Posts Tagged ‘decisions’

Art Show

20 October 2011

Dear J-

This Sunday theVet’s dad is having some sort of exhibit up in the Los Angeles area: clearly details are vague at the moment but it’s either in the Whitney or Whittier, and given that the Whitney is in New York City I sort of doubt that it’s there. We missed the first big exhibition and despite the unlikely-to-be-kid-friendly atmosphere and timing (Sunday, 5PM) I told her that we should probably go as I’ve noticed the relationship between daughter and mother notably fracture over the past four or five years. Low expectations on both sides become a self-fulfilling prophecy and neither one seems to be willing to make an effort to reach across the gap.

One of the things I didn’t realize about theVet when we got married was that she wasn’t really planning on having any kids, a decision borne out of fear she’d turn out just like her parents did. It may be too early to tell but she’s already gotten past the first milestone in my mind, not completely losing it with two kids in the house. There are times like last night when it becomes completely overwhelming but with support from others we’re getting through the relative madness that is the after-dinner scramble in San Diego: bath, brush teeth, storeis, songs, and more stories before figgy will go to bed, and wrestling Calcifer into long pajamas for the cool nights ahead.

I wonder what life must have been like for theVet’s parents in 1976: two kids, recent immigrants in Memphis both working full-time with no network to lean on, probably no infant care to speak of and so they make the wrenching decision to send their younger daughter to Korea for two years. I think about how much figgy has changed between eighteen months and four yearsr and wonder that they’d willingly give that up with theVet, and I wonder if that’s not a contributing cause to her distance to her parents. How difficult was that decision? Could we give up Calcifer in seven months and not see him until he was a little boy stranger in our midst? What circumstances led them to that?



Social Day

19 March 2011


Dear J-

We have a tendency to collect authors after reading a book or two — thanks to The Hunger Games we picked up a few more books from Suzanne Collins from the library today. Whether or not they turn out to be as engrossing as that hugely popular series (we seem to be on the trailing edge of all popular trends because we don’t subscribe to the trendy magazines telling us what to watch/read/own. It’s also like how I pick new artists: listen to enough movie soundtracks and you’ll find an album or two you need to buy.

This afternoon we went to an open house at Project Wildlife because of a posting theVet saw on facebook. Between the fun promised (face-painting!) and animals to be seen (babies and raccoons!) we couldn’t stay away. It was a relatively impulsive decision and the timing could have been better (it’s hard to keep kid attention at the best of times and over lunch is nearly impossible, especially when you aren’t even eating lunch) but we got enough use out of the day and the opportunities it presented. So it wasn’t a case where we could sample before going all in, but if you trust your friends and their recommendations then it’s not much of a risk.

We did eventually get to lunch — late enough that you might have called it, accurately, an early dinner. Today we ate at familiar places (McDonald’s and Curry House) so that was easy enough. At this point figgy is really calling the shots on where we eat. She’s not a horribly picky eater but she does have definite preferences that will not wait. Sometimes I think that she likes places in a rotational routine but that’s almost how we are too, so we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves to see how we pass on behaviors to the next generation. I only hope that no one’s got ny mild case of hoarding too.


Shopping Victim

24 January 2011

Dear J-

Over the weekend, subject to long nights and early mornings your judgment doesn’t get any better but in trying to calm down a crying baby you’ll resort to just about anything to stay entertained. Hardback books work well, as they tend to stay open to the page you’ve turned to. Put one up on a chest-high shelf and you’re set, so long as the kid isn’t exhausting to hold. While Calcifer isn’t exactly a heavyweight (down to I think 25th precentile in weight?) the arms do get surprisingly cramped so sometimes it’s nice to sit down (baby permitting) and rest your arms and knees a bit. It turns out that I spend far more time on my feet Saturday and Sunday than during the week. I must be doing something right. Other tricks include going outside (temperature change, nice for a sweaty baby), walking around (naturally rocking with a bouncy step), and white noise shooshing sounds — either you, or, for the adventurous, a vacuum cleaner drowns out the most ambitious screamer.

Between impaired judgment and spare time more often than not when he gets calmed I find myself on various shopping websites lately. If you have poor impulse control this can be a difficult combination of greed and bad ideas. At one point early Saturday morning I found myself reading up about swapping a Subaru 2.2L EJ22 into a Volkswagen Vanagon and eyeing old ones for sale on Craigslist, accordingly. Never mind that I have a car with that excellent EJ22, never mind that most of the time I’d be hauling around a big empty box of stuff, the inner hippie in me that’s lain dormant since Berkeley (co-ops), Cambridge (organic food), and Davis (dome people) was checking out the differences between a Wolfsburg Edition and a Carat avidly.

It does have me thinking that I should get another car, though the one that I have runs fine, and, with the investment in new tires and clutch, feels almost new again. Most importantly it’s already paid for, and the opportunity to take on more debt shouldn’t be considered lightly. As much fun as it might be to think about possible projects and uses the further ruminating sleep makes sense from the late night scream-addled decisions of last night (you get to a kind of tired point where all you can hear is the screaming but the simplest things — like talking and letting him hear your voice — no longer occur to you). I’m not sure I could replace all our trips with a bike yet but that’s an idea that has neither disappeared nor wilted under the scrutiny of good sleep and poor.


Decision Matrix

24 July 2010

Dear J-

Of the whole day I think I had a couple of favorite moments (can it really be a favorite if I spent it unconscious on the floor, luxuriant in my stuporous nap?). The day was warm enough for ice cream, so we dug up some local parlors, made a choice, and headed out for new experiences; I fully understand why having the mobile web in your hand is useful, to say nothing of amazing. When I was putting together websites twelve years ago I couldn’t have imagined how small things would get: I thought it was a minor miracle when SEGA shrunk the Genesis into the portable NOMAD.

We’ve been going to a lot of places now with counter service and a big board of choices behind that counter; our usual habit is to walk in and stand, hesitantly, just far enough back to take in the panoply and yet not so far that folks behind us don’t cut ahead in line. It drives them nuts; the order-taker’s smile histates a bit before settling into a frozen rictus waiting for us to make up our minds and take those last few steps in, and folks behind us are no more patiently understanding of the overwhelming choices.

You want a decision, don’t give us a choice. It’s one place where we could research ahead of time, but no one carries around menus like that all the time, even on the internet, and besides, we do want to (eventually, of course) get to the point of the rest of you regulars, walking in and rattling off some obscure order, secure in your brilliance and rapport with the cashier. We like going to new places, which necessarily limits the knowledge we have of each — but that’s not to say that we don’t have our regular favorites that come and go in waves (we will return to Phuong Trang and Santoku when the fall comes and the weather turns cooler).