Archive for 'memories' Category

2011.08.17

Every Day is like Christmas

иконографияКартиниEvery day here at home has been like Christmas for the past week. Stuff is arriving everyday for the Little Monkey. All these things with foreign sounding names to me: pac-n-play, swaddling… It is official, the kid now has more stuff than I do. The only place I dominate is my movie and book collections, and she’s already acquiring several of those.

At one point in my life the thought of this baby invasion was overwhelming yet now that I’m here it’s not bad. Seriously, it’s like Christmas. I wake up in the middle of the night anticipating meeting this little creature. I come home and open boxes and try to figure out how to put them all together. I wonder, “Will she like this?” I feel this family closeness that comes only from family. Being a little boy and helping Mom make cookies for Christmas. My brother and I waking up hours before we were allowed to open gifts and quivering the hours until we were allowed to wake up Mom and Dad to open them. Watching my young sister’s amazement at a real toy from Santa Claus.

All of this, fresh as when I was little myself, and so much more down the road.

Amazing.

Comments Off | Catergorized: family  kids  memories

2011.02.08

Reagan’s Legacy

Even though Ronald Reagan’s birthday was two days ago he’s still pretty heavily covered in the online news I check out. What I find astonishing is that every conservative out there lauds him as practically a demi-god. Every single one of them tries to make comparisons to him and attempts to hearken back to his Presidency as if it were the most perfect Presidency ever.

It was not, and Reagan was just a man. A man with some very admirable traits, who did some good things, but who was not infallible. Remember the Iran-Contra Affair? Remember the first substantial increase in our national debt? Remember the single largest (at the time) tax increase in US history? Remember how Nancy Reagan consulted an astrologer and not the Bible to help set Reagan’s schedule? Read more here and here.

Despite all of his foibles, however, I still think kinda fondly of the old Gipper. I still tear up even thinking of his comforting words after the Shuttle Challenger disaster, and I remember clearly watching him and Gorbachev together and thinking, “OK, the world just might not end in nuclear annihilation.” He was the cusp of old-school, accountable Republicans and the new-school, proselytizing show boats we have today (there are always exceptions, but I’m generalizing).

The fact is, Reagan was just a man and not a myth. Men sometimes deserve the respect they earn, a place in history, and to have their legacy viewed realistically and in context. He doesn’t need or deserve the blind worship that conservatives and others give him. It’s sad that they would claim his legacy to start wars in the Middle East when he worked so hard for peace in this world (amongst a laundry list of things he would hate about Republicans of today).

RIP, Gipper; you gave me -at the time- great hope for the future. Cheers.

3 Comments | Catergorized: memories  political

2010.12.19

Doug’s Holiday Mix 2010

It’s that time of year again and I’ve thrown together a compilation of some of the music I’ve been listening to this year.

Doug's Holiday Mix 2010 Cover ArtI Got It (What You Need) – Galactic
Ain’t No Easy Way – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Felicia – The Constellations
99 Problems – Hugo
Flathead – The Fratellis
Paris (Ooh La La) – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Static Mind – Girl In a Coma
Daylight – Matt & Kim
Things You Think (feat. Pomplamoose) – Ben Folds and Nick Hornby
Melancholy Astronautic Man – Allie Moss
De Momento Abril – La Bien Querida
When My Time Comes – Dawes
Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Fireflies – Owl City
Mentiras – Los Amigos Invisibles
Bang Pop – Free Energy
Stars and Stripes – Rogue Wave
Junebug – Robert Francis
Fader – The Temper Trap
Kill Me Carolyne – The Whigs
Answer to Yourself – The Soft Pack
Tangled Up With You – The Mumlers

You can see what there is here (and hopefully the link works; Apple’s links are odd these days).

1 Comment | Catergorized: apple  audio  life  memories

2010.11.30

One Wedding Video

While it’s really just a slide show with music (any ideas what song it is?), Manel Puig made this video from our wedding based on pictures he took. Thanks Manel!

1 Comment | Catergorized: catalonia  family  friends  life  memories

2009.10.26

Bones, dem Bones

When I lived in Prague I had heard about the Sedlec Ossuary. Eventually I even visited. These were the days before digital cameras and I didn’t bother carrying around an old 35mm camera, so I don’t have pictures. So when I saw this article on io9.com about ossuaries I went picture hunting again. I think I’ll have to go back again sometime (and to a few of the others in the io9.com article)… This time with my own (digital) camera.

Comments Off | Catergorized: memories  prague

2009.06.13

Curtis Jones, RIP

I’ve just gotten news that Curtis Jones, a mainstay of ex-pat culture in Prague for more than two decades, passed away.

RIP, Curtis. If you find the afterlife half as interesting as we found you here I think you will have a pretty good time.

Comments Off | Catergorized: friends  memories  prague

2009.02.06

Samurai Umbrella

With great amusement I present to you the Samurai Umbrella (via DVICE.com). It brings me back to days in college, lugging about my wooden bokken, whacking and being whacked by my friends. Since those days, whenever I’ve carried one of those long, non-folding umbrellas I noticed I tend to carry it like a sword, ready to be drawn. The Samurai Umbrella takes that one step beyond. All I need now is a hidden blade inside. Then I can fight my enemies and keep dry at the same time!

Comments Off | Catergorized: college  fashion  friends  geek  memories

2008.09.04

Free Range Kids

Quite a long time ago I lamented the fact that children today seem so protected from the world (of mostly imagined danger) that they are losing all sense of adventure. They don’t get to play outside as much (and they’re getting fat because of it). They seem to live in parentally controlled environments… Safe, clean, and somewhat sterile.

When I was a kid we didn’t have bicycle helmets. Heck, we only wore shin guards playing soccer because we were told we had to have them. We walked to school, and not the cliche “two miles uphill both ways in the snow” but seriously at least half a mile. We walked to and from our friends houses alone and sometimes after dark. We played in the woods. We made treehouses out of found (and sometimes stolen) planks of wood and nails, and swung from ropes over creeks. We never had to sneak out of the house because it was expected that we’d go out and play. We didn’t have arranged “play dates” at proscribed hours, we were simply told to go out and play after we did our homework and to be home by dinner time.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to grow up as a kid today. I don’t know when young parents got so protective of their children that they started to stifle them. Maybe it was when a few kids died falling off a bike (a helmet could have saved them!) or maybe when some pervert kidnapped a kid when they were at the playground (the parent should have never let them out of their sight!). Maybe when the newspapers and newscasters tried to garner every ounce of interest out of some murderer blaming his problems on his childhood when he got lost and was oh so scared or maybe some stupid marketer making parents paranoid that the little scrape on their child’s knee would lead to infection and eventual amputation of the leg.

I don’t know but I sincerely hope that if/when I have kids I raise them differently. And it’s refreshing to see that other people, people with kids themselves, see this issue in the same way. If you’re curious about their stories I suggest going to Free Range Kids. Start here and then dig into some of the entries, especially the comments. I miss my childhood adventures. I wouldn’t want my kids to not have the opportunity to miss their own.

1 Comment | Catergorized: memories  thoughts

2008.05.28

Kickin’ It in Geumchon

One of the greatest boosters for Seoul American High School is our old art teacher, Mr. Michael F. O’Brien. He’s kept an alumni contact page maintained, kept in touch with loads of people and recently sent me (and probably a ton of other people) this video that I have to say brings back a lot of memories. I was far more familiar with his wife, Mrs. O’Brien, who was my English teacher. I could probably still break down and diagram a sentence based on her lessons!

One of my few regrets is losing touch with my friends from back then, especially Scott Yustas, John Schafer (spelling on the last name?), Sean Stracinsky (spelling on the last name?) and Robert Reynolds. I also wish I had a yearbook from back then. Someday I’ll have to scan the few pictures I have and put them online… That’ll get Mr. O’Brien excited, I’m sure!

Anyways, if you’ve ever lived in Korea, especially as a foreign resident, I highly recommend watching the video. Kickin’ it in Geumchon, indeed!

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4 Comments | Catergorized: friends  korea  memories

2008.05.09

Red Rover, British Bulldog and Smear the Queer

Yesterday when walking to lunch, Banana Boy and I passed Washington Square where a group of kids was out with supervision playing Red Rover. Two ragged lines of kids facing each other, arms interlocked, yelling:

Red rover red rover
Let (kid’s name) run over!

I remember playing this as a kid, too, and I also remember a few other games that were a little rougher.

Anyone remember British Bulldog? Everyone except one kid, the bulldog, lines up at one side of the yard. When the kid yells, “Bulldog!” all the kids run and try to make it to the other side. Meanwhile, the bulldog tries to catch (read: tackle) as many as they can. Whoever is caught becomes a bulldog in the yard, too. It’s the bulldog’s job to catch as many kids running across the yard as possible. It’s the kid’s job not to get caught. Let me tell you, it was hard being one of the last kids facing a yard of bulldogs!

Anyone remember Smear the Queer? Not the most politically correct name for a game anymore, but a fun game none-the-less. Get a bunch of kids together with one ball. We always played with a football. One kid (the queer) takes the ball and all the rest try to tackle (smear) the queer. Once they get him a struggle ensues to get the ball and escape getting smeared yourself. The only goal in this game was to avoid being smeared and to brag that you were the queer the longest.

All of the games were a lot of fun at different ages. Somehow I don’t think British Bulldog and Smear the Queer would be allowed in too many neighborhoods and schools in this over-safe world of ours. It’s a shame; I miss them!

1 Comment | Catergorized: games  memories
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