Miracle of Nature

Do you believe in faeries?  What about, magical beings with mystical powers?  Maybe, wee people with their own language that seems foreign to your own, but if you listen to it closely you sort of understand what they’re saying?  Do you believe in all of that power, that ethereal presence in the beauty and wonder of a small child?

(Dude, do you hear him?  Did he, like, take ‘shrooms or something?  Naw, I think he must’ve had some bad seafood in Baltimore or somethin’.  He’s obviously wack.  I know, talking ’bout Harry Potter or some shit…he’s obviously trippin’.  Well, let’s listen and see if it gets any weirder.)

I know when I started this blog I said I would attempt to keep the “dad” posts to a minimum and this one is only slightly about fatherhood.  But y’all, my daughter is the sweetest, most amazing, beautiful work of art on the planet.  And, she was an absolute treasure this week while we were in Baltimore.  It was hot there.  I’m not talking hot like, egg on a sidewalk or desert terrain.  I’m talking hot like shoe-melting, slap your mother hot.  I swear that one day my shirt actually became part of my skin.  The seafood was as fresh as it could be because it fried itself in the harbor.  There was a thermometer on the bank near the hotel that actually read “Does it matter?”  But, did my child complain?  Never once.  She never uttered a cross grunt from being out in the heat.  I dragged her to the Mount Vernon neighborhood to see the FIRST Washington monument.  I pushed her to the west side to see Poe’s grave.  I lugged her to Fort McHenry where we participated in unfurling THE Star-Spangled Banner Aside: Okay, not the original, but a darn fine replica, 30×42 feet of flag and where the British, while failing to take Baltimore, apparently succeeded in removing all the trees from the Star Fort because there was no shade.  In short, we went all over Baltimore and she went with me.  And, she was an absolute trooper the entire time.  Never fading, never complaining, just wonderful.  And, at night, when we’d come back to the hotel, she would giggle for mommy, laugh at the TV, and go to sleep just like a little angel.  Also, you should know that her first word was “cat.”  We have three, so it’s not unlikely that it would be her first.  Her second word is “meow,” which pretty much follows, doesn’t it?  So, while we were all at the aquarium, everything that moved…any animal, up to and including rays, sharks, jelly fish and, yes, even frogs…they all “meow.”  So, we haven’t done a great job of differentiating animals, but it’s just so much fun to hear her say meow that you don’t like to quibble.

So, yes, we were in the Charm City for C.’s work conference.  We saw lots of things, but seriously, it was so ridiculously hot there that it was hardly worth getting the camera out.  I’ve got some photos over on Flickr, but they’re token photos.  They don’t really do Baltimore justice, and for that I’m sorry.  It’s a pretty decent city and the waterfront is really great…plus, the various neighborhoods are very nice and I didn’t run into any rude people.  As a matter of fact, everyone seemed very genial.  A few things to note if you’re planning a trip to Baltimore sometime soon…

  • The Washington Monument is closed until further notice for repairs.  So, don’t expect to go up inside it.
  • Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a great place to catch a ballgame and is walking distance from the Inner Harbor.
  • When you’re going to be on the harbor, buy tickets for the Water Taxi rather than walking everywhere.
  • When you’re not going to be on the harbor, take the Charm City Circulator, it’s free.
  • Stop at Maisy’s (313 N. Charles Street) for a great, inexpensive meal (and ask for Levi if he’s working)
  • If your only impression of Baltimore is The Wire, that’s unfortunate.
  • Definitely do the aquarium, but be forewarned it’s a bit pricey.  Still, worth the money.
  • If you go to Ft. McHenry (which you really should do), tell Park Ranger Catherine Holden that she’s awesome.  She’s the one that did our flag demonstration and I learned twice as much about the War of 1812 in that 20 minute presentation than I did in years of school.
  • Go in the fall when it’s less hot, presumably.

So, there it is…pictures will be up soon if they’re not already.  And, remember, earlier when I was talking about that vision of light and wonderment that is my daughter, here’s a picture of her so that you’ll know what that looks like.

See you in the funny papers!

GOOOAAAAAALLLLLLL!!!!

Sooo, Internets, have you been watching the fútbol?  Yeah, I thought so.  I know you can’t hear me from the incessant vuvuzela.  It’s okay, I’ll talk louder.  It’s more fun that way anyway.  I was hoping that South Africa would do better,South Africa Flagbut that was a poor showing against Uruguay the other day and I can’t help but think that they’re probably not going to make it out of their group.  It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way the Jabulani bounces, y’know?!  What’s with me and soccer is the real question…I mean, when did I get obsessed?  Who knows?!  It could be South Africa, which I have much love for.  It could be the spirit of competition, kind of like the Olympics, or it could just be that as it’s the most popular sport on the planet maybe I was missing out on something.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love the Red Sox and the fact that they just swept the Diamondbacks…but World Cup is sort of like Tour de France.  You get swept up for a month or so, and then you go back to your life.  There are worse things you could do with your time.

Other things on my mind lately: BP.  Specifically, that massive oil spill that continues to engulf the Gulf and destroy what was left BPof the coast after the hurricanes a few years back.  It’s no secret really that I’m not a big fan of multinational corporations that can’t seem to go about their business without destroying lives, not to mention ecosystems, without a care in the world other than the gilt-lined pockets of their shareholders and CEOs.  I’d love to know what sort of private car Tony Hayward is driven to work in every day.  Also, rumor has it that Hayward was on the advisory board for Citibank from 2000 to 2003, which would be just about the time that we were gearing up for an ass-kicking in the banking industry.  But the real asshole for today’s post is Joe Barton (R-TX) who as the lead suck-up for the oil industry on the House Committee for Energy & Commerce APOLOGIZED TO BP because the White House is making them set up a fund to help those in the Gulf region whose lives and livelihoods have been devastated by this unmitigated catastrophe.  He’s since rescinded his apology, but we all know he was just trying to save some bucks, the oil industry being his biggest fan and all.

Somebody please explain Justin Bieber to me.  The kid does not sing very well, has a haircut that looks like his mom puts a bowl Justin Bieberon his head, and every time he’s interviewed he says something ignorant or rude to his adoring fans.  Plus, he’s kind of creepy.Some people will try to blame this on his being Canadian, but that’s just offensive to Canada.  I mean…seriously, what is the deal?  And, no, I’m not jealous.  The last time I had 11-14 year old girls hanging all over me, I was seven (heh!).  The last thing I want is a horde of prepubescent girls squealing every time I get out of the car…that my mom is driving.  Honestly, he’s like twelve isn’t he?

And, just to wrap up: They should’ve locked up Joran van der Sloot years ago, Tiger played better golf when he was a sex addict, I don’t know what to say about Abby Sunderland except that my parents would cringe when I would drive to church at age 16, and CONGRATULATIONS to Han Solo for tying the knot with Ally McBeal after eight years.

See you in the funny papers!

Random Thoughts

It’s time once again for Random Thoughts…links provided at your peril, but are most likely SFW (safe for work!)

  • My deodorant failed me roughly an hour and a half ago.
  • Scarlett Johansson looks beautiful in whatever she wears.
  • My coffee intake has increased exponentially since taking my new job.  However, I think it’s merely coincidence.
  • I just realized I’ll be 36 this year.
  • I’ve developed an affinity for my Waterman pen.
  • I start graduate school in the fall.  My first class will be the History and Philosophy of Geography.  Prepare yourself to be bored by my incessant discoveries of things you didn’t know.
  • I’m headed to Baltimore in a week…any recommendations?  Besides a trip to Camden Yards, that’s a given.
  • I’ve rather gotten used to the drone of the vuvuzela.
  • The sun outside is gorgeous, but I know it’s gonna feel like 870°F out there today.
  • The next person who says “chipolte” instead of “chipotle” is gonna get a mouthful of fist.
  • I’ll be an uncle again in a month or so.  I honestly never thought I’d see the day.
  • I’d love to lay out on my hammock this evening, but I don’t see that happening.
  • Have you ever had the urge to drive down a road just to see where it goes?

Here’s hoping that some sort of enlightened blog post will come soon.  It’s as if the heat has sapped my creative energy.  Wanna recommend a topic?  Write something in the comment section.

See you in the funny papers!

We are not alone

Grand CanyonThis morning in church, we recited a new creed from the United Church of Canada.  Ordinarily, I don’t pay much attention to these sorts of things, but it replaced the Nicene Creed which I’ve bemoaned for years as antiquated and far too long to be of use to anyone.  Plus, to have something new in church is exciting.  It means that the church is not stagnant and tied down to certain dogmatic principles.  Anyway, the creed began with the words:

We are not alone,
we live in God’s world.

and ended with the words:

In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us.  We are not alone.

Now, even though my religious beliefs are still in a somewhat formative stage, this turn of phrase was very comforting to me.  Even though my image of God has been significantly altered from what it was as a child, I’m still able to see the work of God in many ways.  Not the least of which is the magnificent grandeur of the Grand Canyon.  Also, for those of you who are non-believers (which is fine, I understand your reluctance), you may quote science and logic and I really do see that side of things.  But, aren’t there moments when it’s just nice to lay back in the midst of the chaos of the world and say to your self: God is with us.  We are not alone. Regardless of how you interpret God, I hope that you take comfort in the fact that you are not alone.

See you in the funny papers!

NaBloPoMo saves the…blog?!

I’ll admit it, I haven’t been all that interested in blogging lately.  I’ve had other pursuits occupying my mind.  I’ve been reading a lot more, my job has certainly kept me busy, IvyCat is on the brink of walking and talking, and the blog has sort of taken a back seat to all of that.  It’s not that I don’t love you, honestly, it’s not.  It’s just that I needed a break.  Still, I feel guilty because I know you’re there.  I know you’re waiting for me to love you back, to fill you with details and emotions.  Unfortunately, I just don’t really have them at the moment.  So, I’ve turned to professionals for help.  The good people at NaBloPoMo are providing writing prompts to assist those of us who have lost the desire to blog, or maybe just those who’ve run out of good ideas.  I’d like to think of myself as the latter.

Today’s prompt is “What is your favorite poem? (And if you don’t have one, why?)”  I do have a favorite poem, I just didn’t realize it was a favorite poem until my wife read it to me the other day.  It’s called “Babyblues” by Barbara Kingsolver.  You don’t ordinarily Aside: or at least, I don’t think of Kingsolver as a poet.  Novelist; sure, but not really poet.  Maybe I’m missing out.   Anyway, this is the poem…retyped without permission, but I would hope that Ms. Kingsolver would excuse a fellow Kentuckian.  If not, I’ll delete the poem.  However, in the hopes that she’ll be okay with it, buy the book Another America at your favorite local bookstore.

Babyblues
for Lily on the verge

Look at me my
dark scarlet heart disguised in pink
I am Look! At! Me!
Oh I'm the pure blue force of Want
howling through thin walls
like a prairie wind.
I am so large and empty.
Why do the cheerios stick to the backs of my hands?
When I push the bear through the bars,
why is it gone?  I want that bear.
I want
Oh listen, the jingleshudder of ears getting up
the dog!  Oh comecomecomecomecomecomecomecome
gone.
I want that dog.
Oh keep your pastel colors.
Boredom is a purple need.  Hunger is vermilion.
I want my dark blue heaven milk mothermother
but the minute I fall into darkness she puts me down.
They do, they put you down.  The big ones
only want one thing: to leave you alone.
You have to stay awake, see.
The big ones are my shepherd and I shall want
with the pure blue force
of a howling wind I want
the dog the bear the milk I want
every cheerio that fell on the floor I want
the brightest colors
all pressed hard against my gums
I want
the world
and it will not fit
in my mouth. 

In other news, I’m back to running.  Just a mile a day, but it’s a start.  I’ve conquered the allergy/illness with the help of Dr. Compton and a cornucopia of pharmaceuticals and I felt well enough to begin training again.  Training for what?  Nothing at the moment, but you never know what sort of event will entice me.  Also, I learned today that I was accepted into the master’s program for applied geography, provisionally.  Why provisionally?!  Well, because I was a fuckup in undergrad and I didn’t have the grade point average to get in of my own merit.  So, now, I just have to show them how smartass I can be.  Looking forward to starting in the fall.  I believe that’s all the news that’s fit to print.  Don’t look for a new something every day, but I hope June will be a better blog posting month.

See you in the funny papers!