Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pink portraits, birthdays and sunsets

So we packed up all our pink clothing
and headed down to the folks for the family portrait.

Some of the post-portrait pics:



afterwards we got out of all our stuffy duds
(but don't my wife and daughter look beautiful?!)
and headed outside where the sun was out
and the breeze was blowing and there were lots of
dandelions for the girls to harvest:





and sand to get in your shoes:



and brick paths to walk:



Then it was in for the evening and Amelia's
2nd birthday which she wasn't too happy about -
(sheesh, already she's fretting about her age!?!)...
She was alright with Nonnie's pink cake
once everyone stopped singing at her and
we divvied the thing up finally!
Give that girl a fork and plate and pronto!



and then before bed, a final round of chair
dueling between Ameliaand her cousin Sydney:



We stopped on the way home
to drive along the beach of Saint Joseph.
It was a beautiful evening on the shores
of Lake Michigan, the sun setting and the sky
glowing all pinkish-lavender. It reminded me
of my daughter's pink rosy cheeks, pink dress
flying past and pink shoes, all a blur as two
arrived and three waited just over
the pink horizon - to arrive sooner than I'm ready.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pink - of course


Amelia was all smiles when she woke up this last Sunday
morning to find 'Nonnie and Papa' in the living room
drinking coffee and just waiting to shower her with lots of attention.
So, we went out for a real nice Sunday brunch (Amelia's
consisted of 'pantates') and then hit the mall to find
Papa a suit for our upcoming family portrait. Amelia and
her cousins are wearing pink dresses (of course) and so
all the dads and Papa are accessorizing in pink (of course). I
don't own a pink tie (of course) so I've got to go find one - I'm
sure Amelia will love it (of course).



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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Easter 07 (the long cold winter)


We headed down to Kentucky for Easter hoping
that the weather would be even slightly warmer than
it's been in Michigan lately so we could take pictures
of Amelia running around out back of Grandma and
Grandpa's house in her sleeveless, pink polka-
dotted Easter dress picking Grandma's flowers.
Instead we drove through snow all the way through
Ohio and down into Lexington. Despite that we
had a lovely time with all the Kentucky contingent.
Amelia got to play with her Grandparents, Aunts and
Uncles and cousins who she hadn't seen since
January or before.

Uncle Craig introduced her to jellybeans for the first
time so any hopes of a nutritious
lunch were dashed. (Thanks a lot Uncle Craig!)
The dogs love those things too - they're eager to snatch
them out of the sticky hands of any little toddler like Amelia.


We ate hearty and dressed up and went to church and
visited everyone and then the morning before leaving
discovered that the Bun had intercepted one nasty virus
left over from a too long winter of viruses. We made it
back home to Michigan without incident but with little sleep.
It made us appreciate just how little we can sometimes
do for our daughter, that we give them the antibodies in
the womb and then they're out on their own and into a
hostile world which we do our best to protect them from.

I've been more sick this last winter than anytime than I can
remember and today I was sleeping with her feverish
body next to me waiting for her to open her eyes and say
'wate' up daddy' and start running around or emptying out
my dresser. Instead she kept on sleeping all through the
afternoon, her body working hard to battle the virus. It was
cold out today but in my half-awake state I could hear birds
in the trees and I dreamed of a warm and healthy spring
to come - hopefully soon.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Bet on your children...


The Clock of the Long Now Prototype I

An excerpt from an essay on the future and children
by writer Michael Chabon:

I don’t know what happened to the Future. It’s as if
we lost our ability,or our will, to envision anything
beyond the next hundred years or so, as if we lacked
the fundamental faith that there will in fact be any future
at all beyond that not-too distant date. Or maybe we
stopped talking about the Future around the time that,
with its microchips and its twenty-four-hour news cycles,
it arrived. Some days when you pick up the newspaper
it seems to have been co-written by J. G. Ballard, Isaac
Asimov, and Philip K. Dick. Human sexual reproduction
without male genetic material, digital viruses, identity theft,
robot firefighters and minesweepers, weather control,
pharmaceutical mood engineering, rapid species extinction,
US Presidents controlled by little boxes mounted between
their shoulder blades, air-conditioned empires in
the Arabian desert, transnational corporatocracy, reality
television—some days it feels as if the imagined future of
the mid-twentieth century was a kind of checklist, one from
which we have been too busy ticking off items to bother
with extending it. Meanwhile, the dwindling
number of items remaining on that list—interplanetary colonization,
sentient computers, quasi-immortality of consciousness through
brain-download or transplant, a global government
(fascist or enlightened)—have been represented and re-
represented so many hundreds of timesin films, novels and on
television that they have come to seem, paradoxically,
already attained, already known, lived with, and left behind.
Past, in other words. This is the paradox that lies at the heart
of our loss of belief or interest in the Future, which has in
turn produced a collective cultural failure to imagine that future,
anyFuture, beyond the rim of a couple of centuries. The Future
was represented so often and for so long, in the terms and
characteristic styles of so many historical periods from, say,
Jules Verne forward, that at some point the idea of the Future
—along with the cultural appetite for it—came itself to feel like
something historical, outmoded, no longer viable or attainable.
If you ask my eight-year-old about the Future, he pretty much
thinks the world is going to end, and that’s it. Most likely
global warming, he says—floods, storms, desertification—
but the possibility of viral pandemic, meteor impact, or some kind
of nuclear exchange is not alien to his view of the days to come.
Maybe not tomorrow, or a year from now. The kid is more than
capable of generating a full head of optimistic steam about next
week, next vacation, his tenth birthday. It’s only the world a
hundred years on that leaves his hopes a blank. My son seems to
take the end of everything, of all human endeavor and creation,
for granted. He sees himself as living on the last page, if not
in the last paragraph, of a long, strange and bewildering book.
If you had told me, when I was eight, that a little kid of the future
would feel that way—and that what’s more, he would see a certain
justice in our eventual extinction, would think the world was better
off without human beings in it—that would have been even worse
than hearing that in 2006 there are no hydroponic megafarms,
no human colonies on Mars, no personal jetpacks for everyone. That
would truly have broken my heart. When I told my son about
the Clock of the Long Now, he listened very carefully, and
we looked at the pictures on the Long Now Foundation’s website.
“Will there really be people then, Dad?” he said. “Yes,” I told him
without hesitation, “there will.” I don’t know if that’s true, any
more than do Danny Hillis and his colleagues, with the beating
clocks of their hopefulness and the orreries of their imaginations.
But in having children—in engendering them, in loving them, in
teaching them to love and care about the world—parents are betting,
whether they know it or not, on the Clock of the Long Now.
They are betting on their children, and their children after them,
and theirs beyond them, all the way down the line from now to 12,006.
If you don’t believe in the Future, unreservedly and dreamingly,
if you aren’t willing to bet that somebody will be there to cry
when the Clock finally, ten thousand years from now, runs down,
then I don’t see how you can have children. If you have children,
I don’t see how you can fail to do everything in your power to ensure
that you win your bet, and that they, and their grandchildren,
and their grandchildren’s grandchildren, will inherit a world whose
perfection can never be accomplished by creatures whose
imagination for perfecting it is limitless and free. And I don’t see how anybody can
force me to pay up on my bet if I turn out, in the end, to be wrong.

Originally published in Details, January 2006

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