Sunday, January 28, 2007

Weekend Things...(and a big victory)

So...first things photos of my son Beckett...arrived last Thursday. The current expectation is to travel sometime between May and August. We have no control over the travel date at this point. Naturally, sooner is better.

We also received official word from the adoption agency that our paperwork had been translated and shipped to Vietnam. If we're lucky, the dossier will arrive and get logged-in before Tet. The whole country shuts down for a week during the Tet festivities.

Saturday was the designated birthday celebration for my friend Rich. To that end he gathered friends for a full day of gaming. We arrived at his home around 10am and began playing Twilight Imperium around 11:30. We played solidly for the whole day, apart from a break for lunch at Vinos. I headed home around 9:30 as the was well worth the time spent and I look forward to playing again. To those of you who were invited but decided not to attend...pptthhh!!! You missed out on fun.

Today...Jess and I did some home improvements. We replaced some cat-stained (if you know what I mean) carpet in the office. All I can say is that Jess is pretty handy. Additionally we bought an area rug for Beckett's room and a camcorder so that we can record videos in Vietnam and while he grows up.

That's about it for now...we were good consumers. It was a good weekend.

Quick question for Munkee Girl...based on your comment on the previous post...was this post better? :-) (Luv ya...when are y'all coming to visit...and yes, I know we owe you one!)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Monday, January 22, 2007

WWJD - 5

What would Jack do?

Nuclear bomb? No problem.

Helicopter crash around the corner? Easy.

Estranged Brother? Knock-em out, tie them up, plastic bag over the head.

Clearly someone has family issues.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

WWJD - 3/4

What Would Jack Do?

Episode 3: Need to slow someone down...ram them with your car.

Episode 4: Save the reformed terrorist who has information or kill your friend? Clearly...kill your friend.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sorry I was away for a while. No real good reason.

Sick of the rain here in LR. Thankfully it's finished for now and we can begin to dry.

New weekly feature now that 24 has started. What Would Jack Do? (WWJD) A weekly exploration of the myriad ways Jack solves problems. One of my friends and former colleagues, also a Jack, often would ask me, when I was confronted with a problem, " What would Jack Bauer do?"

Last night - first two episodes of the season: WWJD?
Rip out their jugular with his teeth. Clearly he's gone vampiric. Also not something you can use at the office.

More tomorrow based on episodes 3/4.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Grand Tour

For Reference: and comments on the previous post.

My friend Munkee Girl is correct. The Grand Tour is an inherently good thing that should be revived. Yes it should be open to more than the economically elite. Exposure to the arts and culture fosters well rounded and intellectually curious humans. That's good. Certainly better than sitting in front of a Playstation for hours on end.

I also agree with Munkee Girl regarding language. Heading off to a non-threatening vacation (educational though it may be) to a predominantly English-speaking nation doesn't open one's eyes as much as traveling where you might have to make an effort at understanding. It would probably make better citizens and maybe even a better world.

I know that my trips abroad have always been to places where I could get by in English or German. Even on my trip to France I found it easier to use German than bother butchering the French language. My tip to Vietnam will be a challenge on the language front. Despite having a written language that is Latinate in nature (i.e. characters), there's not a lot that I'll gain in trying to decipher words by looking at them. There's no real connection to English (or German). Also...the language is tonal...meaning words with different tones may have different meanings. How fun is that? I don't have enough time before our trip to do a lot of book-learning or class-taking so I run the risk of being a dumb American, and I hate that thought.

Here is a sample of the Vietnamese written language: (See the challenge that awaits!)
Trăm năm trong cõi người ta,
Chữ tài chữ mệnh khéo là ghét nhau.
Trải qua một cuộc bể dâu,
Những điều trông thấy mà đau đớn lòng.
Lạ gì bỉ sắc tư phong,
Trời xanh quen thói má hồng đánh ghen.
A hundred years – in this life span on earth
talent and destiny are apt to feud.
Go through an event in which the sea becomes mulberry fields
and watch such things as make you sick at heart.
Is it strange that one who is rich in this is poor in that?
Blue Heaven’s wont to strike rosy cheeks from spite.
Two final things...
1) If your 3-year old can craft a balanced mobile's ART! (and get her an agent...or whoever artists use because that's talent)

2) The Space Invader wall art is cool. Not every room has to be Beatrix Potter, or Harry Potter, or Col. Potter. It's okay to spice it up. Babies and childhood should be fun. When Beckett can talk and tell me how much he hates his room...we'll re-assess.

Oh...Thanks Pete. Miss you guys. The kids will all be within 1-year of each other in age (poor Jack as the baby of the bunch) so I hope we can get them to be friends at an early age. Trips to the park when we (or you) visit.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Calder Mobile

My old friend Joy, who lives in NYC and knowing my love of art, took this photo and sent it to me. She's just trying to make me jealous of the fact she's in NYC and around myriad art and culture options.

Actually I think it's in response to the ticket stub to the Andrew Wyeth exhibit that I sent her. We've had an ongoing art/culture feud since at least 1990. I generally credit her with victory since she's been to Europe more often than me. Plus she lives in NYC. However, occasionally even Arkansas gets something artistic that doesn't hit NYC (like the Wyeth exhibit) and I have to bask in that limited glory while I can.

I've got to say that my impending trip to Vietnam will go a long way to balancing the art/culture war. I'm pretty certain she's only traveled to Europe...I'm raising the ante and heading to Asia.
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Monday, January 01, 2007

Big News (Delayed)

As many of the people who visit here know, Jess and I are pursuing international adoption from Vietnam. mid-December we received a referral for a baby boy...which we've decided to accept. (I realize a lot of you know this too but I've made no mention of it in this venue.)

He's a little over 5 months old and appears to be absolutely adorable. We hope to travel to Vietnam by late Spring at the earliest, but it's not in our control. It can't happen soon enough. I want him home.

His name will be Beckett.

Jess and I finally started working on his room this weekend. We picked colors (green/brown) and bedding (abstract/shapes) and purchased a crib. I'll not dwell on the details here. Rather, visit our adoption blog for more details and photos.

I do want to share one bit about Beckett's room and the designs we're looking into. Jess has agreed, at least initially, to try out this cool Space Invader design on one of the walls. The challenge is to coordinate the room with the Space Invaders. Since we're trying to avoid trucks, cowboys, blue, etc it hopefully won't be too hard work in and still have a cohesive feel. Clearly I'm more about the Invader theme than Jess....but I think it could work and it's different.

Anyway...we're "having" a son and wanted to let you know.

Happy New Years (late)

All -

Happy New Year. I hope you celebrated in a fun and largely safe manner.

Jess and I had the fortune to spend the evening with some new friends (and old) friends. There was fancy imported Russian vodka, snacks, games, beer, music, conversation, and no stress. I've been in this state for a over a decade now and I'm still amazed at the different connections I find in the people I meet. I clearly have great taste in friends as they all seem to know each other or are separated by 1 degree.

Okay...maybe it's a lot of luck and the simple fact that I'm drawn to specific kinds of people; so it would stand to reason that they too would also find similar connections.'s nice and reinforces the sense of home here in Arkansas.

I'm finally doing better...was ill for the past week. I'm very much looking forward to returning to work. I've missed it.

I wish you a year of more highs than lows, smiles than frowns, sweets than sours, and generally...all the best.