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Archive for October, 2011


Monday, October 10th, 2011

My dance card was full last night and today’s post will be going up a day late.  Please stop back by tomorrow for my delayed Monday thoughts!


Friday, October 7th, 2011

I am having the same response that a lot of people apparently are.  I didn’t know Steve Jobs.  I am only a recent Mac convert.  I am not an early adopter of new technology.  On the contrary, I tend to be late to the new gadget game.  And yet, I find myself surprisingly affected by the death of Steve Jobs.

He was both at the top of his field and an underdog.  He was a visionary and a pragmatist.  He was incredibly experienced and incredibly young.  Like so many people, he was a collection of dichotomies.  And there is something about him that really resonates with me; with many of us.

When I think realistically about it I recognize that Apple is a huge company and that their products are the result of countless people’s input.  Steve Jobs didn’t do it alone.  But it was his dream that pushed the company so far, so many times.  It was his inspiration and leadership that drove his employees to do his good work.  So I wonder what shape his company will take in his absence.

More than anything, though, I feel sad for the loss of an incredible person.  He changed things – really changed things.  That isn’t something that can be said about many people.  Innovators only come along once in a while and he truly was one.  I am sad for his wife and kids.  To them he wasn’t merely the face of a company, but an integral part of a family.  And I am sad for all the free thinkers who lost an incredible role model.  In that vein, I thought it appropriate to share this Apple ad that aired back in 1997.  A current version would certainly include Steve Jobs himself.


Inside My Movie-going Head

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Last weekend GAP and I watched our latest Netflix delivery: Inside Man starring Clive Owen and Denzel Washington.  I should have loved it, and up until the very end, I did.

This movie qualifies in one of my favorite movie genres – the “stunt movie.”  In Gale parlance a “stunt movie” is basically any kind of heist movie.  The Sting, of course, is the all-time classic stunt movie.  Ocean’s Eleven and The Thomas Crown Affair (Pierce Brosnan version) are my modern day favorites.  In the stunt movie the protagonist is usually the thief, and the bad guys are law enforcement or other such jerks on the side of the establishment.  The stunt movie is action-packed, but not violent; suspenseful, but not scary; and usually contains some sort of romance, humor, or luxury as a subplot.  There’s nothing not to love.

So back to Inside Man.  It was a classic stunt movie and throughout it I was hooked.  But the ending left me cold.  Without giving anything critical away, there was  something off about the character development.  Denzel Washington’s detective was mostly the protagonist to Clive Owen’s mostly bad villain.  Neither one of them totally won or lost.  And we are led to believe that the true bad guy will get his comeuppance, though we never get the satisfaction of seeing it.

All of this is well and good, and not necessarily that interesting on its face.  Gale had a lukewarm response to a movie. So what?

Well, what’s got my wheels spinning five days later is the fact that I cared so much.  I consider myself to be a reasonably evolved person.  I’m comfortable with nuance and greys and the loose ends of real life.  Measured by that yardstick Inside Man should have fallen squarely into my comfort zone.  It contained all manner of true-to-life complications and double standards.  Yet in a movie setting it turned me off.  Why?  Why do I need movies to be tied off with a bow when in real life – when it really matters – I’m usually at peace with much messier results?

I suppose it’s because in real life I know that I can never expect things to resolve as cleanly as they do in the movies.  But in the movies, they can.  That’s part of why we go.  So often in real life the bad guy gets off, the good guy gets overlooked, the kiss-up gets the promotion, and the jerk gets the girl.  But in the movies things tend to pan out the way we think they’re supposed to.  So when it doesn’t work out that way on screen we (or at least I) feel shortchanged.

Life is an untidy endeavor most days.  If I can come home and see the good guy win and the bad guy lose, and suspend my disbelief long enough to find satisfaction in that then I suppose it’s a good thing.  Last weekend’s selection left me cold.  Perhaps this weekend I’ll schedule my date with Paul Newman or George Clooney.  I know they won’t let me down.

Ready or Not

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Little by little it’s all becoming quite real.  IEP has moved out of the nursery and into his good-boy room.  My FMLA paperwork has been filled out and will be submitted to HR this week.  Last week Nanny laundered all of our newborn and 0-3 month baby clothes.  And over the weekend I took IEP’s vast collection of 2T polo shirts out of the nursery closet and hung his former collection of newborn footed sleepers on tiny hangers.  Tiny hats, socks, and onesies fill the dresser.  Newborn diapers will be ordered this week.

This baby is coming.

People ask me if I’m ready.  The nice thing about having a second boy, and a second November baby is that from a logistical perspective, I’ve been ready for three years.  We have all the gear, all the clothes, and all kinds of knowledge we didn’t have the first time around.  This should be a piece of cake, right? …  I’m not so sure.

I have no experience in parenting two children.  I have never tried to care for a newborn while also caring for a toddler.  We have never been a family of four.  And this adventure, much like the first one, will be a case study in lessons learned the hard way.  For that is the only way to figure these things out.

And so I look at the logistical end of things.  I am pre-registered at the hospital.  IEP’s birthday party is planned and booked.  Christmas shopping is about 85% complete.  We have made arrangements for Nanny to be on call for IEP should I go into labor in the middle of the night.  I still need to stock my freezer with my preferred post-partum menu of homemade soups, and stock up on batteries for all of the bouncy seats, swings, white noise machines and other baby paraphernalia.  But beyond that, I’m ready.

And beyond that, I’m ready.  I’m ready to meet this little guy.  I’m ready to see what IEP is like as a big brother.  I’m ready for the ligament pain in my spine to dissipate.  I’m ready to roll over in bed without having to wake up and adjust multiple pillows each time.  I’m ready walk away from my job for a few months and indulge my mind in the mental vacation its been craving for weeks now.  And I’m ready to burp and swaddle and snuggle the newest love of my life; to smell that new baby smell; to hear the sweet little grunts that are only made by a nursing baby; and to watch my life fill up again beyond anything I ever could have imagined.

This baby is coming whether I’m ready or not.  Lucky for both of us, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.