29 June 2009
I am 27 now and one year closer to being in my mid-thirties, which is how old I actually feel.
My parents were here last week and we had a lovely time, despite me being constantly distracted. I am always distracted by something: quite often the wrong things. I don't like having to make a defense of the decisions I've made, and something about having my parents around has always made me defensive, especially in recent years. But last week, I didn't feel that way at all, and I think it may mean that I am getting older and more confident. I would like to think that.
My parents are also just good people and I think, every time that I am around them that I would like to spend more time with them and I wish we lived closer to them. But it is not in the cards right now, and that's okay.
For my birthday I got some hot Lacoste white tennies, the kind that go well with my blazer and my overall adult look. I got a hair trimmer, which I have been using to keep myself in increasingly orderly condition below the neck line. I got an Amazon gift certificate that I will be using soon. I got Murakami Haruki's new novel in Japanese. I got another computer screen: this was my gift to myself and something I needed to keep my sanity when working and having Naomi watch a video. It worked out well in the end, but it took me two days to get it working.
What else? Naomi peed on the carpet again, but once in the toilet so that was good. I have a busy month of July. Then August and then in September, after the eighth, I will be done before I begin again. And that will be nice.
22 June 2009
14 June 2009
There is still a lot to do, but I think I'm getting there.
Other things are going well. Yoko is getting her strength back more and more each day. Mei is getting bigger. Naomi doesn't want to wear a diaper anymore, but is still not precise enough about when she has to go to the bathroom. I keep promising her that if she manages to use her potty, that I will give her some chocolate, but she just looks at me skeptically.
My parents come on Saturday. A week with them (which meanｓ London at least once, I hope) and then it will be my birthday... Then wedding anniversary (three years? Really?) and then I have to go to Birmingham to give a talk on metaphor and my research... Then we will be at the middle of July already.
Oh, I still haven't sorted out Mei's visa. It all takes so much damn time. I'm hoping that the bank stuff will come in on Tuesday and I'll be able to send everything in on Wednesday. If I can get my passport back in time, there is some chance I'll be in Spain for Bob's wedding, but I'm not holding my breath at this point...
10 June 2009
09 June 2009
The famed older brother was talking about how sometimes we get tools thinking they will help us to do something, but what we really need is to see needs we already have and look for tools to solve those problems. Google tasks is something I have been waiting for my whole life: a to-do list integrated with my e-mail box. I have been using it to break up big tasks that I have (like getting a visa for Mei or writing my research proposal) into smaller, much more managable small tasks. It's going quite well. I love how it lives in your inbox too. Just hanging out, ready to be used at any time.
08 June 2009
06 June 2009
Now I am back in our apartment. Yoko picked me up at the airport and Naomi was so happy to see me. She was shocked almost: she screamed and put her hand over her mouth. I'd never seen her act that way before. She's gotten bigger.
So much to do before... well, before I die, when I think about it. But in the sort run--at least until the end of next week.
'I have a terrible need of--shall I say the word--religion. Then I go out at night to paint the stars.' -van Gogh
Amsterdam, on second thought, is pretty damn cool. Will be back next year for RaAM 8 for sure and with the wife sometime too, I hope.
05 June 2009
Amsterdam is okay. Better than I thought yesterday, but I'm still not feeling it. Being able to buy marijuana and pay for sex does not, in my humble opinion, a great city make. Especially for a prude like me, who, it turns out, really is just into hanging out with his wife and daughters and going to art museums. That's all I want. I can have sex for free at home, and beer buzzs me plenty, thank you very much.
But freedom means letting people be free to do things you don't like, so I can accept it. I'm not sure I would want to bring up kids here though.
Well, to the park again.
04 June 2009
- It's only 40 minutes from London.
- Dirty hippies everywhere.
- Smell of Dave Matthews Band show.
- Vondelpark is beautiful.
- The canals are beautiful.
- Ready to go to work.
- Screw staying in a hostel. I don't know what I was thinking.
- Oh yes, this is living the dream. No question.
02 June 2009
I have a lot to write about.
The famed older brother and his family were here last week and we had a good time. It's funny when you are with your family how normal all the things you do feel. Having spent three weeks with my mother-in-law and wife, avoiding doing the wrong thing and trying to be the least American I could be, it was nice to let it all hang out, if you'll excuse the phrase. I ate too much and felt quite fat all week for some reason, but upon getting on the scale today, I discovered that I had not gained any weight, and remain about 3.5 kilo above where I want to be. So hopefully the bike riding and self-control at McDonald's will pay off.
Otherwise adjusting to life without anyone around has been difficult, but I am leaving about this time tomorrow, so I won't have to deal with it anymore. Adding someone to the family takes work, and suddenly time is split again. It's funny how you slowly become something you never envisioned for yourself: walking to the park with two daughters. When did this happen?
The shooting of this abortion doctor has got me thinking a lot too, given my rather ardent pro-life stance. I have this question for the pro-choice crowd: if Dr Miller had tried to abort a baby, and the baby was born still alive, is he justified in killing it once it is out of the womb? Every time I get into an argument about this, the pro-choice crowd always gets right onto the rights of the mother, but I never get a good answer to: when does life begin? In my mind, where I am interested in moments when things change, I think the only defensible positions are conception or birth. As far as I'm concerned, everything else is arbitrary. And if you are okay killing a baby that is in the process of being born, I'm not sure what else I can say.
Well, I guess I do, as I've been thinking about it, accept the Roe decision and using viability as a cut-off point. Fine. But you have to make it so that the baby is assumed viable unless the doctor can prove otherwise, in my mind. I'm fine with late-term abortion if the baby is going to die anyway.
I think the pro-life movement needs to distance itself from the Christian crowd, shut the hell up about Jesus (and run away from assholes holding an 'Abortion is murder' sign in one hand and a 'Stop gay marriage' sign in the other) and make a philosophical argument and make some concessions. Both sides of the issue piss me off so much at this point.
Where was I...
Riding my bike was nice. The bike paths near the center of the city are much better than out near where we live. You can actually sort of figure out where you are using the signs.