As I read the NY Times report about Amy Bishop the Harvard PhD accused of killing three colleagues at the University of Alabama in Huntsville,one part of the story stood out. It is the following,” The Boston Globe reported that Dr. Bishop was charged with assault in 2002 after punching a woman in the head at an International House of Pancakes in Peabody, Mass. According to a police report, Dr. Bishop was angry that the woman had taken the last booster seat in the restaurant, which Dr. Bishop wanted for one of her children, The Globe said. It added that Dr. Bishop was sentenced to probation and that prosecutors recommended she take anger management classes, though it is not clear whether she did.” I’m not an authority on these matters, but I feel pretty certain she never made it to anger management class.
My wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary by going on a very long walk and simply talking. Its something we used to do without consideration when we were dating. But today, it requires scheduling the time and getting a sitter. From the time we leave till we return, it feels like we fill each other in on the details of our lives. I love it.
Day 20- I’ve got 70 more days to go. I am beginning to wonder why I bothered to do this. Since not to many people seem to be reading it, it has to be for me. So while my wife plays soccer with my oldest son and gramps looks over the gifts my son received for his “half birthday,” I’m trying to write.
What is a half birthday? When I was a kid, there was no such thing as anything but a birthday. It appears there was some concern for those kids who could not celebrate during the year. My son…and I happen to be one of those people. Therefore I am more supportive and empathic about this topic than I might ordinarily be.
In fact, I went to my son’s class for the ceremony. It was really quite impressive. It begins with him wearing a self made crown. He marched to the center of the circle with me at his side. The teacher then brought out the folder with all of his gifts. Remarkably, the gifts included, rainbows, turtles, parts of the world, colorful rain, and many original works of art. I loved it.
The children seemed quite proud of their creations and my son seemed as happy to receive it. If only we as adults could be so happy to receive a rainbow.
We have two cats. One is fat, likes to sleep, and snuggle next to you. And the other is slender, anxious, and looks for any moment to sneak out the back door with you. Once he is in the yard, we all try to figure out how to quiet the others, so we can snatch him up and bring him back inside the house. After going through this ordeal for the last couple of weeks, we decided to let him hang out in the yard with us. It was going well, till someone asked where’s the cat?….”look mom, he’s in the tree ,” said my youngest son.
Yes he decided to venture up the tree. “Cats are great at climbing up, but not always so good about coming down,” my wife said. “That’s why people have called the fire department to come over and help.” When I heard that, my internal shame meter went from 0-60. There is no way I am calling the fire department over to our house to get a cat. Furthermore I am not about to answer questions from gawkers that will come over to watch the show their tax dollars paid for.
So we try coaxing him for about 10 minutes, and then agree to wait and see what happens. At that point, my wife and son leave for the grocery store. My youngest son is on the swing. And I’m raking the yard, with one eye on the tree. All I don’t need is a dead or injured kitty on my hand. As my son yelled out, “he’s going up the tree,” I’d call to the cat, hoping he’d respond.
I tried gently tossing the soccer ball, hoping he’d scooch-no luck. And then I wondered about spraying some water from the hose, but the sprayer was so messed up, I got more water on me than the cat. And by now, I noticed the birds were watching him, and appeared to be taunting him. “Here dumb kitty,” I could hear them chant. The only problem was they were not on the same tree, which would mean he’d have to do some leaping from one tree to another. So I took out the ladder.
Of course, my son wanted to climb up with me. We got one of the cats toys, hoping he’d come to that, but he just slowly walk down the narrow branch, and then freaked out. You could almost hear him say, “I can’t. I just can’t. I’ll fall. I know I’ll fall. HELP!!! Get me a kitty xanex.” When I thought of him falling and hurting himself, I could only imagine the vet bills-so I climbed up the kids castle, which is near the tree. And before I knew it, I was climbing up.
I reached out, pulled him to me. Strangely, I was waiting to hear, “My hero,” followed by purrs of adoration. Instead, I got a freaked out cat with claws extended, screaming, “I’m going to die…you’re going to drop me..Where are you going..how are you going to get down..I’m going to jump..I can’t..I ought to scratch you..So I moved down slowly and put him in the castle. Of course, he then scurried around the yard and then flopped on the ground from exhaustion.
It was as if realty hit him. He was on the ground reflecting on his near death experience. For a moment, our other cat came out, and …then quickly returned back in the house and went to sleep.
While at soccer practice today, one of the coaches commented that the game conflicts with the Chicago Blackhawks playoff game. I joked that my memories of serious Blackhawk teams also include Ray Rayner. He instantly knew what I was talking about and simply said, “wasn’t that great.”
If you grew up in the Chicagoland area throughout the 70’s-80’s, Ray Rayner was a part of your morning ritual. How do I describe him. Ok, picture a grown man, wearing a jumpsuit. On the jumpsuit, he had patches of paper.
On each piece of paper was a reminder of an upcoming moment. For example, it might tell him to play a cartoon, such as “Clutch Cargo.” You do know who Clutch, paddlefoot and the gang are-right? They were cartoon figures who had human lips that moved when they spoke. Of course, he also had “Journey to the Beginning of Time, Diver Dan, and holiday classics like Hardrock, Coco and Joe.
On any given day, he could be lipsynching a song; pretending he was a band leader; making things with popscicle sticks; talking to Cuddly Duddly the dog or Chulveston the duck. It was so spontaneous and free. Something no station would allow today. But what I look forward to the most were the sports scores.
Before ESPN, and the other million sports outlets, there was Ray Raynor. He would simply pick up a piece of chalk and divide and distribute the scores for the Chicago Cubs, Sox, Bulls, Bears, and Blackhawks on a blackboard.And then he would follow it up with some sports highlight film. It just didn’t seem right to leave for school without watching the highlights.
It was a perfect way for a kid to start the day-Carnation instant breakfast, poptarts, and Ray Rayner.
First, welcome to all the babies born today! It is a very special day for most of us. And you too!! Hopefully in your future, you will wonder why we made such a big fuss over “your birthday.”
Barack Obama, an African American will become our 44th president. What is remarkable about this is? ….well, simply that. Also he may be the first president to be called the “n” word. What is the “N” word?” Never mind. What’s really important is it means any baby-brown, yellow, black, able or disabled, male or female,gay or straight(not sure how many of you know yet about the gay-straight thing) can reallistically strive to be whatever they want to be.
You hopefully won’t understand this, but for most of us, we bought into the idea that only certain people could be President, or part of “his” inner circle. And so we kept nominating and electing the same types of people over and over.
And as you will learn, some have defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. Well this time, we considered different choices and we had different results. And we have a cabinet that reflects options for all of you new borns.
Baby, you really can be whatever you want. So learn from President Obama, and aim for the moon, and shoot for the stars.
From those of us,
who gave up on dreams and settled for status quo.
It is official, Mrs. Robison, Michelle Obama’s mother will move into the
White House. I didn’t know what to think of this until I read the
N. Y. Times story about it.
It appears she is a strong woman with her own opinions on how things
should be. She disagrees with the Obama’s decision to put their kids to
bed at 8:30 p.m. and to limit the amount of television they watch. When
it comes to eating, she likes her fried foood with salt. “If you’re going to
have fried chicken,” she said, “have fried chicken.”
I like her. And I like the way the Obama’s are truly living out the idea of
“family values.” To me, this decision conveys the message that it is
Ok to value our elderly relatives. Too often, our culture is about sending
the elderly away, rather than inviting them into our lives and working
Moreover they are communicating that simply not agreeing with a mother
in law or elderly family member is not reason enough to avoid them. As
the population in this country ages, we need more creative ways to deal
with the elderly, And this intergenerational model may offer us one alternative
to nursing homes.
So cheers, “here’s to you Mrs. Robinson.”