Sunday, December 28, 2008
We mourn the death of Lindsey's father on Friday, December 19th.
posted by Tom 1:14 AM
Thursday, October 09, 2008
By posting again a mere five months after my last blogging adventure I am quite certain I have surpassed all expectations...including my own. This post will unfotunately bore both of my readers, as it contains information of which they are already aware.
First, Lindsey and I celebrated our third anniversary yesterday by not seeing each other at all; this on the heels of our second anniversary, which we celebrated by not seeing each other very much. I left for work quite early in the morning, and she went from volleyball practice (she's coaching again) to chinese class in the afternoon/evening/night. Good times.
Second, we will be joining the ranks of parents all over the world when our first little one arrives in March.
Other than that, it's just work, class, and getting some early practice at not having enough sleep (with a little bit of hockey thrown in on the weekends).
'Til next time...
posted by Tom 9:08 PM
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
This post is totally reactionary
That's right...I've been informed that some people who still occasionally check up on this blog after two and a half years of inactivity are getting tired of always seeing the last totally reactionary post. So here it is, the moment I dearly hope you haven't been holding your breath for (because if you were you'd be dead by now, and I would hate to think that I'm killing off my readers).
So where have I been and what have I been up to? I could claim that I have been busy with work (you may have seen in the news over the last few months that the project I am involved with has suffered repeated delays) or school (I'm working on a masters degree in systems engineering) or marriage (caring for a wife is one of the most wonderful and rewarding things I have experienced in life, but anyone who thinks that it does not take tremendous effort to do well will probably learn otherwise someday one way or the other) or some other activity (most recently, a wonderful week on the Italian peninsula). On the marriage front, I could even claim that having my wife around gives me a different outlet to process thoughts that I might have previously posted on my blog, so that being married has taken away both the time and the need to write. But none of those explanations really gets at why I haven't posted anything in a long time.
The real answer is: I'm a nerd. For the most part, my brain works in facts and data. Thus the majority of my writing chronicles events. There may be some interpretation that helps distill the information presented in the way that 3x + 6y = 12 reduces to x + 2y = 4, but it generally does not include the kind of thoughtful and emotional insight that makes a series of words compelling to read. At some point, I realized that I am not interested in reading things that read like much of what I write; writing that I do find interesting has a spark in it that most of mine lacks. Putting my highly analytical nerd brain to use, I decided that I didn't need to spend the time recording what I would feel like I was wasting my time reading were it written by someone else. This filtered out most of any potential posts, and the things mentioned in the previous paragraph mopped up the rest.
Incidentally, nothing helps you realize what a nerd you are like a wife who
is very much not a nerdthinks in all sorts of colors and emotions and possibilities. Frequently our conversations follow this pattern:wife: What do you think about that?Maybe someday in the long-distant future, the daily work of living with Lindsey in a loving and understanding manner will help mature me beyond my nerdiness to a point where I can regularly provide worthwhile reading material. Until then, expect infrequent updates--I'll shoot for better than annually to start with.
nerd: *thinks* What does she mean, "what do I think about that?" There wasn't a single shred of fact or data in any of what she just said. How am I even supposed to begin sorting through this mountain of seemingly unrelated bits and pieces to form a coherent response to that question?
wife: Are you listening to me?
nerd: Yeah, I...uh...
nerd: I don't even know how to respond to that.
posted by Tom 4:49 PM
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Since Sarah Jo is getting tired of reading the last post...
Here is something new to commemorate my last week of singleness. It'd be nice if I had something really snappy to say right here, but I'm drawing a blank at the moment. Maybe all of my creativity is used up for this morning since I just figured out what I am going to say for my toasts at the dinner and the reception. Actually, it was really a blessing. I woke up this morning with a verse in my head that will be perfect for leading off a toast.
About the last however long it's been since I wrote last; it's been busy. Work, wedding planning, dance lessons, a repeat of last summer's houseboat adventure in Canada, camping at Lake Chelan, spending time with my parents who recently returned from the Philippines, and moving have all occupied my time.
Not that it would probably happen anyway, given my track record, but don't expect any updates for the rest of October. I turned off my internet for the month, as I will be out of town for most of it.
Have a good one.
posted by Tom 8:55 AM
Saturday, May 28, 2005
...and no, I have absolutely no idea how the top of that rock got all charred.
The weekend started Wednesday night with the opening screening of the new Star Wars. Not the kind of thing I would normally do, but a friend had tickets and I didn't have to get up the next morning. My intent here is not to post a movie review, but let me just say that while there were some good moments, the movie as a whole made me cringe.
I slept in to make up for being awake until 4am and then stopped by Capitol Hill on my way to airport to take my favorite girl out to lunch. It was an east texas day in Seattle, warm and sunny when we walked the couple blocks from Lindsey's office to the teriyaki place but pouring as we walked back. The sun was out again by the time I traded Lindsey coats--I had let her wear mine on our little stroll in the rain, since it had a hood--and walked back to my car.
My flight to Chicago got in around 10:30pm. I picked up my rental car and began my overnight journey to Wayland, IA, around 11. I managed the drive pretty well, despite the hour. It was actually quite nostalgic, taking me back to those 40-hour-straight runs back to school. There is always so much anticipation for the reunion with old friends at the end that the miles and hours in the car just fly past.
I found Wayland (not large enough to be on the map) at 3am, but it took me another hour to figure out where Jenelle farm was. Chris had given me very good directions from the church, which would have been extremely helpful, had I known where the church was. I eventually stumbled across some drunk high-school kids and asked if they knew how to find this church. They thought it was rather strange that I was looking for a church at 4 in the morning, and made mention of this fact several times as they argued over whether to have me go east and then turn north, or to start out going north and then turn east. In retrospect, I should have just asked them to tell me how to get to Jenelle's. Everyone knows where everyone else lives in a town that size.
Friday began at 7am. I had pulled into the driveway and laid back my seat to sleep in the car, not wanting to wake everyone up to announce my arrival. I was tired enough that I had no problem sleeping in the car, but the sound of the cows excitedly approaching the feed trough was enough to pull me out of my slumber. I went inside to find Jenelle making lemon-poppyseed bread for breakfast. Chris came in a short time later. Old friends began waking up or arriving in a procession that continued throughout the morning. By lunch time we were all headed down to Mt. Pleasant, a slightly larger town about fifteen minutes south of Wayland.
There are some things you would never expect to see in a town that consisted entirely of the buildings along the perimeter of a one-block park that doubled as "downtown." Yet there it was next to the little cafe where we were planning to get lunch--an asian grocery store. Heather (Andrews), Linda, Sol, and I spent some time strolling around this intriguing little shop as we waited for some of our party, who apparently were not quite ready to leave Jenelle's when the rest of us headed off to Mt. Pleasant.
During lunch I had the pleasure sharing a table with Chris, his sisters, and his two beautiful little nieces. I had met Lindsey, Chris' younger sister, when she came to visit Chris while we were in school. It was fun talking with her; she shares more than just a name with my Lindsey, and I got to hear about the social justice work she is doing in Open Doors advocacy office. I also got to meet, for the first time, Chris' older sister Carli and her daughters, Isabella and Selah. I'm not sure the exact ages of the girls but they would be aptly described by the words toddler and infant. Isabella is just learning to speak, and though she was rather shy in front of all the new people, we did get to hear a bit of both her English and her Spanish.
The time between lunch and the rehersal was pretty much consumed at the tux shop. The girls in the wedding party left lunch a little a head of the guys to pick up Jenelle's dress and do whatever else girls do on the afternoon before a wedding. The guys tried on their outfits and got them marked up for necessary alterations. And by the time we got out of there, we were exceeding the speed limit by 30 or so mph in order to get Chris to the church as close to on time as possible.
Not much to say about the rehersal or the rehersal dinner. If you've ever been involved in a wedding, you know how this works. After dinner, however, Chris had an interesting little surprise planned for his bride and her friends. While Chris' entourage retreated to the kitchen, his dad began explaining the Panamanian tradition of the men in the wedding party preparing a dish from their native culture for the ladies in the wedding party. The guys returned shortly, and Chris explained that they would be offering up a fare that was blend of the cooking styles of Panama and Texas that he liked to call Panatex. The guys then proceeded to place several hideous concoctions in front of the girls; each dish was unique, but they contained such lovely ingredients as baby food, spam, and marshmallows. A couple of things that were added to every dish at the end were Tapito brand hot sauce and a pinch of something out of a Copehagen tin. The girls were extremely good sports, each taking a bite of at least one dish.
Following the foray into Panatex cuisine, we all returned to Jenelle's. Upon entering the driveway, we discovered the fate of Chris' underwear, all of which had mysteriously disappeared while he had been doing his laundry that morning. Waving in the breeze from atop the windmill was a chain of knotted together boxer-briefs. Chris ascended the ladder amid jokes about what the morning headlines would read if he fell and rescued his wayward undergarments. When he returned to we bid the ladies good evening and loaded up the car for Chris' final night with the guys.
So, I intended to finish this at some point, but it's been long enough. I attempted adding to it today, but blogger ate everything that I tacked on, and I'm a little fed up now. Here is the abbreviated version of my trip to Chris and Jenelle's wedding. Congratulations and best wishes to them on their one-plus month of marriage and their future together.
posted by Tom 10:28 AM
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Quote of the weekActually, I've never kissed a boy either.Hopefully there will be time to post more stories from the wedding soon.
posted by Tom 11:18 PM
Monday, May 02, 2005
OneTwo weeks later
What can I say about the show except, "WOW!" From the four handheld spotlights skittering aimlessly around the otherwise darkened arena as the band entered to Larry's final drumbeats before he, like the rest of the band before him, raised his arm in salute to the crowd still singing the refrain of 40 and exited the stage, there was a sense of awe in the air. And it was joined by hundreds of thousands of pieces of foil confetti sprakling in the now fully illuminated arena as a young woman Bono had pulled from the audience tilted her head back and raised her arms to the ceiling during the intro to City of Blinding Lights.
One would think that the drummer is somewhat tied to his drum kit, but the band took full advantage of the eliptical walkway extending out into the audience opening with Larry standing at the apex, laying down the beats to Love and Peace on a single floor tom. Midway throught the song he left the drum to Bono and made his way back to the center of the main stage, from where he would anchor most of the rest of the show. Vertigo and Elevation followed, before the group rewound some twenty-five years without missing a beat to offer up The Electric Co. and An Cat Dubh/Into the Heart from the Boy album. And then it was right back into fresh material with the spectacular shower mentioned above, Beautiful Day, Miracle Drug, and Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own.
A string of U2 standards followed, beginning with the Edge jumping back and forth between the keyboard and his guitar on New Year's Day. Sunday Bloody Sunday led into Bullet the Blue Sky and Running to Stand Still, a pair of songs with such perfect contrast that it is hard to imagine one without the other. Pride, Where the Streets Have No Name, and One were interspersed with a moment of global awareness as Bono called on those present to lend their voice to the cause of humanity in Africa. The band left the stage for a bit as the names of those who had joined in the campaign via text message were scrolled across the screen.
The first encore set was all Achtung Baby, with Zoo Station, The Fly, and the return of Mysterious Ways. Another break led into the final set, starting with two cuts off the new album; All Because of You was the last number on which everyone was where you expected them to be. Larry returned to the tip of the elipse to lend his fingers to the piano line of Yahweh. The band had a quick huddle to decide whether or not they should leave the stage again, but decided to simply stay out for the final song. Adam and Edge, who had been standing on the right and left sides of the stage respectively throughout the show, walked symbolically to the opposite sides of the stage as Adam was brought a guitar and Edge a bass. Bono opened 40, but soon left the chorus vocals to crowd, gave a final wave, and left the stage. The crowd continued to sing without losing intensity as the music slowly faded. The guitar dropped out, and Adam made his exit. Another few bars that seemed to last for hours and the bass too faded away. Now alone, Larry kept the beat for the now a cappella chior, continuing to bring it down until there was nothing left but the voices.
The house lights came up and the people, some of them still singing, "How long, how long," began to shuffle towards the exits. I was completely amazed by the whole experience. I cannot imagine trying to put together a set list from such a vast catalog; I cannot believe that it could be done in a way the felt complete. And yet there it was. I walked out with the feeling that nothing was missing. Nothing. Twenty-five years, fourteen albums, more singles than you can count, and in the space of a couple of hours, they made it seem that I had heard all there was to hear. Like I said, "WOW!"
posted by Tom 12:21 PM