Tuesday, April 25, 2006

From the Top of the Noodle

When my daughter was smaller she would refer to the Seattle Space Needle as the "Space Noodle." I thought about that a few weeks ago when a colleague of mine in another city said that he'd always wanted to get out to Seattle and see the the Space Pencil.

During the Winter my daughter began expressing an interest in my taking her to the top of the Needle, and I promised I would do so whenever it got warmer and clearer. The typical Seattle Winter day is overcast and rainy and not particularly conducive to viewing the horizon from 500 feet up. But the arrival of Spring Break -- and a little sunshine -- gave us the opportunity to plan our ascent.

The view of Seattle and Puget Sound from the top of the Space Needle is spectacular. It's particularly stunning on a clear day. I feel for those tourists who come to Seattle during the Rainy season only to find the views of the city and the sound marred by fog and rain.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The New Baby

My family welcomes this day young Lindsay Grace, born to my sister Kristi and her husband Robert.

I am an uncle today!

The baby weighed 10 pounds, 2 ounces.

I told my 5-year-old daughter, "I understand little Lindsay has your aunt's nose."

My daughter responded in disgust, "Why?!?"

"No," I said, "I mean, the baby's nose looks just like her mother's nose."

My daughter replied, with a candor endearing only in children, "It must be really big."

The Easter Break

There was an Easter party at my house the Thursday before Easter. It provided an opportunity for the mothers to have tea and chat and the kids to hide eggs and play.

But there was unexpected drama in store for us.

A few weeks ago, the door to my Tuff Shed blew off in a wind storm. The door is metal framed and very heavy. I could barely just lift it into place over the opening until I could have the door rehung. (I won't go into the hassle I experienced attempting to get the Tuff Shed people even return my calls!)

During the Easter party my daughter -- who is five -- decided she would retrieve her kite from the shed so that she and her friends could fly it in the back yard. In the process she managed to pull this heavy door down squarely on top of her. Chaos ensued, and my thanks goes out to young Miles (who is four) for saving my daughter. He lifted that extremely heavy door off of my daughter just long enough for one of the other tots to pull her safely away. Miles is my daughter's hero. Being a fan of Batman he no doubt knows how to play the hero role.

It could have been bad, but my daughter's reflexes saved her more serious injury. She must have had her hand out in front of her to protect her from the falling door, her arm taking the brunt of the force. She broke her ulna and radius in the accident.

My daughter seems more-or-less unaffected having to wear a cast. She certainly doesn't complain about it, though during her first day of convalescence she did state that since she was hurt she should stay in bed all day and watch Lizzie McGuire on DVD. Had it been me with the broken arm I think I might have driven my wife mad with my griping and complaining. But my daughter wears her cast like a badge of honor.

No surprise, the one she chose is bright pink.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Easter Musings

Today is Easter Sunday! Happy Easter everyone!

It's been a pleasant weekend. Yesterday while I finished up my tax return, my wife and daughter attended a live performance by the Australian supergroup The Wiggles. If you don't have children, you probably don't know who The Wiggles are. That's okay. My sister and brother-in-law will be finding out soon enough. I can tell you that my daughter had a phenomenal time, and that Murray strutted up the aisle and was right next to her. She nearly fainted.

We started the day with a breakfast of fruit salad (a favorite of The Wiggles, incidentally) and bagels, and during the meal my wife perused the calendar of events in the local section of the newspaper. She pointed out to me that the copy for the various children's egg hunts and Easter activities never actually included the word "Easter." Spring Egg Hunt, Spring Festival for Children...not a single reference to the word "Easter" despite the fact that finding colored eggs was the focus of each and every activity listed. I suppose an implied reference to the resurrection of Jesus Christ is just too much for most readers. Mustn't have that.

Saturday's activities also included dyeing Easter eggs with my daughter, something we both very much enjoyed. Between us we produced some nice eggs, most of them pink.

Today it's just the three of us, and I am somewhat disappointed that we will not be able to share the holiday with either my family in South Carolina or my wife's family in Colorado.

I will miss being with my family at Easter, and fondly recall the many Easter Sundays spent at my grandmother's house in Greenville. She makes the best potato salad, and often my uncle would come through with a most delectable ham. My aunt Joice always makes tasty Easter treats, and I miss those as well.

I think my dad will be in Greenville with my grandmother, and perhaps my other uncles and aunts. My mother and sister will not be making the two hour drive to my grandmother's house, as my sister has a baby due later in the week.

So many things to celebrate!

What I'm Watching

I am at the moment watching the 1981 German film Das Boot. I saw the film for the first time in 1987 with my friend Homer, and have not seen it since.

Das Boot is the only "submarine" movie that truly gave me a sense of claustrophobia. Set aboard a U-boat during World War II, Das Boot ("the boat") is tense, dramatic and terrifyingly realistic.

Das Boot was nominated for six American Academy Awards. Since that time, the film's director, Wolfgang Petersen, has been working in Hollywood. His post-Das Boot credits include Air Force One, The Perfect Storm, and the forthcoming remake of The Posiden Adventure.

Do I detect a recurring theme here?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The MS Walk

On Sunday I joined a few friends to walk for a cure for MS. My efforts as a volunteer this year for the Multiple sclerosis society have been enlightening, inspiring and humbling. I am made thankful for the health I presently have, and mindful that a disease like MS can strike anyone at any time.

That great progress has been made in recent years in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease is encouraging. And I have been inspired by those I have met with Multiple sclerosis who live their lives with dignity and courage.

I participated in this year's MS Walk in memory of my dear Grandmother Johnson, and in honor of two others I know who have the disease, Mrs. Green and Jenni. I exceeded my personal fund-raising goal of $500 by $50, and raised another $850 on behalf of my team.

I look forward to participating in the event next year. In the mean time, my brother-in-law is thinking about entering the MS 150 Bike Tour. I look forward to sponsoring him in his efforts if he decides to take up the challenge.