Friday, February 25, 2005

Things D1 has tried to eat recently

  • Applesauce spoon
  • Bib
  • Coffee table, legs of
  • Dirt
  • Exersaucer
  • Foot, Mama's
  • Globs of dropped food
  • Highlighter
  • Interior of playpen
  • Jar lid
  • Keyboard, computer
  • Lumpy oatmeal
  • More (of whatever it is)
  • Nose, Papa's (She likes to play on the floor while we exercise. And eat anything that stays still long enough for her to get to it.)
  • Overalls
  • Pajamas
  • Quilt
  • Receipt
  • Shoes, Mama's and her own
  • Telephone cord
  • Underwear, when "helping" fold laundry
  • Vultures, from Noah's Ark
  • Wheel, from rolling chair
  • X--alas, she doesn't yet have a xylophone, or I'm sure she would have tried
  • Yarn
  • Zipper pulls

Thursday, February 24, 2005

'Round go the interviews again

The interview game is going around again, but this time I'm not going to ask any questions. I'm going to answer these questions, posed by Amey, and if you want any questions of your own, you have to go ask her. ;-)

1. Early bird or night owl?

Neither. I always need more sleep than I can manage to get. :-) I'm usually at my best late morning or late afternoon. I have a little bit more of a morning edge than DOB, though.

2. How did you and your husband meet?

The answer we give when we don't want to explain is that we met in law school. The answer we give when we want to get funny looks is that we met online. DOB was the president of the debating society for our distance-learning school, and we met when I signed up for a debate. Everybody else backed out of debating me, so he had to do it himself. And won, much to my annoyance (we still argue over whether he fought fair or not).

At the time, due to my mistakenly typing my birthdate on a website, he thought I was ten years his senior. So it took quite awhile for that mistake to be corrected and anything to move forward. Maybe I'll tell the rest of the story sometime.

3. Describe your favorite meal.

This is a bittersweet question, and it ties into number four. My favorite meal is the kind my extended family used to have for holidays and get-togethers, with a huge spread of at least two kinds of meat (one poultry and one not, because Grandpa hasn't eaten poultry since WWII), salads, vegetables, fruit, mashed potatoes, Grandma's rolls, and one of Aunt Dee's delicious desserts. Plus munchies ahead of time and leftovers enough to last the rest of the day. But now I live far away and as people pass on things are never the same as they were.

4. Tell us about the family you grew up in.

I am the middle of seven children, with an age span of twenty-two years between oldest and youngest. The family runs in three clumps: except for the oldest, who is adopted, there's an older sister, then a brother about two years younger, then several years' gap. So by the time the next round of diapers came, Mom had someone to help with them.

My father is very serious to outward appearances, but very sarcastic and silly in private; my mother was very bright and cheery in public, but often quite serious in private, though she had a great deal of silliness as well. (She died a couple of years ago.) We lived on a weekend farm which we called "The Funny Farm," and for many years published "The Funny Farm Mooos" for our friends and relations--now it exists as the Christmas letter. My siblings are all very smart in one way or another, but not necessarily particularly ambitious. All the ones from me on down were homeschooled. Mom's health was bad, so although she always had grand goals mostly we learned, while she napped, by reading from the thousands of books she filled the house with. When she was awake we could go outside and get muddy.

My grandparents and a couple of aunts all lived close by; one grandma lived with us for years until she died.

5. What is the absolutely best way to eat carrots?
If you have the right kind of carrot, the best way is to eat them straight out of the ground, after you knock the dirt off. (I once had a little boy grow me the best variety of carrots for this purpose, but I don't remember what it was. You had to grow them in special soil and treat them carefully because they were very tender and not resistant to bugs.)

And a bonus question: What do you do on most Saturday nights?
I want to be flippant and put "sleep. " Before that, though, we usually watch a movie, or if we watched a movie on Friday, read a book together. Watching a movie is a lot more work, because we don't have a TV. DOB has to remember to bring his laptop home, and then we have to bring the monitor and speakers from the office computer out and set it all up on the coffee table and keep D1 distracted so she doesn't get in the cords or look at the screen. It's probably good, because it keeps us from using movies as a substitute for spending time together. We have to really want to see something to bother. Also if we're going to have someone over (and we try to average it at least once a month), Saturday is usually the day.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Coffee Clash

It may not have been a determining factor, but it certainly drew my attention to DOB as having Good Husband Potential: he didn't drink coffee. In law school, such fellows were few and far between. (In fact, to date I've never met a law student without a caffeine dependence of some sort.)

Though I have been accused of it, I really don't have some deep religious conviction against caffeine. I eat chocolate with a clear conscience, and can bring myself to sip a cup of tea on occasion. I just don't like coffee. Don't like the smell of it; don't like the taste of it. I lived 24 years in the Puget Sound region, sitting at coffee shops, watching everyone else drinking coffee, without ever wanting to drink it. So it was a relief to think I could marry a man who would not insist on stinking up the house with a pot of it every morning.

Then came last Thursday. I drove into the office for an afternoon meeting. DOB was still in his previous meeting, but he came bounding in a few minutes late.

"Coffee is really good!" he said.

I reeled in horror at the betrayal. What did this mean? How could this have happened to us?

He went on to explain. Their quick pre-lunch meeting had gone for three hours; they were at a coffee shop with nothing to eat. He had decided to try a mocha. It was good. He felt good, despite not having eaten lunch.

I smiled quietly to myself. I had seen what even small amounts of chocolate on an empty stomach did to him. I had nothing to fear.

"Let's see what you think of it at 6:30," I said.

A few hours passed. We were driving home. I could see DOB beginning to wilt with the letdown.

"I don't ever want to drink coffee again," he said.

I murmured sympathetic things and took him home and fed him dinner.

We still have no coffee at our house. All is well.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Miserable Mothers

I'm a little late commenting on this Newsweek article on the misery of modern motherhood, but better you receive my profound thoughts late than never--right? Right.

The gist of it is that modern youngish women (it seems to be geared to women a tad older than me) lose their sanity in attempting to be the PERFECT MOTHER, get their children in the RIGHT classes, schools, etc., all while maintaining their job skills and trying to keep their career from being entirely derailed. The solution, of course, is better day care.

Is this frenzied activity the unselfish outpouring of a mother's love and devotion? Is this what happens when you love your kids too much? Is it a unique problem of our day and age?

To answer the last question first: No. Women who devote themselves to achieving perfection in all areas of life, at the expense of their actual lives and the lives of those around them, are a hackneyed stereotype. "She's the sort of woman who lives for others--you can tell the others by their hunted expression."

It's a natural, but twisted, outgrowth of the way God made women to be: multi-taskers, responsible for making sure that nothing gets left behind while the men press forward with their one-track minds bent on slaying the wildebeests.

But it doesn't get to this level of misery by too much love. I know, because I feel this pressure on me sometimes. What if I do X, Y, and Z wrong? What if my children miss out on something critical I should have given them? What if I never get the closets clean? (maybe I'm a little too obsessed about that).

It has nothing to do with loving my husband or children. It has to do with stroking my own ego. I want to be the person who can do it all well. I want to be the mother who has a spotless house, eight children all dressed in handmade and modest, yet stylish and unique clothes, all classically educated and fluent in three languages. It will look good on my own mental resume.

This explains, too, why such matters as tending to the mother tend to be categorized as "selfish" (even if a "good" selfish). There's nothing selfish about working to make sure my husband has a beautiful wife and my children a happy mother. But taking showers and naps doesn't check anything off on the "I AM THE PERFECT MOMMY" list.

It's just pride. Yet it camouflages itself so well: as love, as unselfishness, as motherly devotion.

I am blessed with one thing these women apparently do not have: a husband who will lovingly tell me when my attitude is wrong. Plus one even more important thing; the grace of God that reaches down to me even though I am a helpless sinner.

Thinking about this has helped me realize why all our righteousness is as filthy rags. Whatever righteousness we seek for ourselves, we seek to make ourselves feel good about what wonderful people we are. (We can even feel good about feeling humble.) Yuck. What a stinking mess.

Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Speaking her language

As can be seen below, D1 is progressing in the motor skills department, but it's a source of frustration from time to time, as she still can't figure out what to tell those muscles to make them crawl!

Language development, however, is pure fun. She's starting to distinguish sounds for different things: "Hida!" is her standard greeting (along with a wave); "Dadadada" tends to go with happy times; "Nahnahnah" indicates hunger; and "Mamamama" is multipurpose.

So we're progressing well at learning her language. She's also learning ours: "Let go," "Thank you," "Up," "More," "All done" and of course, "No." Just this past week she started imitating more deliberately things we said: "Hi, Grandma," became "Hi-ga"; "water," "ah-te"; and alas, DOB's standard sarcastic response "Whatever," became "wat-eh."

Now we've really got to watch what we say.

And with Papa (Dada, Hidah!, etc.)

D1 wanted to demonstrate her talent for standing (with a little help from B5 and the coffee table).

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Socrates' cave and certainty in education

So, plugging along through the Republic, I have finally come to the famous cave allegory. And after almost three millenia of philosophy the image, while as compelling as ever, mostly seems shockingly naive.

The whole idea of postmodernism, of course, is that there is no sun into which we can be led out. There isn't even a fire or people walking around behind us. There are only the flickering shadows on the wall.

But I'm afraid most of us, even those who believe there is a sun out there somewhere, that absolute truth exists, have a hard time asserting that we have found the way out into the sunlight. The best we can claim is that we've found a cave with a brighter fire, or maybe even, if we are very bold, a cave into which a few beams of sunlight come through slits in the rock. People who claim to be able to go right out into the sunshine always sound like crackpots. (Then again, Socrates said that's how they would seem to those of us still in the shadows. But they say different things, so they can't all be finding their way out. And we are tired of trying to figure out which ones are right.)

Perhaps one of the reasons our schools seem to have trouble getting kids to learn things is that none of us are very certain about what it is we are teaching. If there is no truth to reach, and nothing to learn but everybody's subjective perceptions, no wonder the kids aren't interested in listening. They could have stuck with their own subjective impressions and spent the time wasted in school on video games.

(Note: I was thinking about blogging on the tragic decline of Reader's Digest, but Marsha beat me to it.)

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Thoughts from Here and There

Auntie M's comments on the evangelism post were extremely good. Go, read. I especially appreciated the point that people (at least in this country--and in a lot of others as well) don't lack for opportunities to hear the gospel. What they lack is reasons why they should listen.

In this article, the founder of Eharmony explains how he hopes to stem the divorce rate by helping people find their soulmate. With all due regard for the reality that it is often more pleasant to be married to someone with whom you have much in common, helping people find their soulmates will do nothing to avoid divorce. All marriages are incompatible; what destroys marriages is selfishness. Focusing on finding a "soulmate" who complements you ideally feeds the selfishness that damages a marriage. (And a lot of Christians' obsession with finding "God's perfect will" in a spouse stems more from this unscriptural notion than anything else. On the few occasions in the Bible when God's voice spoke from heaven and told someone who to marry, it was not necessarily all that much fun for the parties involved.)

On the other hand, I found this article a pretty insightful look at three basic types of men and what it's like to be a wife to each. (I'm a bit of a skeptic about personality groupings, but they can be helpful if you don't take them too seriously.) A good point that submission is going to look very different for women with different types of husbands. Only a few women have husbands who give them many direct orders. For a lot of women, submission means not pestering their husband for their lack of interest in giving direct orders. And for women married to what she terms "visionaries," like DOB, it means saying, "What's that?" enthusiastically every time he bursts into the room with "I have an idea!" even though he's already had and abandoned five of them in the last hour. :-)

Monday, February 14, 2005

And then things really got interesting

Have you ever had a day when you woke up tired from a long week, with too much still on your agenda for the day, and a deadline looming far too close?

Have you ever noticed that those are the days on which all hell breaks loose?

Maybe that's not quite the right word, though. All water breaking loose would be more like it.

Friday night we got to bed late. I woke up early on Saturday for no reason. I was tired. DOB was tired. The house was still a mess, and we had company coming that afternoon. DOB had a pile of work he was going to do from home. We ate breakfast and prayed for strength for the day.

DOB's brother (B2) came by to check his email, and DOB asked him to poke around in the attic and see if he could figure out why we'd had a bit of dripping from two of our ceiling air conditioning vents. B2 vanished into the upper reaches of the attic. I settled down to feed D1. DOB worked on the computer.

Then B2 called out, "Get a bowl and run to the bedroom!" Fortunately one of my bean buckets was empty, so DOB grabbed it and ran. The next thing I heard was great wooshing sounds and cries of distress from DOB. I manage to persuade D1 that she was finished eating and ran back. Apparently the air conditioning vents were filled with water. B2 had dumped some of the water out, but rather than descending straight into the bucket, it had shot out from all sides of the vent, drenching DOB and the vicinity and leaving the bucket dry.

For the next flood, we managed to find a better method. I stood on a chair and made sure the bucket was covering all possible water-spurting spots. DOB held the bucket straight over his head, which is easier than holding it out.

"Can you believe this?" he said to me.

"This will make a great story," I said.

And several more gallons of amber water with brown gook came rushing down.

We got about five gallons of water from that vent, and moved on to the one in Abbey's room. This one required moving much of the furniture. It also yielded five gallons of dirty water. Then, one by one, the other six vents in the house and their surrounding furniture. Fortunately the office one was dry, so the computers were not endangered. The rest yielded a gallon or two apiece, but while waiting for the moment when B2, crawling around in the installation, would manage to knock the water down, DOB had to stand with the bucket over his head, like Moses at the battle of the Amalekites.

When that was all done, D1 and I had both had it, and went for a nap. DOB and B2 went around unscrewing all the vent covers to dry, realizing at that time that the whole job would have been a whole lot easier had they removed them in the beginning. Now we know that for next time--which, of course, will probably never occur. (The theory is that the water was simply a couple decades' worth of condensation, which can probably be addressed by properly propping the ducts to drain as they condense.)

Then, later, of course, all the ducts had to be cleaned and reattached; a full meal had to be fixed, because we were all starving after that; all the bowls and pans used to catch drips had to be washed, dried, and put away; and all the housework that had originally been looming was still to be done. Somehow it all happened, and I was wrapping up the vaccuum cleaner cord as the doorbell rang.

We did have a very nice visit, and the first play rehearsal went well at church on Sunday. Relaxing weekend? What's that?

Friday, February 11, 2005

Random Thoughts

On Heaven:

Though commonly associated with heaven, after some thought I've come to the speculation that babies probably won't be there. This is not meant to be a comment on infant salvation/innocence/whatever, just on the reality that heaven is represented as a place where all things are in a state of perfect completion. (e.g. I Cor. 13) Cute as they are, babies are not complete yet. Hence, my guess is whatever age we depart the earth, in heaven we're all mature.

Though commonly not associated with heaven, I've also come to a more definite conclusion that private property probably will be there. The primary qualification for almost all humanly-imagined utopias is the abolition of private property. Yet when the Bible describes an ideal future, it describes one where private property exists. (e.g. Micah 4.) My guess is that in heaven we will have all the good things that come with private property--caretaking, generosity, creativity; and none of the bad things--covetousness, excess, unpaid bills. (Maybe in heaven I'll have time to get the closets organized.)

On Christian practices:
DOB is trying to persuade his Catholic partner to give up some of his free time for Lent so that he can study for another securities license. Something tells me that's not quite the purpose of the season.

On the other hand, Baptists don't give up anything for Lent because there's nothing left for them to give up. Except food, but how could they go forty days without a potluck?

I think I've finally figured out what legalism is. It's the way those other people misapply the doctrine of sanctification.

On housekeeping:
Now that D1 is learning to feed herself chunks of carrot, I have someone else to blame the messy kitchen floor on.

On the other hand, now that she is learning to feed herself whatever she finds on the floor, I really need to clean it more often.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Urgency for Evangelism?

Ever felt like if you're not actively out witnessing on a regular basis, there must per se be something wrong with your Christian life? I know I have. For most of my life. And yet my life has never afforded much opportunity to do anything of the sort, and I'm just not that confrontational. Making get-out-the-vote calls is as high-pressure as I can handle, and even then I have to psych myself up for it. Talking to people about their financial future, as DOB does, would be way too much for me. Bringing up their eternal destiny? Sorry, I just can't do it.

So I'm a bad Christian. Or maybe not. The Internet Monk has a new article suggesting that maybe this whole idea that converting the lost is the primary purpose of the Christian life is just plain wrong. Not justified by Scripture. Not conducive to the kind of peace, love and joy that are the fruit of the Spirit. Some people are called to be evangelists, church planters, and missionaries. But it's OK if you're not, and you don't have to feel like you have to make up for it by stuffing tracts under your neighbors' doors.

Maybe if I just love my husband, love my children, do a good job with what I've been given, and answer questions if I receive them, that's all that is asked of me. What a concept.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

After a day of my cooking, the governor has declared my kitchen a disaster area. I'm waiting for the federal aid to arrive.

Meditations on second-hand clothes

Cheap is good, free is better. Last year I went a little overboard on garage sales, picking up clothes that I wasn't that impressed with because they were so cheap--and because I was afraid I wouldn't have adequate hand-me-downs. The hand-me-downs came through, though, and except for a few pieces, the hand-me-downs are much cuter. Probably because one's friends have better taste, on average, than random people holding garage sales.

I also needed to learn all the problem areas to check before buying. I started out buying 0-3 month sizes, in which the only common problem area is the neckline. As children get older, though, they constantly expand the areas they can irrevocably stain. There are other things, like the holding quality of the snaps, that I missed.

Unless a garment is very generic, there's no point buying it if it doesn't come in a complete outfit.

It seems that the common attire for all little girls these days is knit tops and leggings. I have an aversion to the idea of wearing clothes that strongly resemble pajamas. This probably dates to a painful childhood incident. Our house lacked central heating, and during the winter (spring and fall) I always wore sweats to bed. One year, I received a sweatsuit that had a very decorated top that seemed like overkill for just going to bed in. Having seen other children wear sweats out and about, I decided I should try to do it, myself, and wore the set to AWANA. As soon as I arrived, I regretted my decision. The entire evening felt exactly like one of those nightmares in which one finds one's self in public wearing one's pajamas.

So I will probably make D1 some jumpers or something to go over the leggings.

I don't think I subscribe to my mother's theory that it's good for your moral development to wear clothes that you hate. Of course, if there's some other good reason for wearing them, that can be different. Maybe she had a good reason that I overlooked. But I still recall that burgundy double-knit ruffled jumper when I was five years old with fear and loathing. I still hate burgundy, double-knit, ruffles, and jumpers. How do I get along with DOB? He doesn't make me wear burgundy.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Enough about me, let us admire D1

She loves to pose like this. I think it makes her look like a little hobbit smoking a pipe.

Last week she started to figure out waving. She still is uncertain about application, sometimes waving hard at inanimate objects and at other times staring blankly back when the entire church is waving at her at once, but she seems to have the general idea down well.

She is working very hard on the task of crawling, and is getting closer each day to being able to get up on all fours. It annoys her that she can't already do it. I foresee a lifetime of frustration for her.

She has grown into the next size of clothes. I'm getting really spoiled with having a whole new wardrobe every two months. The one downside is, her primary hand-me-down source was very petite and an early walker, so she is starting to get into clothes that would work better on someone who was more or less vertical. (I refer specifically to garments that come apart in the middle when not aided by gravity. Babies should stay in overalls until they learn to walk.)


Yesterday I spent most of the parts of the day when I should have been Getting Stuff Done on the phone with Network Support, which is the intra-company tech support line, trying to figure out what was wrong with my password that was preventing me from logging in, but only on my own computer to the one particular thing I needed to log into.

Finally, after leaving messages and spending forty minutes solid on the phone with two different guys, one of them managed to do something that worked. He still wasn't sure what the problem was, or why what he did helped, but, hey! it worked. I was finally able to get in. Unfortunately, by that time, it was time to fix dinner and the like, so I couldn't do any actual work that day.

This morning I tried to get in again. I'm having the exact same problem.

Of course they're on central time and not open until D1 wakes up. And also of course, tonight they're going to shut down the entire system company-wide for a week to upgrade. So the data has to go in today.

I had a lot of more interesting jobs planned for this week.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Not for Children Under Three

Last Friday I was making the usual rounds at Wal-mart, and I observed a rack of wooden puzzles on sale--the ones for beginning puzzle-fitters with one piece per hole and a little knob on them to grab them by.

"Ah-ha!" I thought, "What a great price! I'll get some for D1 for her birthday or next Christmas."

Then I examined them closer, and saw them plainly labeled "Not for Children Under Three."

Rats. Then I thought about it some more. In my experience with three-year-olds (which despite not having parented one, is fairly extensive), I have found few of them still find the one-piece-per-hole particularly stimulating. They are ready to move on to greater challenges, like three pieces that fit together, and leave the one-piece-per-hole for the eighteen-month-olds.

Well, maybe those little knobs were prone to falling off. No wonder they were on clearance. I sadly turned my back on the puzzles.

Later I talked it over with DOB's mom, and she pointed out that pretty much every toy is labeled "Not for Children Under Three," even if nobody but children under three would want to play with it. It's a liability issue. (Heh, and I'm the lawyer.) Come to think of it, this is true of D1's favorite toys--and I have checked them carefully for choking hazards.

If one followed all labels and advice, children, up until their third birthday, would be compelled to lie on their backs in rubberized rooms (padding is a smothering hazard!) and stare at pictures painted on the wall (with non-toxic paint).

Not only does this hyper-labeling dull our sensitivity towards genuine dangers, it overlooks the greatest hazard to children under three: parents. A few nights ago, DOB and I were kissing D1 preparatory to tucking her into bed. As I bent over to kiss her, DOB accidentally stumbled forwards, resulting in my teeth colliding with D1's head, with painful results all around.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Fun with Plato

I am still progressing through The Republic, although temporarily sidetracked somewhat by getting several Oz books from the library, but I'm only supposed to read them when I'm on the exercise bike. (I love taking walks. I hate riding the exercise bike. But the weather has been too cold for D1 to go out most days.)

I'm coming to a greater appreciation of why it's important to read all this ancient stuff. When you see the same errors repeated over and over in every century and every guise, you may start to get wise to them.

For all the title of the book being The Republic, and the purported topic being the defining of justice, Socrates offers almost no advice on what sort of laws his society will have. It's all about how those people will be trained and educated. If we just get the education right, everything else will take care of itself.

The same idea appears, in some form, in every vote-for-the-levy flyer sent out today. You would think after nearly 2500 years of believing education was the answer we might have lit upon the right sort of education to do it, but apparently not. Yet the faith continues.

But of course, to make sure people are educated correctly, you have to abolish the family. Otherwise people will wind up creating preferences for their own families, preserving old superstitions, and the women of the society will be distracted from whatever nobler tasks they are fit for. (For Socrates is quite modern in thinking women can do anything men can do, though not, perhaps, quite so modern in thinking they just can't possibly do it as well.)

Raised on his scheme, where no parent knows his own child, Socrates naturally expects these citizens to be purely public-minded guardians of the public interest. What they would be, raised without being permitted a lasting attachment to any particular human being, is sociopaths. Modern scientists have at last come to this conclusion by careful studies. Any mother could have told Socrates he was off his rocker in 400 B.C.

L. Frank Baum writes about a paradise rather like The Republic--but at least he has the humility to keep Oz a fairytale land powered by magic, not just philosophy. But whether it's Socrates or Baum, all utopian dreamers come down to this: People fight over X (families, religion, money). Therefore, if we can just remove X, people will cease to fight and all will be well.

The problem, as parents inevitably discover when they try to settle their children's disputes by these means, is that the problem is not in X, but in people's hearts. Take away what they're fighting over and they'll find something else to fight over. Indeed, take away families and religion and money--or tone down their influence--and you'll find you've removed most of the restraints that kept their fighting civilized.

It's by fighting and helping one's own brothers that one begins to get a glimpse into the brotherhood of man. It's by honestly believing in one's own religion that one can admire someone with whom one vigorously disagrees as a fellow-traveller in the search for truth. It's in search of earning money for one's self that one can work cooperatively with others for their good as well. All these things that people fight over are the very things that pull them together.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Solo Excursions

Last night I left my husband and baby behind and went out with a bunch of guys for pizza and beer.

I love doing things that sound scandalous.

Actually, it was our regular Young Republican meeting, but DOB was not feeling well. So, after considering that it was our annual election and attendance was important, we decided that I would go alone. As it happened, none of the other female members were able to make it, so I was the sole representative for gender balance. I also got elected secretary, which means it will now be my job to do the stuff I have been doing for the past few months. DOB is now treasurer, because we hope it will be less work than vice president.

Come to think of it, I don't know that anyone actually had a beer while I was there. (I didn't have anything, being too cheap to spend money on such luxuries.) Maybe the free refills on soft drinks were too attractive.

DOB and D1 survived just fine. D1 was starting to get fussy when I arrived home, but it turned out to merely be a problem of the diaper variety. (It was the first time I had gone out alone since I got married. I didn't much care for it.)

DOB is still sick, I presume, because he's been sleeping for eleven hours and is still going strong. This is the way he always handles illnesses--he just goes to bed and sleeps for twelve, eighteen, or twenty-four hours, depending on the virulence of the bug. He rarely has any other symptom, and he is never sick more than a day. It freaked me out the first few times it happened, but now I know to expect it and just go on with my business.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


This is one of those surveys that goes around the blogosphere. However, it's quite a bit more profound than most, and it also significantly predates the internet (perhaps not two unrelated statements). No obligation, of course, but it'd be fun to hear others' answers, too. Snagged it from Confessing Evangelical.
  1. Are you really interested in the preservation of the human race once you and all the people you know are no longer alive?
  2. State briefly why.
    I'm interested in my future children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. being preserved, too.
  3. How many of your children do not owe their existence to deliberate intention?
  4. Whom would you rather never have met?
    If I have met anyone like that, I've apparently blocked the memory of meeting them out of my mind.
  5. Are you conscious of being in the wrong in relation to some other person (who need not necessarily be aware of it)? If so, does this make you hate yourself - or the other person?
    Thanks to my bad memory, no. When I am aware of it, I'm more upset about myself.
  6. Would you like to have perfect memory?
    Not if it means remembering everything (see 4 and 5). If it meant I could forget what I wanted to forget and remember what I wanted to remember--like paying the bills on time--it could be quite handy.
  7. Give the name of a politician whose death through illness, accident, etc. would fill you with hope. Or do you consider none of them indispensible?
    This question doesn't quite make sense. Anyway, I don't wish anyone dead, even accidentally. I might wish some of them to suddenly take up a life as a hermit in Nepal, but that's as far as I'll go.
  8. Which person or persons, now dead, would you like to see again?
    My mother and grandmother.
  9. Which not?
    Well, I wouldn't really like to see anyone who was still dead here on earth. That'd be freaky.
  10. Would you rather have belonged to a different nation (or civilization)? If so, which?
    No. I'm too attached to indoor plumbing and regular bathing.
  11. To what age do you wish to live?
    Probably 97. I don't know why. Older than my grandmother, but 100 just seems too trite.
  12. If you had the power to put into effect things you consider right, would you do so against the wishes of the majority? (Yes or no)
    Yes. But not everything I considered right. Just respect for the rights of others. Everything else I wouldn't put into effect, even if the majority was on my side.
  13. Why not, if you think they are right?
    Why not everything else? Because I think that's beyond the proper power of the state.
  14. Which do you find it easier to hate, a group or an individual? And do you prefer to hate individually or as part of a group?
    I don't generally find it easy to hate, probably from a lack of spare emotional energy for it. But if I have to, I think person-to-person hatred would fit me best. Groups are too vague to genuinely hate and I don't like going along with a group to do things.
  15. When did you stop believing you could become wiser - or do you still believe it? Give your age.
    I certainly hope I can still become wiser than I am at the age of twenty-six.
  16. Are you convinced by your own self-criticism?
    Depends on what it is. But I think I am for the most part.
  17. What in your opinion do others dislike about you, and what do you dislike about yourself?
    Others dislike my capacity for self-absorption (not as in talking about myself all the time, just getting totally lost in whatever I'm doing and not noticing the needs of others) and my carelessness. I agree with them in theory, but not always enough to change.
  18. If not the same thing, which do you find it easier to excuse?
    See above.
  19. Do you find the thought that you might never have been born (if it ever occurs to you) disturbing?
    It does occur to me, but it doesn't really disturb me. I wouldn't exist to miss it. It's just everyone else who would have missed out. ;-)
  20. When you think of someone dead, would you like him to speak to you, or would you rather say something more to him?
    I would think someone already dead would have the more useful knowledge to impart. Like what it's like to die.
  21. Do you love anybody?
  22. How do you know?
    I get more upset by the harm suffered by them than by the related inconvenience to me.
  23. Let us assume that you have never killed another human being. How do you account for it?
    I've been told a battalion of angels rides around my car. That's probably the only thing that's done it.
  24. What do you need in order to be happy?
    A good night's sleep, a good meal, and DOB and D1.
  25. What are you grateful for?
    Let's not get too sappy here. Far more things than you all would want to read through.
  26. Which would you rather do: die or live on as a healthy animal? Which animal?
    Die, of course. Ugh.