Thursday, May 26, 2005


She finally said it!!! Hoody Hoo!
Yesterday, we had my old buddy Greg over for dinner, and as I was doing the dishes, Sophie can running into the kitchen. She pointed to the grapes and rubbed her tummy. "Yummm" she said... sooo cute. So I sliced her up some grapes...
a few minutes later she comes running in again, for seconds presumably, this time she says:
sigh.. heart filled with love....
In the immortal words of Terry Soules "Wow. Just. Wow."

then she signed "grapes" and said "yum" again. So dad and grapes, pretty much on the same level of importance. That is just fine for me.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Baby Updates

Okay... there are moments when parenting seems like a chore, and I try to think up excuses for going to the market or something in order to get some respite. But there are also moments that are just filled with wonder and joy.
Today as I was doing the dinner dishes Sophie, at Carly's suggestion, begins to play the kissing game. She doesn't so much kiss as offer her cheek to be kissed, but on occasion she will press either her lips, or more likely, her open mouth on you. After getting a couple of these kisses herself, Carly sent Sophie to find Daddy and give him a kiss. So, sure enough my little girl came waddling around the kitchen corner with a big smile on her face and gave me her cheek to kiss. Then she ran back to her mommy and did the same, then back to me. Then since Carly was holding Will, she gave Will a kiss, in this case the lip variety since Will doesn't himself kiss yet. Then she cam running back to me. We did this for several minutes. I was nearly in tears. My god, how can I stand the sweetness?

In other news...
Last night we put Will's bassinet in the third room and put him down to sleep there. He did fine for the first few hours sleeping from 7:30 to 10:30 without a hitch. Then he proceeded to sleep and wake every two hours or so.. which is not much worse than he was doing in our room, of course, now we need to trek across our small house to get him, but the hope is he will start going longer and longer. We did cut back a night feeding, from four to three. So that is good. I am hopefull that by the time my folks arrive, in early June we should have him sleeping reasonable numbers of hours.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Won't get fooled again.

Well maybe once more...
I the wake of my friend Barbara's death, it appears that she had quite a few of us fooled. She did not own an AIDS clinic, she was not even a doctor, she was about twenty years older than she claimed, she never got anthrax, nor dated Warren Zevon, the Barbara that I thought I knew, was the construction of a very creative, and eccentric 60+ year old retired school teacher.
I have mixed feelings about this discovery. A reader revealed the truth to me, and I confirmed it with her animal keeper.... she did keep animals. That much is true.

So I feel a little hurt to be lied to and manipulated... I feel a little foolish for believing the stories, but she seemed quite reasonable otherwise, so I had little reason to doubt her.

But, she was still very nice to me. We did work hard together to get the game working, and we did talk a lot. The thing is, I don't think she would have been less a friend had she admitted to being a teacher, and older, and simply who she was. I can only surmise that she thought no one would like her for who she really was. Or maybe she just hoped to recapture her youth a bit be pretending to be younger. I don't know.
It is hard to hold something against the dead. It isn't like anything I did depended on her being a doctor, or anything like that.. though I do recall her giving medical advice to one of our mutual friends...maybe he wasn't really sick... I don't know.

The other day I was thinking of some reflection paper topics for my summer introduction to philosophy class. One, on the self, started off, imagine you discover something about your past which you have always believed, turns out to be would that change your conception of yourself?

It also works to a lesser degree when talking about a friend.
I guess I will need to think about this myself.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

New Links

Added Amanda and Gen's blogs to the link list. And a couple other sites I visit regularly.

Baby Fun

Carly has been teaching at the Y this week, yesterday, today and tomorrow. So I've have the kids all evening. Normally this would not be such an intimidating process. But William has not taken to the bottle as quickly as the Sophie did. It is very frustrating, and scary. I am so afraid of his not eating, I worry that he'll go hungry and waste away. As I write this, the implausibility of it all becomes well... pretty humorous. Of course, he won't starve, his mom will be home soon, he'll be fine. But, as a typically dad, I want to fix things.
Tonight, I tried to be more relaxed about it. I was able to get him to drink 2 ounces, which is something, but it took a long time. I worry, that it might be difficult for us to leave him for long (light the overnight out we plan a month from now).
We shall see. I guess more practice is what we need. It is just hard to practice when the thing at stake is the baby being fed or not.
Sophie... watched all this with some amusement, occasionally offering her binky (pacifier) to solve the crying boy. She ate her rice and beans tonight with a spoon with pretty much no help from me. She makes her daddy so proud.

Prep School Blues

The impression I get from these Faculty Development Week's is that the school would really like us to take seriously the mission of preparing our students for the 'real world.' The idea is that we should be grooming them, mentoring them, in the more subtle aspects of workplace success. It is true that most of our students are not well schooled in presentation, conversation, convention, etc.. So, I can really see a value to having this service available to the part of society excluded through perhaps unintentional racism and classism (although probably not so unintentional). I also thing services that provide experience in interviewing, help with resumes, and counseling for minorities entering the white male kingdom of the middleclass work place.
But.... am I the right person to be giving this education? I mean, I don't mind reviewing someone's resume, or giving them some of my homespun wisdom. But, I got out of the workplace as soon as I could, so I could get into academia.
1. I am not an expert on job counseling.
2. I do not want to be a job counselor.
3. I am something of an expert in philosophy.
4. I want to teach philosophy.
I imagine that many of my colleagues are in the same boat as me. If I am to be hired to be a philosophy professor, perhaps I would best serve the institution focusing my efforts on teaching on philosophy as best I could.
I do think the school or some other institution should have programs for placement and for teaching minority students how to operate in the real world. And I don't mind the extra work that teaching at this school requires.. the mentoring approach... I can understand the need and the value of that. But I do think the school may be trying to do much, or ask too much. I am not sure.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Don't Fade Away

I found out today that an old friend died. Barbara Horwitz was a person I never met, and yet we were fairly intimate. I met her, in of all places, an online RPG. She ran a Star Trek sim that I joined on a lark when one of my gaming friends recommended it. It had its ups and downs, and initially, she wanted to kick me out for trying to reinvent the wheel and complaining when no one appreciated my new blueprints.
I left, and joined again a year later when the imagination side of me was drying up. We wrote and wrote and soon my lowly engineering ensign was the Captain's number one, and chief confidente. Soon the two of us were chief confidentes as well. We counseled each other through relationship ups and downs, and tried to keep our perspective during the craziness of the game. Eventually, Barbara and I ran the game together for a year or so before Sophie was born and I needed to step back from some of my extra-curriculars. I promised to keep in touch, and for a while we did. But like a lot of friendships mostly based around a single activity, and lont distance, communicated only through email, it dwindled to the occasional announcements.. the birth of William, the death of her mother. And soon those were fewer and fewer in between.
Barbara was a woman who would likely defy people's image of a gamer, especially a pbem trekkie gamer. She was in her late forties, very pretty, sort of a Jane Seymour type. She was a doctor, and owner of a large clinic in Philadelphia mostly serving the communities poor AIDs patients. She saw death every day. She raised champion dogs "Borzois-Russian Wolf Hounds", and had a menagerie of other pets, snakes, birds, cats and of course lots of other dogs (I guess the menagerie is consisent with the eccletic gamer type). She was the local celebrity doctor called in by the news to explain the latest fad illness, or medical treatment for the Philly area, no doubt because of her good looks and ascerbic personality. She ran in the circles of the elite for some time. She dated Warren Zevon for years and refused several of his marriage proposals. In her capacity as a doctor of contagious diseases, she was brought into a post office to help with the investigation of the Anthrax letters, she contracted Anthrax as a result, but managed to recover from that after several months of hospital and bed rest.
When she contracted liver and lung cancers, I don't know. She didn't tell many people, only those who witnessed her decline in person. Those of us who knew her only through her email had little reason to suspect anything.
Not that I enquired of late. We sort of drifted away, and like many online acquaintances, unless we had something exciting to share, we didn't talk much. I will remember Barbara as a vibrant and canterous woman who vexed with with her lack of editting capabilities (working from WebTV of all things), and always tried to hold things together when they seemed ready to fall apart. She introduced the term "cat wrangling" to me to describe the efforts required of coordinating the PBEM RPG. She was like a mother to a whole host of online misfits who often returned her kindness and efforts with childish tirades and flamewars, but she persisted.
She saw more death in her life than anyone ought to, but she maintained her humanity, and sense of humor throughout her life.
She had a slogan for her ship, the USS Vanguard pride of the fleet:
"We sail together, or we do not sail."

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Long time..

It has been a while since I since I have last posted. No terrible or wonderful reason why. These least couple weeks have been stressful and tiring. I've been sick most of the last two weeks, and the rest of the family joined me this week. It is wierd to actually have four people coughing, sneezing and wheezing.. Very sad to see the little ones doing it, they look so perplexed by it all. Sophie will occasionally make her "no more" sign when she is particularly stuffed up. All this culminated in an all day migraine for me today. Luckily, I finished grading my final papers yesterday, so I didn't need to cope with that stress. Sadly, I wasn't much good to Carly today, but I did managed to make it to my cousin's Wizard of Oz performance (very cute, and mercifully short).

I've contemplated topics apart from just the updates.
Should I vent about the multiple plagiarists this semester, including the one who is appealing my grade. Maybe I should wait and see where that goes.
Shoudl I bemoan the end of gaming and the diaspora that will become my group of friends? I have often been the one to move away, so I don't want to harp on that. I will miss the gang, but they are going on to bigger and better things. I am considering running a new game... but I will finish up with these guys before recruiting anyone new.

News? Feh.
Arts? Huh?

I guess that is it for now.