Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Glitch in the matrix

Today Corin said — I believe for the first time — a fully formed word. All vowels inflected correctly, all consonants in place, no drawn-out syllables.

He was just jabbering in his usual idiosyncratic way (pul-aaaaaaay for play, "caaaaah" for car, "beh-reh" for berry) and then all of a sudden, clear as a bell, he says: "Sorry," like a proper gentleman, and then goes back to his own lyrical slurring.

It's as if Luna ambled over and said, "Cheerio, pip pip," and kept on walking.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

You Must Unlearn

grass in toes
rain on face
full-fingered ketchup dipping
crunching ice cubes
deliciously uncivilized

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Seattle, the nicest city on earth

Driving on the highway today, I noticed a very fast-moving truck that was forced to slow down for a slower-moving car that was trying to merge left. (I'm not sure if the slower car had already moved left one lane already, thereby "cutting off" the fast car, or not. Either way it wasn't an unreasonable move in fairly backed-up traffic.)

So the fast driver yelled something out his window at the slow driver, and gave the man a very sarcastic thumbs up. And the slower driver, who clearly felt he didn't deserve any reprimand for doing something perfectly normal, gestured back with a sarcastically cheerful wave of the hand.

In what other city in America would both those gestures not have been middle fingers?

Singing with Aunt Sharon

Monday, July 20, 2009

The first tennis lesson

Friday, July 17, 2009

Three degrees of Obama

Following up on my earlier report of my cousin and his wife, who run a non-profit in New Jersey and were featured on CNN:

They recently had a chance to meet with President Obama, and not long afterword Obama talked up their company, Rising Tide Capital, in a speech:

That makes me just three degrees away from President Obama, for those scoring at home.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

OCD baby

No substitutions

"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?" — Matthew 7:9-10

On the other hand, if he asks for his pee-pees to go back inside him, and you get him to agree that he could drink it, and you give him apple juice instead, that's excusable. (If gross.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Inebriation break

Me, on three glasses of wine, watching The Tonight Show, on which Bob Newhart was a guest:

"Bob Newhart? Is he still alive?

...When did that happen?"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Amanda's book is now for sale!

At last, a follow-up to this post: Amanda's book of poetry is now available to purchase through (and is eligible for free super-saver shipping, even). Yippee!

Swimming in the Wild Wide Ocean

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ice pop giveaway

Each year, our church gives each of its community groups $200 as a "good neighbor fund" to share love and neighborliness and extravagance in our Seattle communities.

This year, our group decided to do a bunch of small things, like baking up some goodies for teachers at Seattle Central who have had it rough with recent cutbacks, and donating school supplies to Seattle Central students who need them. Our biggest event was today, when we gave away over 1,000 ice pops today in the Fourth of July heat at Madrona Park.

All told, it took only half an hour for every pop to be claimed. As we were setting up, I thought a few of us might need to head into the crowd to start the giveaway, but pretty much as soon as the signs went up, we had a crowd, and as word spread all eight of us were working as fast as we could to scissor off the ends and meet demand.

Ian and Sharon took a rolling cooler to the far north end of the park and Lindsey and Amanda went south, to make sure everyone had a shot at getting some. At the end we ended up giving away our bottled water and the bags of ice to folks who just missed the last of the pops.

It was a real pleasure to see kids shyly walk up to us and ask for one pop and receive three instead. How often do you get more than you asked for? How often do you get to give away with extravagance?

There wasn't any need to give away food to strangers. Often it seems like we should stick to helping people only when the need is acute and visible. But I loved this idea of just swooping in and brightening people's day: the simplicity, beauty, and the unexpectedness of it.

Madrona is a section of the city that's usually neglected and overlooked, so it seemed like an apt place to lavish some attention. Everyone was grateful and smiling — except perhaps whoever was driving the ice cream truck that kept circling the street. I'm sure we killed business for an hour or so.

Big thanks to everyone who helped make this possible: Ian, who scoped out the parks in advance and organized coolers and ice, Rebecca, who froze nearly all the pops in her freezer even though it required a few days of shifting them around, Lindsey, who rounded up the team and the pops in her truck, Matt and Roxy, who made the signs and brought a table and the much needed scissors, Sharon, for carrying around the 'free ice pops' sign through the park like a sandwich board, and Amanda, who tolerated a thousand ice pops clogging our kitchen for a month after we purchased them. (Oh, and Corin, for testing out several flavors for us.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Right now Corin loves the book "Jazz Baby," by Lisa Wheeler and R. Gregory Christie.