hope State Park in the Zaleski National forest. We had foil dinners at night and pancakes and sausage in the morning, took the boys swimming in the Lake, played on the playground, and ate too many S'mores, as evidenced by the Monkey's alternating episodes of throwing up and diarehea that lasted most of tuesday night. It got the point that I was sleeping beside him with a plastic cup and a flashlight ready to hop up and keep him from throwing up all over himself again. All in all, it was a fun trip.

One problem with last-minute camping is that you tend to forget things--like a pancake flipper. Oh well. We had had most everything else.

Our Saturday afternoon bike ride brought us to Mr. Baseball's school. we played tag on the playground and ate some chocolate covered raisins before heading home.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

So I've got this student who is a photographer

and I agreed to sit in as a formal portrait subject for one of his assignments. Then he let the family come in for a few shots.

Fun. fun. fun. And the boys even managed to hold still and not break anything.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thoughts on Marriage and Divorce

So, Groooover is getting hitched to Muskrat Love lady Em Gillz and I am sooooooo happy for them and it's got me thinking about, talking about, dreaming about marriage and pairing off and why we do it and what it means in general. I was sitting in the office today talking with Grover and another friend, Jen, about marriage and divorce and choosing and sticking with it and the conversation moved to a discussion of how couples go about choosing to stay married once real life starts and later in an email Jen sent me this:

It just hit me...aren't your parents the ones who used the phrase "starter marriage"? I was just thinking about how you told Grover that once you get married that's it, there's just the one. Not that I don't agree with you on that though. But I was also thinking of the idea of "starter marriage" and realized that that's sort of what I had, it's just that the "starter marriage" where you make all the mistakes and the "real marriage" are to the same person for me, but really, we're different people from how we were when we first started going out or when we got married or even last year for that matter.

and I wrote back to said friend with the following:

My parents had "starter marriages" but they weren't intentional, and they definitely don't recommend it. Both relationships were emotionally abusive and they were good to leave (at least I'm glad they did, because if they hadn't, I wouldn't be here). My declaration that "once you get married, that's it" assumed a certain level of emotional readiness, preparation, and maturity on the part of the couple involved. And, it was actually more directed in response to Grover's comment about not wanting to know what else is out there, now that he'd found Emily. There is a myth, particularly in Mormon culture, that we each have a soul mate (i.e. that one person we are "supposed" to marry). Note that I said myth. The idea of sticking out a marriage reflects council I have heard about choosing a spouse--i.e. there are a lot of people in the world that we are compatible with, but that once we choose one and get married, they become "that one," meaning we should work through the challenges of marriage and not look outward when things get tough.

I have heard people say that a starter marriage is a good idea, but I think that's a load of garbage. Either marriage should be for good, or you shouldn't do it (abuse, crazy spouses, neglect, etc. aside). What you described about you and your husband is what I think every married couple that stays married must realize. i.e. we all change. Melissa and I are definitely not the same people we were seven years ago, and we would be miserable if we both lived with that expectation.

I like your idea of the "starter marriage," and "real marriage" being with the same person. I think Mel and I had that too. We "started" with perhaps an ambitious misconception about who we were and what we wanted, and as who we are changes, our "starter" marriage has revised itself into a more nuanced, interesting, fulfilling, if perhaps less idyllic, relationship. Maybe its like a "rough draft" marriage and a "final draft Marriage." Ooh, I like that. We don't throw out the rough draft and start over, we work on it, and polish it and change it, and let it take us where it wants to go.

Question: How does one submit a marriage for publication?