Sunday, January 24, 2010

I do it myself

Besides being talented, funny and freckle-faced, Hailey is also always in a rush to move up and move on. When she was three she wanted to be five. When she was 14, she wanted to be 19. Come to think of it, she even tried to "get borned" ahead of schedule.

Thus it is today as well. As Hailey rounds the corner toward a degree in fashion design, she has enrolled in a class she probably shouldn't be taking just yet. In fact, the professor tried in vain to talk her out of it. The name of the course escapes me, but suffice it to say that it's the mother of all classes in this particular program. At the conclusion of the term she has to put on an entire show... herself.

Can she do it? Most likely... She's talented and has a real work ethic when she sets her mind to something. Am I worried? A little. As it turns out, there's an almost imperceptible line between pushing yourself and taking on too much too soon. Land on the right side of that line... voilĂ ... personal growth. The other side can be tough to bounce back from. I have faith in you Hailey. I just don't want to see something still developing, something still fragile, get broken.

PS - The sketch above was discarded by Hailey. I had to twice fish it out of the trash. It is posted without permission.

Remedial Reviews

I don't read nearly as much as I ought to these days.
When I'm upright, I'm too easily distracted by flickering screens.
When I lie down, I just fall asleep.

So why should you take reading suggestions from me? You shouldn't. Fortunately, all of the books below were recommended or bought for me by people smarter than myself.

My latest read (yes, I'm 42 and way behind the curve.) and recommendation and favorite of Tracy's. A 20/20 view of human nature. Beautiful without being flowery. Apparently they're called classics for a reason.

A recent Christmas gift from Tracy and the kids. Illustrations you instantly love.
If reincarnation were the real deal... I'd want to come back as Charley Harper.

Todd, a close friend (and employer of mine) gave me this one... among many others. Science of all kinds made accessible and entertaining. In an effort to give Calvin and Hobbes a rest, I read the chapter on geology to Evan a couple of nights ago. He's hooked now too.

A gift from Ken, my brother-in-law and culinary soulmate. If you can only have one cookbook, start here. Don't let the Betty Crockeresque title and aesthetic fool you, this book is up-to-date, down-to-earth and brilliantly useful. If you have this one already, get his International cookbook next.

Another recommendation from Ken. Possibly my favorite book. A surprising look at water and how it behaves in the American desert. I hate this cover though... the one I have is different. Apparently the publisher thought it needed a dramatic and misleading subhead to spice things up.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I woke up from a sound sleep at 4:45am to the painful realization that I'm behind on almost everything I was planning to do... in my life. The house needs work. Work needs work. I need work.

I'm even beginning to think errands equal accomplishments.

In unrelated news... I made real progress (barely left the house) this weekend turning out some sweet (no one cares) new paint schemes (not real paint) for one of the worlds largest automotive (not real cars) communities. Needless to say, Tracy is really proud (appalled).

Monday, January 18, 2010

2010 Starts.... Now.

A few photos from our New Year's Day lunch.

Hailey was with her boyfriend, but otherwise everyone was there... our adopted kids included. It's becoming a tradition. The food is always lowbrow, but the people are funny and it feels like a good way to usher in the new year.

A side note: Yes, I'm wearing a scarf indoors. Tracy got me one for Christmas and showed me how to tie it the right way. Yes, there is a right way. Anyhoo... it's pretty bad-ass.

Friday, January 8, 2010


One week into this new year and I'm already tired.

I once thought that a new year was a completely clean slate. A fresh start without any inherited momentum. Now I might think otherwise. Maybe it's because we're surrounded by forces that insist we don't miss a beat as we transition from one calendar to the next. Did we all secretly agree that none of this, whatever it is, can wait another minute? You may take days off, but it seems to help less than it did before... probably because December's end-of-year urgency never really dies now... It just parks itself... and lies in wait on the other side.

I recently heard someone on the radio poke fun at our seeming inability to keep New Year's resolutions. Too cynical, I thought. I've always liked the notion. Not that I always keep them, or even make them. I just like the idea of second chances.

I guess that's where I'm hung up now.
When old things never stop, new things never start.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


The holidays are over and everyone knows it.

New Year's Day