Thursday, September 29, 2005

a little humor for your collective unconscious

I came up with this last night:

Q: Why can't the Society for Jungian Studies meet their budget?

A: Because, they are a free association!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


You know that sound you can make with a balloon that you inflate and then allow the air to excape as you pull the nozzle flat and tight? A high-pitched, nails on chalk-board sound? Now, imagine that sound turned up to eleven. David has learned to make that sound. It means, "I don't want to be held by you, I want to be held by mommy."


Autumn, the most nostalgic season, is drifting in. It brings a cool dampness that conjures a longing for evenings with a book and hot chocolate, hay rides, pumpkins, hot soup. It signifies rest: "you've had a hot busy summer. Time to sleep out the cold and darkness that is around the corner." Nevertheless, I am sad to see autumn arrive and the days get short. David, Jaime, and my best times together are outdoors--usually walks to the park in the evenings. When the sun is down before six, we simply won't be able to do that and David is going to be sorely cramped.

It rained all night and the world was a uniform light gray this morning. On Wednesdays, Jaime leaves early, so I stay home to take David to the sitter's. I dressed him in long pants and sleeves and put actual shoes and socks on him rather than his normal Robeez moccasins. We were ready before it was time to leave, so I sat down and leafed through the most recent Andy Goldsworthy book from the Library. Eventually, David crawled into my lap and leaned back against my chest to look at it with me. I taught him "cairn." Goldsworthy works outdoors, so he deals a lot with seasons. When he creates a permanent outdoor piece, he photographs it in each season. The particular piece David and I were looking at is in Goldsworthy's home village in Scotland--a country that seems perpetually autumnal to me.

When it was time to go, I helped David put his windbreaker on and pulled up the hood to keep rain off his head. As I got my own raincoat out of the closet, he stood quietly watching me, smiling. The hood framed his face, hiding his nearly bald head and making him look older. His hands were hidden in the sleeves. His unusual stillness, the smile, and his attentiveness gave him the appearance of contentment and trust: "I'm happy to be here, Dad, thanks for taking care of me." Maybe it was the weather, maybe it is that time of the month, but I was deeply moved by David simply standing there, waiting for me to put on my coat.

After I left him at the sitter's with a goodbye kiss, I walked down the street to my car and admired the scene around me--gray, wet, and vivid green. We have many enormous trees in our neighborhood--including an oak that canopies the street where I was walking. We also have many old houses, brick sidewalks, etc. There is always an atmosphere of history and nostalgia that was enhanced this morning by the weather. Naturally, I felt inspired:

cool gray nostalgia
damp brown leaves plaster the street
my boy smiles at me

Thursday, September 22, 2005

18 months

I recall posting many months ago (I'm too lazy to search) how I liked it when David smiled with a pacifier in his mouth, because you can still see the smile in his eyes and the rest of his face.

This morning, we were having breakfast and he was drinking from his Nuby. He tipped the plastic cup up far enough to get liquid through the nub, so I was looking at the bottom of it with most of his face obscured. I ducked down and skooched up close so that I was essentially hidden from his line of vision by the cup. Keeping it in his mouth, he lowered enough to see me, smiled, and said, "boo."

How to charm me? Well, not by insisting on giving your graham crackers to the dog no matter how much trouble you and she get in for that kind of behavior.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

My men

This afternoon Jason and I were in the kitchen talking before I left to study at the library. On the way out I gave Jason a kiss. David watched from across the dinning room. After we were finished David came running across the room saying "kiss! kiss!". I bent down and he gave me a wet kiss, ran off, came right back, and kissed me again. After crossing the room he headed right back and demanded more kisses, then he went over to daddy and gave him a wet one.

I don't know about you guys but I sure feel the love.


Saturday, September 17, 2005

whatcha doin'?

David stands in the dining room, slightly bent over, grunting quietly.

Nina: "Whatcha doin', David?"
David: "Poopin'"

Thursday, September 15, 2005

early thirties revelation

I'm pretty sure that understanding of html now surpasses my understanding of Frenchl.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

David's first cousins once removed were in town last month and shot some photos of David and Nina.

Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.


This morning, David and I are brushing our teeth together. At one point, I hold up one finger to him. He says, "one." I proceed to open the rest of my fingers in sequence as he continues, "two, three, four, five." Then I let go my toothbrush and indicate six using both hands.

"One," he says.

We finish up, I take him downstairs, sit him on the sofa/devan/couch/whatever, and get the video camera. I point it at him and hold up one finger so that both my hand and David are in the frame.

Now, I have about two minutes of jumpy video with my hand in the foreground while, in the back ground, David, whines and mumbles something as he crawls off of the sofa and tries to get to the camera.

I think one of the dogs peed on the green chair.

later numerous fans

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

five guys i envy

Just a quick shout out to five guys who's motivation I envy. Check out what they are working on. NOTE, I don't vouch for these links as "family-friendly."

  1. My brother-in-law, Grant is making it happen as an artist in Seattle.
  2. Valorie's husband, Ed is a writer/game developer as well as father of twins.
  3. My old friend Jay, who's designing great Web sites and still painting.
  4. High school classmate Dave, who is making films. He is the one who shot the balloon footage.
  5. Kris Ariel, the son of a friend of my father moved to China and opened a cafe.
Now, don't get me wrong, none of these guys has Jaime and David, so they have plenty of reason to envy me as well. Also, I don't necessarily envy what they are doing; I envy the motivation it take to initiate the sorts of creative projects they have.

Later, envious fans


When I get home this evening, I am holding David and Nina says, "David. . . one"
David replies, "Two, three, four . . . five."
I am stunned.
Later, I am in the kitchen and Nina calls to me. I walk out and she is giggling but I don't see David. I walk towards the living room and just as I get adjacent to the door from the living room to the foyer, I see David hiding behind the door barely able to contain his laughter. He jumps out and we run around the first floor a couple of times hiding from each other. At one point he is behind the door again and I can hear him "two, three, four, five."
I suspect the babysitter is playing hide-and-seek with him.

later, hidden fans

Monday, September 12, 2005

fair ophelia

CNN Headline

Ophelia downgraded to tropical storm

Storm idling off the Carolinas

The article describes the storm as "indecisive" saying, "Ophelia had been following a wandering course since it became a tropical storm Wednesday off the coast of Florida."

My prediction: the storm will be heard to sing
And will he not come again?
And will he not come again?
No, no, he is dead:
Go to thy death-bed:
He never will come again.
His beard was as white as snow,
All flaxen was his poll:
He is gone, he is gone,
And we cast away moan:
God ha' mercy on his soul!
And of all Christian souls, I pray God. God be wi' ye.
Then, she'll wander out to sea and die.

Expect revenge from tropical storm Laertes next season.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

David: "balloon?"

Me: "It's all gone."

D: "'gin (again)"

M: "I can't, it's broken"

D: "More?"

M: "It's broken, like the stick."

D: "balloon?"

Saturday, September 10, 2005

switch to the left! switch to the right! corperate greed we'll fight fight fight!

Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

As I mentioned, the turn signal switch broke and getting a new one would require being included in six-party talks in asia. Instead, Grandpa Gary installed this toggle switch on our dash. I love it.

Now, we need rockets.

lighten up

That last photo reminds me. I have been looking at my blog on some
other of your computers and notice that some of your screen settings
are a lot darker than mine. That last photo is pretty dark already, so
if you have problems seeing it, lighten up your screen.


Originally uploaded by jandjgilbert.

Today, we went to the Combat Air Museum so David could get over his "balloon!" fix with an "airplane!" fix. Kind of like a methadoneclinic. Here he is in front of my favorite-- the Beech SNB-5.

huff n puff

Yesterday evening, David, Nina, and I went to the hot-air balloon rally. David said "balloon" about 300 times. I didn't take the camera, but Dave Uhler brought his. Dave is a high school class mate and videographer for the Capital Journal. You can see his stuff on page three. That's a joke--specifically, it is his joke.

If you have high-speed internet, Quicktime, and about 10 minutes, check out his video. Special treat about 1/4 from the end.

Later, balloon fans.

Friday, September 09, 2005

real boys climb

Nowhere does David look so much like a little boy than when he is climbing. The stairs have always been his favorite toy. At the park is "rock" wall--a sort of plastic stepped thing that is nearly-but not quite vertical. He has pretty much mastered it. There is something about the deliberate concentration, the pushing up with his calf muscles, the pulling with his upper arms that makes him look very grown up.

We were at a different park this evening. As most of you know, standard play ground equipment is now designed by people who had hamsters as kids. As adults they have applied the hamster play-area principle to children, creating large, rambling contraptions of brightly-colored plastic and steel with tunnels, chains, slides, and other toys. They are designed for kids of almost all ages with simple things down low for toddlers to manipulate and tall, twisty-tube slides up high for the bigger kids. Ad a Nintendo play-station for the teens and an HD TV in front of a barka-lounger for dad, and it would be true fun for the whole family. They cleverly keep kids away from age-inappropriate areas by making the access difficult--ladders and walls require you to be of a certain height and dexterity to get to a more challenging toy. So simple steps could get David to the little boring slides made for newbies but the middle-height twisty slide required climbing up on to a 24-inch-high platform. A helper-bar is attached half-way up the face. So David goes to this little wall/big step, leans as far out across the platform as possible, sticks his little fingers into the holes in the flooring and holds his weight while he gets one foot up on the helper bar. Then he pushes with that foot and pulls with his fingers until he can swing his other leg up and over.

Again, the concentration, effort, dexterity, and muscle definition suddenly conspire to whisk the baby-David away and replace him with a real boy.

God grant him many years!

Today is David's name day. Please all join us in celebrating*.

*reading this blog entry fulfills your celebration requirement

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

laissez les bon temp reboot

It's terrible that the New Orleans was destroyed. Fortunately, we still have the old Orleans as backup (click on "satelite"). It is, however, infected with the French.

Monday, September 05, 2005

shy david in the windy city

I should be working, or sleeping, but I am in a blogging mood. David and I spent the weekend with Grandpa Brice in Salina, Kansas. "Salina" is Native American for "hold on to your feathers." The place is never without a steady 30 mph breeze. Jaime went to Grandpa Gary's in KC so that he could fix our car and she could read the several books that she has been assigned to complete by tomorrow.

David wouldn't ever just come out and say it, but he was not very comfortable being so far from mom for so long. So he was a little fussy and anti-social at times. But I don't think it was terrible. He offered plenty of happy times. It is part of a developing pattern, though. He is starting to get increasingly upset when his mom leaves his presence and he is getting quieter around strangers. I believe this is all normal.

We went to a couple of parks and played on slides and fed ducks. Papa Brice brought bread for the ducks, but David ate most of what we gave him to give the ducks. He said "thank you" and shoved it in his mouth. He was super-thrilled to see real, live, ducks though. "Ducks! Ducks! Ducks! Quack quack! Quack quack! Ducks!"

At one point an Hispanic toddler attempted to abscond with our stroller. When I intercepted him, he explained to me what he was doing and I explained that I no habla espaniol. So he wandered off. I then said adios, which caused him to stop, turn, and stare at me for the longest time, trying to figure out how I knew that before replying adios and walking away.

Grandpa bought him four new trucks and an airplane, which he loves.

Did I mention that Grandpa Gary was fixing our car? The blinker broke. The broken piece is a tiny piece of plastic in the switch. A tiny piece of $250 plastic if we could find one. You see, our car is a model of Eagle that Mitsubishee (sp?) made for Dodge. The thing is that they only made five of them, total, and only made enough spare part for one and those spare parts are safely locked away in a foot locker in South Korea so as to be protected from possible abduction by North Korea. So he bypassed the switch altogether and wired a toggle switch right in to the dashboard. It rocks, and costs about $12.00.

later toggle fans

Friday, September 02, 2005

it has been said

If David looks up at you and says "kee ooo," pick him up. He is saying "carry you," as in, "David, would you like me to carry you?". He doesn't really understand pronouns yet. I guess we could say "would you like to be carried," so that he doesn't hear "carry you" and think it is one word. But then we would be teaching unecessary use of passive voice. Next thing you know he would be wandering to the pantry saying "a cookie is wanted." We can't have that.

We are trying to teach him his name.

"What's your name?"
"What's your name? David!"
"What's your name?"