Friday, September 26, 2014

It must be Teton time...

I guess I should just begin to refer to my blog as a "seasonal" ritual since my last entry happened in Spring and now I find myself typing again in Fall.  But what about summer?

We find ourselves perched at the foot of the Tetons in small town Wyoming for a one year adventure.  Actually, it's probably more like a ten month adventure - but who's counting?  It's a place we've been enjoying for almost twenty years and finally decided to take the plunge for a year and "let" Caden experience Third Grade in the snow.  (The snow hasn't started yet - but I have a feeling - it's on the way.)  We could get accustomed to this area even more - but Portland is home and we'll make our way back west next summer.

So what else is new?  We've discovered that life pretty much stays the same no matter where we find ourselves.  School activities along with soccer, climbing, and tennis fill Caden's days.  It's true what they say about kids.  "They are adaptable."  (but it's not exactly a difficult place to adapt to.)  I find myself as the "room parent" for Caden's class.  Wait a minute!  Did I just type that?  How did that happen?  Oh - I know - no one else volunteered!

Over the past few months I've had more than several moments when I thought to myself - I need to blog about that - but got distracted and didn't get around to it.  So here's some topics to throw out with a little editorial content thrown in.

NFL domestic violence scandals... Really?  We are shocked that an industry built upon the idea of violence, aggressive behavior, and steroid use results in abuse being carried out off the field against non-football players?  Who could have ever thought that up?  And the chance that the NFL hierarchy might have wanted to cover it up to not soil the sterling reputation of the corporation?!  No chance that would ever happen!  Don't even get me started on concussions!

That brings me to Jameis Winston and college football.  I used to be a huge fan of college football.  (I think it was more for the pageantry of the game than the actual game itself...but still... I loved going to games and watching them on television.)  I've become jaded.  It's a huge business that actually has nothing to do with a school other than sharing the name.  Caring about a school because of a football team - seems a little outdated now.  People like Jameis Winston and Johnny Manziel do nothing to help elevate the reputation of their programs - but I don't think the schools/teams care about reputation anymore.  It's all about $$$.  Witness the travesty currently going on at Florida State University.  Seriously? - that school doesn't have a single senior administrator that has the power to say... "Sorry buddy - but you've played your last down of football with our school name on your jersey!"

Obama...the people that hated him 6 years ago still hate him now.  (even though he has actually put the country into a war they wanted to begin with - but now they even find fault with that.)  As for me - I still think he's better than anyone else the other side would have had in his place.  I'm not a huge fan of what he's now doing in the Middle East - but I also don't have any idea what the right answer is.  That entire part of the world is a messed up place that our American brains can't wrap our heads around.  In fact - it seems that no one can figure out what the answer is for that region.  Religious fervor (if that's what you want to call it) is dangerous.  I might find faults with our own version of religious fanaticism over here - but thankfully - our loons are losing in their attempts to take over our country.

Obamacare... it had a rough roll-out and I was a harsh critic...but by golly...some people who didn't have health insurance before or actually getting coverage now.  Imagine that!

Same-sex marriage... oh wait... I have it.  Never mind - but still hoping it makes it to every state soon.

Hillary Clinton... just not feeling the passion.  Oh yes - if my choice is her - or any one of the 20 Republican contenders out there...she'll get my vote.  She just won't get me being excited about her being President.

As I said,  things never really change wherever we are.  I'm still ranting!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

It must be Spring

I guess it's time to bring out the rusty blogging pen after a good long rest.  Topics cross my mind everyday and I find myself saying, "I should put that down for someone to read".  I could proceed to vent about any number of things - but will choose the one most relevant at this time.


We went to our first "Seder" this week.  It was pretty eventful for us agnostic types.  I've long been fascinated by the Jewish culture and religion (or are they one and the same?).  We sat at the ritual feast prepared by our friends and took it all in as respectful observers.  Listening to the proceedings and being asked to participate in the readings was amazing to us since we were never made to feel like we should become Jewish after the evening or even share the same affinity for their history and belief system.  It was a simple act of being invited by friends to share in something that is important in their lives.  We couldn't help but leave feeling a little more educated about something we weren't completely familiar with along with knowing that our friends have just as much respect for our belief system as we do theirs (although they are probably going to be waiting a long time for a return visit to celebrate our "we don't know" culture).  One of the best parts of the evening was that Caden tried Matzo Ball Soup for the first time ever - and loved it (although he will deny it because he thinks I am now going to force him to eat soup).  He had question after question on the way home about all the things he didn't understand that occurred around the table.  I think watching the classic Charlton Heston version of "The Ten Commandments" will help answer some of his questions.

Explaining Easter is a little harder.  We obviously know what Easter represents to the Christian faith - but upon explaining it to Caden, his response was - "That's Freaky!"  Not a single question.  The standard "Happy Easter" takes on a more commercial role in our household - just as "Merry Christmas" does.  We try and explain to him that we are more into celebrating Spring and the renewal of all that occurs during that time.  As with most 8 year olds - he gladly celebrates eggs filled with candy - and if it took a story of a man named Jesus coming back to life to get us and TARGET to that celebration - he'll put up with it.   One day he will be the more mature one in our household and will insist that we stop using any wording that makes it appear as if we are in agreement with the stories associated with such words.

I think we can take a lesson from our Jewish friends and recognize that when we say "Happy Passover" to them - we are truly wishing them a good time as they celebrate something important to their family.  It doesn't mean I have to start liking gefilte fish.

and on a completely different note... I ended my last blog slamming the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act.  Yes - it was a very poor beginning - but by golly - I think they've got it - and it just might not be the end of our country after all (if you listen to the other side).

Happy Easter/Passover/Spring to those of you participating in the revelry of any or all of them!

Friday, January 3, 2014

"The Good Old Times"

Or better known as "Auld Lang Syne"...that familiar tune ringing in the New Year...

And what a year of good times it was!  Politically, socially, and personally, the hits kept coming.  Never in my lifetime did I think I would see a sitting President publicly state his support for same-sex marriage.  Oh - I thought the issue would keep gaining momentum in the right direction as it has been doing for the past few years - but not nearly as quickly as it has since our President made such a simple  statement in 2013.  The opposing side on this issue has lost.  Surely they will let it go now (along with the "Right to Choose" issue) if they ever expect to win a national election again.

The U.S. Supreme Court even weighed in on the issue and ruled (correctly) on DOMA along with overturning Prop 8 in California.  Wham! Bam!  It was almost hard to keep up with all the positive rulings between courts (along with actual state voters).  Lost in all of the coverage was the fact that my partner (of almost 18 years) and I might actually have the chance to partake of these rulings IN OUR LIFETIME.

You better watch what you ask for...because one day you just might get it.  On December 11, 2013 we drove 20 minutes away to Vancouver, Washington and stood in front of our son and a few other people (witnesses) and became a LEGALLY married couple.  It was a simple 10 minute event where we expressed our love to each other, exchanged rings and vows, and then signed a piece of paper to make it all "proper".  Our son will grow up knowing that his parents are just like everyone else's married parents (legally that is).  That's all the court battles and votes were ever about...being treated just like everyone else.  (and just one final note to the "losing" side on this issue.  Our son and all of his friends and every "young" person we come in contact with has expressed their support and congratulations on our marriage.)  Do I need to make this any clearer?

Since I've made this post pretty political, I might as well end on this note...

Hey President Obama... love you for your support of my family and all the other good things you have done...but I have to say...
Affordable Care Act rollout...WTF?!?!