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We Can Only Hope

We can only hope that President Obama would tell the kiddos about Marx and Engels like all the crazies seem to think he would.

Then, the children would know better than to make the stupid, ignorant remarks about Obama being a socialist. The students would then know better than the Governor of Florida, most FOX talking heads, and other morons the inner workings of a legitimate philosophic and economic system worth reading.

But, instead he stuck to “stay in school.” That guy, always so edgy and progressive.

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Hello

I don’t think I was ready. It had only been two hours, isn’t there a longer waiting period? I mean, she was brand new. Brand New.

We waited until the others had gone. We were crashing the family’s party, welcome guests, but guests nonetheless. The room resembled a waiting room, but the air felt like a party. Someone had brought cookies. I ate two.

In the nervous anticipation, Jack talked about politics and religion. He couldn’t be asked to hide his excitement, and he likes talking to me about taboo subjects. It was appropriate, after all, she needs a better world like we do. We were welcoming her and we might as well brainstorm a few ideas to make this place a little better.

Jake’s bearded face, tired, gave instructions. He’s good at that. You might as well do something you’re good at when it’s two in the morning. We followed his orders, leaving out the “yes sir.”

When it was our turn, we made our way down the corridors, turning right and then left. Nurses joked at the station, I thought of things to say, things I never said. Jake’s beard revealed a sly grin as he opened the door to reveal his two girls. One was neatly wrapped in a blanket, a new human of minute proportions. The other was ragged from giving life, in great spirits and suddenly more experienced on this earth than anyone else in the room. Her disheveled bed-clothes were rumpled and covering the war zone, but the perfect little girl in her arms was peaceful, happy, alive.

When Violet was first brought to her mother, she was crying. As Kathleen reached out to take her she said “Violet” in a way only a mother can, Violet stopped crying immediately and accepted her mother’s arms without fuss. Kathleen is a mother.

Jake watched the procedure and greeted his daughter with a beard. Good man. Violet later let Jake clean up her dirty diapers. Jake is a father.

I had to pry Violet from Nikki’s arms; I wanted my chance. I confirmed that she was perfect as I looked into her eyes and watched her gnaw on her hands. The contrast between the starkly sanitized room full of instruments and the breathing bundle in my arm was striking. Do we need all of these tools to bring life from life? Violet’s knit hat fell off and esoteric questions gave way to the practical. The hat was replaced, her thick, dark hair hidden from view. The white flakes stood out against her brown skin, her dark eyes seemingly endless.

I’m hoping she remembers me, I was wearing my maroon corduroy pants. I whispered my name in her ear. I think my chances are good. Welcome, Violet Ruth, welcome.

Love Sharing

I have been immensely enjoying the Elephant Journal recently. Their cheeky, socially-minded hippie ways get me every time. I’m amazed at their commitment and also often amused at their delivery. It’s worth checking out.

Also, my good friend Justin, is something like a blogging superstar. He has been accumulating links from the interwebs for our browsing purposes almost everyday. He is heading to D.C. to work with Sojourners and will likely be the first Asian-American president. Seriously, though, you should check him out, he’s destined to be awesome.

Other things I happen to love right now:

That it’s almost Fall
Running, yoga and other physical activities
Being in the same town as my family
That someday soon I will be gainfully employed
That I will soon have a little friend named Violet
That within a week I will know the gender of my first offspring
Falling asleep to the sound of an Ent meeting
Josh Ritter’s The Golden Age of Radio album
My recent success at the game Dutch Blitz
The Ramona Falls album
That I will be seeing Bon Iver live in a graveyard at sunrise with some of the world’s best people

Positive is as positive does.

This is a group blog.

C.J. and Jordan and Me.
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Here we are. Well, we aren’t all here, Jordan is outside with a smoke. That’s probably best. Smoking, while bad for your lungs, is good for your funniness. Just ask Jon Stewart.

C.J. is researching Mark Driscoll in order to mock and then cry because people actually listen to that frat boy and his dangerous rhetoric.

Where is here? Echo Street Coffee. The finest coffee establishment in this good-coffee-starved town, to my knowledge.

C.J. say something to the people.

“It’s good to be in Burbank Johnny” (with hands raised signaling a touchdown)

Great, now this is just getting silly.

Jordan has joined us.

Jordan say something to the people

“Toes on the noes, bros.”

What type of dog should CJ get and name Princeton and put in his newly purchased yard (house included)?

A Corgi? No.

Jordan wants to be a hairless Venezuelan canine of some sort.

CJ: Jordan, how is you domestication coming?

Jordan: Oh, great. Mac n Cheese, I also clean, do laundry and sometimes dust.

Jordan: How insane is Mr. Bolt for breaking his own world record?

Wait for it…

Jordan: USAIN!!!

Tim: (apparently not getting the joke) He is though.

Jordan: Other-worldly.

CJ: Sing it Bright Eyes, sing it.

Tim: It’s not Bright Eyes that’s singing

Jordan: Conor Oberst

Jordan: It’s all one man

Jordan: What do you think Jake and Kat’s baby is going to look like?

CJ: Armenian?

Tim: German?

CJ: She’ll probably grow into her limbs.

CJ: Jordan, do you know that you suck at Fantasy Baseball

Jordan: It’s an off year.

CJ: It’s an off year

Tim: Are we really talking about Fantasy Baseball?

Tim” I had to say that because I typed that I said that.

Photo 13

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I had breakfast with an old friend yesterday. It felt better than most meals. Gentle tugs at my heart, my mind never compromised. He’s a hell of a guy. He guzzled green tea and I sipped black coffee. It was terrible, but the company was worth it. It didn’t make me feel like flying, it made me feel like walking, securely in the realm of this earth, my place.

Floating down the Kings River has become one of my favorite past times. It’s cheap, free except the beer. It’s gentle, it’s relaxing, it’s a nice temperature. Sometimes we float by folks who are inclined to yell pleasantries like “show your tits” or “are you gay”. I respond with chants of “education” or “testosterone”. If I come back with a bloody nose one day, you’ll know why. Mostly, I don’t yell, I soak up the laughs and find quiet places to breathe. Delirium sets in and Jordan’s parents make us dinner for our trouble.

Driving my in-laws up the coast this weekend. I’ll take the wheel unless Nikki feels sick. When I reach for my sweater I’ll think of you. You’ll probably be sweating. The fresh air is probably good for the baby, I’ll ask Nikki to breath more than normal, to stash some clean oxygen for later. Can’t wait to play some sweet tunes for my in-laws. If we talk politics, I’ll probably concede. I always do. Nikki never does, God bless her.

Visited a camp I love. I love it; it sits close to my heart, getting nudged with each pump. It still fails. It always will. The camp, not my heart. It is a miserable sexist, manipulative, nearly-racist mess that I can’t get out of my system. My sisters were there. I felt protective. Not because of the high school boys with their bad haircuts, changing voices and hormonal impulses. But, because of the middle-aged, moustached man that thought he knew everything. He was the speaker. He wasn’t connecting. He loved hell and that he isn’t going and that some people are. He doesn’t know. He says he wrote a Seminary paper on hell, so he knows things. I thought “I write seminary papers.” Maybe I know. I don’t think I do. I told my sisters they don’t have to agree. They didn’t.

Gonna get some culture tonight. Bike Hop. It’s Art Hop but on your bike. I’ll know one person and then I’ll know many. That’s how this stuff works. Since the move I haven’t found my helmet. I’ll be careful.

Let’s get one thing straight: Barack Obama is half-white. His mother and grandparents who raised him are white. Let’s just all remember that the civilized thing to do is to burn down Glen Beck’s house. Seriously, if we were a thinking people we would demand Fox be dismantled and Bill O’Reilly and friends shipped off to Alaska.

Regardless, the “beer summit” was nice. Nothing says “America” like drinking mediocre beers from international corporations while accomplishing nothing. Actually, I don’t mind. Folks seem upset that “nothing happened”, apparently people wanted an apology (probably from the gentleman who was arrested for going home). The only person who has apologized, of course, is Obama who (rightly) called the police officers actions “stupid”. It seems lots of people are forgetting that Obama apologized the very next day and has said only kind things since. It seems like most conservatives in my circle don’t accept apologies. Nice.

I don’t mind the absence of apologies. My mother wisely pointed out that it was incredible that Obama (and, I assume, the other men at the table) proved that he is comfortable with ambiguity. When people can drink beer together, talk pleasantly and try to make the world a better place without bending their minds to the exact same frequency, we are making steps.

I have no illusions: I don’t blindly support Obama and I don’t think that the beer summit is the best thing to ever happen to American politics. I do think that this conversational ambiguity is a nice change from the ridiculous, bullying policies and approach of the Bush administration (when it actually did something…). We see this best played out in Obama’s fascinating and excellent handling of international relations.

Here’s to hoping he keeps this type of approach up at home, on our soil. God knows we could all use a beer right now.

Leave your socks at home. Seriously, if you are gonna have some street cred, I better be able to see your ankles from March to October (if you live in California). I’m not too hot on toes. You can wear flip-flops if you must, but think about a few more substantial alternatives if you are thinking of picking up a new pair of kicks. (Toms, Sperry Topsiders, Vans, Vintage dress shoes, Plimsoles)
This guy can beat you in chess... and in boat racing.

Think short(er). Come on guys, don’t be afraid of a little thigh. I’m not. And neither are the best potential relationship partners. Now I’m not guaranteeing a mate based on your 8-inch inseam, but I am saying you will be ready for the hott (two t’s). What do I mean by hott (two t’s)? Well, for one, summer can really get your upper-inners down if you aren’t careful. Let those babies breath deeply in the warm and long days. Also, a nicely tanned thigh (or two) will really increase your sexy-sexy appeal by (at least) two-fold. The confidence that is evident by a little guy-thigh, is enough to turn the most fashionable of heads. If those thighs are a nice shade of golden-brown, then you will likely warrant a double look… from everyone. Nothing is hotter.
This guy has vibe

Along the same lines as ‘think short(er)’ is the next bit of advice: think short(er). If you are wearing long pants (jeans, slacks, etc.) don’t be afraid to give them a roll, show some ankle. Even go permanent and hem them. (Yes, that means using a needle and some thread.) Instead of throwing your jacket over a puddle to show how gentlemanly you can be, just walk on through! Pants are safe, your ‘rep’ is intact and people will follow you anywhere (especially through puddles of manageable sizes).
This guy's bike could beat up your bike.

Photos from The Sartorialist