Thursday, July 27, 2006

Baby Anni

I’ve got to tell this story before I forget it. Sunday afternoon before the wedding, Ali and Jon came over with their 22-month old daughter, Anni. -By the way, at what age do you stop counting in months and switch to years? I bet we’d all feel a lot older if we just kept track of our age in months. I would be like 310 months old. Then your thousand-month birthday would be a huge event. Anyways, back to the story:

So Anni ended up getting attached to this little baby doll we had. It was made of fairly flexible plastic, with the ability to move its arms, legs and head. It also came with a diaper and I am told that it used to be able to consume water, wet the diaper, and be ready for a change. That really creeps me out, but is beside the point. So anyways, at this stage in its life, it’s just an average doll.

Anni decided to name it “Baby Anni,” and she was hugging it and kissing it and putting it to sleep and everything. Very cute and fun to watch. Yes, she was quite in love with Baby Anni and it was quite entertaining to watch. But not nearly as entertaining as what happened next.

Jon, as the loving father, decided to go help Anni play with Baby Anni. He had them lie down together on a pillow and pretend to sleep. Then he started moving Baby Anni's head around. Then he smiled and popped that head right off.

Anni stared at the decapitated body for a few brief seconds before wailing, “Baaaaaaaaaaaabeeeeeeeeeeeey!!!” She then ran to her mother, who has already learned the matriarchal talent of simultaneously consoling a child while chastising a husband.

Eventually she was fine, but the whole scene was hilarious. Hopefully Anni hasn’t been permanently traumatized. Sure wish I had it on tape to share with you all and with Anni when she’s twenty or so.

Firefox Rules?

Man, I just realized how messed up this blog looks if you're not using Firefox. Oh well, if you're not using Firefox, you don't deserve to enjoy this blog. If you don't have it, get it here.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Weekend (7/23/06)

Another wedding over the weekend. Friday night we had the timios and bachelor party in our garage. I had a lot of fun. It was good to see some of the old guys again and it’s always good to hear some marital advice. We played beer pong until the wee hours of the morning and that was pretty fun too. I don’t know if I’ve ever played a serious game before. It’s pretty frustrating, because I always thought it would be fairly easy. We had a Hiatt Street reunion team going at the end of the night. Good times.

Sunday we heard that Fr. Joseph Morris is going to be leaving our parish. That is really sad, but I’m glad for him. This is something he has wanted for a while now. I really will miss him. Dangit. Lately I almost wish we could go live somewhere else for a while. We never really hang out with people anymore, unless it’s family or a special occasion. Not sure why that is, but it is. Then I question why we’re living in this neighborhood when we don’t really hang out, don’t go to the church here, and hate dealing with all the crap that goes along with the hood. Then the church I do go to loses the main reason I wanted to go there in the first place. Maybe this is just a phase I’m going through or something, but I just feel tired. Anyways, camp is next week which should be refreshing. It’ll be busy though. I wish I had a few days off after camp to rest up a bit.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Weekend (7/16/06)

This last weekend was a very “cultured” one. Friday night we went to Symphony on the Prairie, mostly to hear the Rachmaninoff piece. It was worth it.

Then on Saturday we went to see Les Mis. That was awesome. Then Sunday we had a cookout at the Lee’s and found out that they are pregnant as well. So that makes Suz and Eric, Ric and Liz, Jon and Ali, and Anna and Jared. Crazy. That was a fun time too.

The highlight of the weekend for me I think was the Symphony. And not really because of the music, although it was great. First we had a little picnic and the sun started to go down, which was great because it had been dang hot before that. So then the sun was setting and it was an awesome one and I was ticked that I forgot to bring the camera, cause a rainbow came and joined the sun. Then we got to lay down on a blanket in the grass and look up at the sky. The music was in the background and except for an obnoxious couple that kept talking, it felt like a dream or something. I can’t remember the last time I had just laid down on the ground and looked up at the sky. It really was relaxing. If you haven’t done that recently, then I suggest you give it a try. I imagine before television and radio and all the other distractions we have now, people probably used to just lie down and watch the sky all the time. I’m not kidding, if I could choose how I want to die, that would probably be it. It was so peaceful. So that was the highlight of my weekend.

Monday, July 17, 2006


When I was younger, I used to love rocks. I’m not sure where it came from, but I started collecting them. My favorite rocks were geodes. Geodes have crystals inside of them and can be really beautiful. I used to love the excitement of cracking one open to see what was inside. It was like Christmas.

It all started when my friend Ben and I were camping at Gallahue. Gallahue was a girl scout camp in southern Indiana and they let families visit every labor and memorial day. One day when Ben and I were walking along the gravel roads, I picked up two rocks and starting banging them together in my hand to make noise. I was just doing this for fun, galumphing if you know what I mean.

Well it just so happened that one of those two rocks was a geode. It was only about the size of my hand, but it split open and I was ecstatic to find crystals inside. I gave Ben the other half of my geode and we were hooked. We would spend hours hunting for them. I say hunting not because the rocks ran away from us, but because we searched after them as if our lives depended on it. We would travel out into the woods looking for creeks and streams that held our little jewels. Then we would load up pockets and hands and make sacks out of t-shirts to carry our treasure.

We took the haul back to our camp and began destroying them to see what was inside. Our favorite method was laying one on the ground and slamming another on top of it. This worked pretty well for most rocks. The only downside was that you could never make it crack where you wanted it to. Some geodes would be smashed into ten pieces, ruining what could have been a great fortune. If we thought that a particular geode might be special inside, we would use a hammer to crack at a specific point on the rock, in hopes that we could keep the majority of it intact. Then we would look at all the pieces we had and choose which ones were worthy to come home with us.

Usually whoever found the rock got the first pick of which piece they wanted, then the other could take what was left. Any pieces that we didn’t want, we would give to little brothers and sisters who watched with anticipation, or throw them back into the woods.

I can remember one specific time when I found what I thought was the perfect geode. It was huge and had broken perfectly for me. There was a chasm of crystals that could be seen through a hole as big as my fist. It was perfect. The day we were getting ready to leave, I found it smashed outside of our tent. I guess my dad didn’t realize what it was and had tossed it out of the tent when he was cleaning. It landed on a rock and broke into worthless pieces. I’m sure I cried and was upset with him, so he took Ben and I out into the woods to find a replacement. Poor guy. It was pouring down rain and we were already late getting home, but he went out there with us while we scoured the woods for a proper replacement. I found a large one that he insisted on carrying out for us. What a great dad. Of course if he wouldn’t have broken the thing in the first place, he wouldn’t have had to bother.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Had a crazy dream last night. It was about church camp and all kinds of fun stuff was going on. Somehow I came up with an awesome scavenger hunt where the clues were super hard, like Da Vinci Codesh. Then we didn’t have a No-Talent Night for the first time in history because I couldn’t think of a creative way to host it. Weird dream and reminded me how close it is to camp time. I have to get a lot of things ready, but I’m excited as always. We actually have one of our first Jr. High Boys coming back as a Staff Assistant to be with us again this year. Time flies.

Tried to go to the Symphony in the park last night, but it got rained out after two songs. We still enjoyed good food and wine with the folks. That’s one great thing about being married is that we do stuff like that. I would’ve never gone to that thing if my wife didn’t want to. It’s embarrassing that there are so many great things to do around this city and I never did them until I hung out with her. Tonight is Music on the Canal, tomorrow Symphony on the Prairie, and Saturday is Les Miserables at the Murat. I really do enjoy that stuff and never realized how much.

Just finished listening to Machiavelli’s “The Prince” on tape today. It’s interesting and similar to “The Art of War.” It actually sounds a lot like “how to run a successful business” or something. I’m sure the necessary skills are transferable. And you pretty much have to be the opposite of what Christianity asks you to be. Perhaps this is why it is so difficult for a rich man to enter heaven. It was an interesting read nonetheless.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Hross and Hman

Well, tomorrow is my half year anniversary. It’s amazing how the time flies. On one hand it feels like we just got married yesterday. At the same time, it’s hard to imagine what life was like before I got married.

We still have a lot of fun together and it’s exciting to think about what the future holds. Parenthood doesn’t seem like such an impossibility anymore either. I would definitely like to have kids before my parents are too old to run around with their grandkids. I hope it’s not too late already.

It’s amazing how much time we spend together. I don’t know if this is just because we’re newlyweds or not, but we do almost everything together. Actually, the only thing we don’t do together (outside of work) is Men’s Group. For obvious reasons.

I’m glad I married a fun woman, or the situation could be bad. The only negative is that we definitely sacrifice our other friendships. I miss hanging with the guys and doing things on a whim and staying out late and so forth. It’s definitely worth the trade off, but I’m sentimental and sometimes it’s sad to think of the friendships I’ve had and how they’ve changed. I remember growing up how I used to think I would keep those friends forever. We were so close and had so much fun together, I couldn’t imagine a situation where we wouldn’t just keep doing stuff together. Now I understand the importance of family and how friends are extremely important, but not quite as stable. I’ve been lucky to have been surrounded by great friends at each stage of my life. Now I’m married to one, which is totally indescribable. Perhaps later in our lives we’ll go back to doing our own thing, and that’s the beauty of what we have now.

I’ve been listening to “Out of the Silent Planet” by CSL on tape lately. There is a scene where a hross describes its understanding of pleasure found in certain events in a being’s life. He uses the first encounter between Ransom and the hross and explains how at the time of the meeting, the feelings they had were not very pleasing. But as they got to know each other and each day grow more fond of each other, that event in their past became a pleasant memory. He goes on to say how each thing gets more pleasing as it reaches fulfillment in a man’s life. I can’t explain it right, so I’m going to find the passage and leave it to Lewis to explain. It’s worth pondering.

(FYI: Hmän= human)

"Is the begetting of young not a pleasure among the hrossa?"
"A very great one, Hmän. This is what we call love."
"If a thing is a pleasure, a hmän wants it again. He might want the pleasure more often than the number of young that could be fed."
"You mean", he said slowly, "that he might do it not only in one or two years of his life but again?"
"But why? Would he want his dinner all day or want to sleep after he had slept? I do not understand."
"But a dinner comes every day. This love, you say, comes only once while the hross lives?"
"But it takes his whole life. When he is young, he has to look for his mate; and then he has to court her; then he begets young; then he rears them; then he remembers all this, and boils it inside him and makes it into poems and wisdom."
"But the pleasure he must to be content only to remember?"
"That is like saying 'My food I must be content to eat'."
"I do not understand."
"A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered. You are speaking, Hmän, as if the pleasure were one thing and the memory another. It is all one thing. What you call remembering is the last part of the pleasure. When you and I met, the meeting was over very shortly, it was nothing. Now it is growing something as we remember it. But still we know very little about it. What it will be when I remember it as I lie down to die, what it makes in me all my days till then - that is the real meeting. The other is only the beginning of it.
You say you have poets in your world. Do they not teach you this?"
"Undoubtedly," he said. "Maleldil [God] made us so. ... And how could we endure to live and let time pass, if we were always crying for one day or one year to come back - if we did not know that every day in a life fills the whole life with expectation and memory and that these ARE that day?"
Excerpt from "Out of the silent planet", C.S.Lewis

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Summer of Love

Another wedding this weekend—that makes three in three weeks. Yesterday Suzy Coolman got married. That’s still hard to believe. It was a beautiful wedding held at the White River Gardens. The reception was there and had great food and drinks and was altogether a great time.

The weird thing for me was seeing a bunch of people who I hadn’t seen in a few years; particularly, the group who used to go to Gallahue with us. The Fowlers were all there and all grown up. It was weird to see them, especially Brandon. Last I remember of Brandon, he was trying to tag along with all of us to go play in the creek by the bridge. Now he’s taller than me and has a girlfriend and looks almost like an adult. Crazy. Then there were the Rensink girls. Amy is going to Butler next year and I can still remember when Ben came over to stay with us while Sally was in the hospital giving birth to Amy. That’s just weird. Then there’s Katie, who has a daughter of her own. I remember camping out under the stars at the dam and all of us trying to figure out what Katie’s dreams meant. Gosh, it feels like a lifetime ago now. I miss those weekends at Gallahue. They were perfect bookends to my childhood summers. Makes me wish I could go back there.