Friday, October 31, 2014

You'll Never Know for Sure

The very day after my 18th birthday, I marched down to the Walkers' house and registered to vote. A few months later, I returned from classes at the U, and walked over to the Jenkins' house. I was handed a printed ballot and a pencil to vote in the Midvale City elections.  In the 31 years since then, I've never missed a vote.

I remember my yia yia telling me about how excited she was to vote for the very first time: plumbing to re-elect FDR. She was as proud of that vote me nearly 50 years later as she was on that first election day. Not because her man won, but because she voted.

And I've made sure that on some level the boys think voting is cool. I have never actually cast my ballot for Pres. Obama. In 2008 Gus did it for me, and four years later it was Niko's turn. Niko still loves to vote.

Yesterday, Kelly and I took advantage of early voting, casting our ballots in the mid-term elections. You can all probably figure out for whom we voted, but the best part of American elections: you'll never really know for sure!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Another $100,000 Pyramid

- A ping pong ball
- A collection of leaves

Things a pack rat would have?
- Four straws
- A half-smooshed plum
- A water bottle

Things you'd find in a restaurant garbage can?
- An empty pen
- A single glove

Things Niko collected in the back seat of Dad's car?



Monday, October 27, 2014

Disappearing Act

Niko named his snake Houdini because it kept hiding when the sales lady tried to put it in the box. The first couple of days at our house, we had a heck of a time finding him hiding in the habitat.
Last night Kelly told me that the door on the habitat was open, and - you guessed it - like his namesake, Houdini had disappeared. Meanwhile, Gus's (apparently) less-aptly named Herakles stayed behind clearly not interested in the world outside the habitat.

You may remember our previous snake, Zeus, left the habitat and was never seen again. Well, Kelly found Herakles - that's the good news. The bad news is the snake was on the floor in Kelly's office - two distinct puncture wounds apparently striking the fatal blow.

Although there is no direct proof, and we chose not to conduct a forensic investigation, the puncture wounds seemingly correspond to a cat's canine teeth - it's "fangs." Although innocent unless proven guilty, it looks as if another innocent victim falls to our own feline Jack-the-Ripper.

Happy hunting, Houdini - wherever you may be.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

An Autum Hike

This Sunday, my sister Sandra joined the boys and me for a brief hike in Millcreek Canyon.
It's likely one of the last hikes we'll take this year. It was a perfect afternoon - warm, sunny and full of color.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Gay Bacon

Scouting doesn't have a great track record when it comes to LGBTQ issues.  Unlike the inclusive and diverse Girl Scouts, when it comes to questions about equality, the Boy Scouts of America seem to ask what position Genghis Khan would have taken - and then stake out a more conservative stance.

Whereas I personally find discrimination in Scouting glaringly contrary to the values they claim to hold, I've also discovered that - as is often the case - everyday Scouts and leaders are far more progressive than the national leadership, who increasingly look out of touch with society.

Today Gus is heading out on an overnight camping trip with his troop. Earlier in the day, his Scout leader - a friend of ours - called to discuss the language some of the other boys use and how Gus may be feeling about it. Apparently, the boys are big fans of Air Heads Extreme Candies - flat ropes of rainbow-colored sourness.
Thanks to the color and shape, the boys have dubbed the candy "Gay Bacon." With his trademark concern for the boys under his watch, and as testament to his well-earned reputation as a supporter of equality for all people, "Scout Leader Bob" wanted to make sure that "Gay Bacon" wasn't offensive to Gus.

So I asked him. Gus smirked and said, "Do I look like it bothers me?" I admitted that upon hearing it, I too had busted up laughing.

Whereas I'm really glad my kid has a healthy sense of self worth and understands there's a difference between harmless fun and actual bigotry, I'm even more grateful that he's in a Scout Troop where the former is encouraged and the latter will never, ever be tolerated. And that philosophy starts at the top: Thanks, Bob. Treat yourself to some "Gay Bacon."

Saturday, October 11, 2014

More McEnroe Than Gretzky

This afternoon I played a little "street hockey" with the boys. I was the goalie - the boy sent tennis boys flying past me.

After scoring for the third or fourth consecutive time, Niko declared, "I'm so good and keep scoring because you've only got a skinny Greek butt."

Um, yeah that may be true, but trash talk, dude!

Niko recently made the decision not to follow in his big brother's skates as a hockey player.  Frankly, one kid on the ice is more than enough. And in retrospect, it's probably a good idea for him to pursue other interests.

Shortly after commenting on my Hellenic derriere, Niko's already cracked and re-taped stick (the result of  accidentally been driven over) received a fatal fracture when he took an ill-planned slap shot. Gus laughed, and Niko out of sheer anger smashed the already-damaged stick to the ground.
Maybe tennis is more his sport.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Just Sayin'

Associated Press, October 6, 2014

Court clears the way for gay marriage expansion

 July 31, 1988
July 2014
It's about time...just sayin'.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Are You Ready for Some...


That's right, it's hockey season again. And today was the first game of the 2014-15 season for Gus' team - the Predators.

Now that he's a Pee Wee, I've learned:
  • The players are bigger
  • The game is much faster
  • The no "checking" rule is less enforced - luckily for Gus playing right wing
In the end the Avalanche from West Valley City stomped our guys 8-0. But the Predators will be back to skate another Saturday...

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Well, if you're a chicken!

Yesterday, I pulled what remained of the vegetable garden. That means the chickens get to finally go into the plot and have a heyday.

 It's like Christmas and Thanksgiving and their birthdays all rolled into one.

Lucky chickens!