Saturday, January 1, 2011

Talking Death

There was an unfortunate fire a few blocks from here, whereby a father and four children died in a New Year's morning fire, and it became a short topic this morning with the wife, and once again when we passed by the apartment complex where the Police and Fire Department were still on location, gathering their info and investigating the scene.  

One thing I've never really shied from with the kids is telling them certain truths, and this case was really no different.  I told them that the family got caught in a fire, and they died.  I know some parents really wince at the idea of this kind of honesty, that perhaps I should maybe not tell them quite everything.  A child's innocence is something to be valued, and should be shielded from the world's ugly truths as long as we can keep their world view candy coated.  

Well, I can't really subscribe to that thinking completely, I guess there's a line somewhere in there that I like to fudge around.  I try not to scare them too much of all the things that could happen to them, but I do enlighten them that if you don't watch the road, cars could hit and kill you.  If you talk to strangers, that some of them can be bad people who might hurt them and take them away.  That when Zoe sits on the banister on the top of the stairs, she could fall and break her spine and not be able to walk or could die.  And in this case, that if we're not careful with fire, people could get killed.  All that seems like a very harsh thing to tell 6 and 7 year old kids, but I feel like it's responsible for a parent to inform their children that these are truths of the world.  If I'm going to let them watch children's programs where there are bad people or adversaries, I feel that it is important for them to know the major dangers around them at least.  So

Incidentally, watching Max Fleischer's Superman cartoons right now.  The animation holds up extremely well, there's quite a level of detail especially impressive with the facial expressions and such.  There's quite a cinematic feel to the animation, although some of the stereotypes are painfully embedded into the cartoons.  Lois Lane seriously toes that line between bravery and utter idiocy as she seemingly gets herself into trouble time and again.  This version of Clark doesn't seem as goofy as the Reeve version, more of a boring straight man who happens to be Superman.  

Anyhow.  Back to Superman beating some Nazis disguised as African savages.

Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in Review

Really, this is for my own purposes since my memory seems to be getting shorter and shorter as the years progress.  A year from now I'll hardly remember any details, like my photo organizing debacle earlier this month.  Tried to organize all my photos by date and realized that between switching computers and platforms, all the EXIF data had been changed or lost. So now the baby pictures are all jumbled and I have absolutely no concept when they looked like what.  I suppose it doesn't matter too much as long as the photos are intact.

Trying to recap the beginning part of the year is already a struggle for me... Well, I suppose we got to a very good start by visiting Bev and my cousin Jasmine during an impromptu visit to Portland.  It was partially inspired by Dick Van Dyke, whom we were watching during one of the reruns on Netflix.  He had a long weekend and wanted to take the family to Connecticut, and I thought to myself, we should be able to do something like that.  So we picked Portland since CT was just a smidge too far to drive.  It was a good visit, since we hadn't seen Bev for about 10 years or so and I hadn't seen Jasmine since she visited us a while back.

Then some stuff happened, and in March we went to Disneyland.  It was also about 10 years since we went, back when Jael was just 11 or so, and it was the first time for the kids.  It was pretty much the right age for them, except my children have a pretty unnatural fear of anything dark, fast, or loud.  So we had to either wait or wince through a lot of the rides.  All in all it was a pretty good trip, though it might be the last time I decide to drive to Anaheim.  It's a long ways for one driver to cover.

I suppose the biggest thing about Summer was that we had a few guests, and some stayed more than a few days.  Sam came over something in the summer, a product of a few bad decisions, and it was up in the air if he was going to stay - at least that's what the wife told me.  I think she had it all mapped out, but just wanted to give me the illusion of choice, but after a few weeks, he was a keeper.  This goofy, shaggy, timid little stinkball was going to be the new addition to the family.  He's been good mostly for Daisy, keeping her busy by wrestling with her and allowing her to lick the inside of his maw for countless hours.

The other guests was Joseph and Jane, who came over for a couple weeks when their parents went off to Costa Rica.  Handling four kids were not too bad, since those two are pretty good kids.  They were a little unfamiliar with certain routines and were probably confused on all the hand holding we were involved in.  But it was a good visit overall though the first day without them felt very, very empty.

Perhaps the biggest change this year is my work change.  It's fairly significant since it's a drastic promotion, sort of like moving up from the mail room to the lobby or something.  It also meant that I take on far more stress - since my job doesn't technically end when I come home from work.  From that moment on, I was on the fast track to learn a lot of things in a very short amount of time.  I had to earn my keep fairly quickly and though none of my peers really put that kind of pressure on me, my manager does and rightfully so.  I have noticed a few more white hairs on that head and noticed that my dreams have gotten much more work oriented.

There is of course, a very bright side to that career change, the biggest thing being the more consistent hours that I do work.  There is still "overtime", but it's more time that I can choose to work around.  It a job that has more challenges and possibilities, and feels more like a career than a job that I just show up for.  I still can't really shake the feeling like they could let me go anytime, but I suppose in today's economic climate, it's not an unfair thought to have.  

In the last month though, I'm pretty sure the job has taken a toll on me.  When I went in for my doctor's appointment, my blood pressure is noticeably higher, and the flu did hit me pretty hard.  I think my immune system dropped when I was working overtime to get caught up.

Anyway, all that culminates to right now, when I'm just sitting here alone on the laptop, recapping the year while the kids are sleeping and the wife is working.  2011 looks to be another year of big changes, definitely a sweet vacation and moving in store for us.  


Thursday, December 30, 2010