Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Review - "The Chosen" by Chaim Potok

I recently finished "The Chosen" by Chaim Potok.  "My Name is Asher Lev" (same author) was recommended as a good read (I still haven't read it).  "The Chosen" was at halfpricebooks so I took a shot.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I don't like this story...

Sometimes parenting is just fun. 

At times I like to hand kids an imagination football and see how far they run with it.  I hand the tape measure to my 3 y/o and watch her go.  The 6 and 7 y/o like to see if the world measures up.  With no surprise, it generally doesn't.  They learned that lesson faster than me.

Most of us growing up had the game where the ground is "lava" and you move around the room on furniture and pillows.  Using sticks as swords and guns is fairly common play.  Pine cones make great hand grenades; and a paper towel roll is good for days of adventure.  It is like the Swiss army knife of imagination world.

Imaginary play with things can be great enjoyment.

Then there is the times where your imagination plays with you.

I can distinctly recall being 5-6ish and we had a friend's mannequin in our dining room for a few months.  Didn't everybody?  Our only bathroom was upstairs with the bedrooms.  At night I had to sprint by this item of terror for any bathroom visit and the eventual bedtime.  Looking back, it was as normal as can be for a mannequin in a dining room.  At 5, it scared me.  It also scared me on many levels.  As terrifying as the figure was that could spring to life at any moment; there was also the fear riding the back of built up anticipation.  Looming fear.  I knew that cold, hideous beast was there, and it wanted to eat me.

I'm sure my parents may have thought my sprints were just child energy getting burned off, or another round of imaginary games.  For me it was a battle of life and death.  My spindly legs had to carry me; quick as lightning past this demon.  It had them fooled by not moving, but I knew it was just waiting to get me.

By our rules Caleb, now 6, has the overhead light on for a few minutes and then is reduced to the light on the nightstand; it is still plenty strong to read by.  For a few months from his room we heard various quickened footsteps, leaps and mad scrambles.  Then one day he explained that after the big light is out he has 8 seconds to be off of his bed to get more books or get that last drink of water.  If he's more than 8 seconds, then "things" will get him.

I know what he's going through and I laugh.  Not at him or childish games; I know the severity of this battle.  I laugh at the common thread that binds us, that thought amuses me. 

For now, he will run fast and sleep hard.  He has another battle tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Vacating the Vacation

We returned from a vacation around midnight last night.  My super wife took the last driving leg so I could sleep and have some semblance of functioning today.  If only work had cooperated.

I'm starting to see a trend from any vacation return.

Comfort. You get back home and there is true comfort in sleeping in your own bed.  Your head hitting your own pillow is a good thing.

Fear.  The alarm clock is a cruel torture device to remind you that responsibilities are creeping in.  The trip is over, back to the routine.

Perseverance.  You manage to get to the point where you face the responsibility head on.  It could be a stuffed inbox of e-mail, a mountain of laundry,  a fridge that needs to be restocked, or a cat that needs to be kicked (done.). 

False hope.  Attempting this return to the routine without a bonus coffee is not advised.  Make a full pot and enjoy.  Repeat as needed.  It'll help you feel on the ball.  Once you've climbed the mountain and think you're back to the regular life something hits you.

Reality.  I've also learned that my return to work is usually met by a severe oversight in something I planned.  I scrambled to get a project to a good stopping point before the absence.  In my scrambling I sometimes overlook obvious details.  It is kind of like a diabolical scheme to set fire to the sun;  there's a severe flaw in such a scheme.

Back in the rut.  I'm now back to feeling like I need a vacation.  Just some time away from this current overlooked detail that will result in meetings and a few more days of feeling like a fish trying to swim up Niagara Falls.

In another day or two this debacle will pass and another will rise to take it's place.  I actually don't mind them, it is what I do.  It was just nice to have some time away with my family.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Now Playing

I haven't posted for a little bit so here's a filler piece.

On my background music at work I have a playlist called "Hearstrings".  It is my quick and incomplete collection of songs that just really touch me.  Happy, sentimental and semi-mental, contemplative, mournful.  It covers a pretty broad range.  I put it together one day about 8 months ago and haven't modified it since.  Although I probably should.

It is incomplete in that I need to get more of my music here to work for listening.  Step 2 is that I need to get it onto the list.  I'd have a tough time picking a top 5 or a top 10, so here's my top 15.

In no particular order (Song Title - Album - Artist):
I Will Find a Way - Christmas - Jill Phillips & Andy Gullahorn
Beautiful Girl - Slugs, & Bugs & Lullabies - Andrew Peterson & Randall Goodgame
In the Night My Hope Lives On - Counting Stars - AP
You Came So Close - Counting Stars - AP
Lay Me Down - The Far Country - AP
More - The Far Country - AP
Family Man - Love and Thunder - AP
The Silence of God - Love and Thunder - AP
After the Last Tear Falls - Love and Thunder - AP
I've Got News - Resurection Letters Vol 2 - AP
The Hammer Holds - Ten Thousand Days - Bebo Norman
Rita - Ten Thousand Days - Bebo Norman
The Secret - Room to Breathe - Andy Gullahorn
Burning Bushes - Room to Breathe - Andy Gullahorn
Tools - Love and Thunder - AP

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Bird in the Hand...

I saw this today.

it makes me laugh and cry at the same time.  mmmm....paradox.

An 11 year old saves a woodpecker from being eaten by the family cat.  They take it to Lowe's while buying a cage to nurse it and get stopped by a Fish & Wildlife officer in the store.  The officer tells them it is endangered and transporting it is illegal.

They take it home and release.  Then a few days get fined for transporting an endangered species.

Moral of the story: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.  With the exchange rate a bush is $250 dollars.