Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Dear God.... I can't believe it

You have 88% Iowa in you!

Wow! You're almost all Iowa. No wonder you're such a likeable person. Isn't it great being so close to the greatest state in the country!

Do you have Iowa in you?

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Today I am closer to 40 than 30. That's a very strange feeling. When I was younger I could imagine being 30. I have never been able to imagine being 40.

I'm not doing too bad physically for a 35 year old guy. I have a lot more grey hair than I used to. And I'm finally starting to get a little thick around the middle. But really I don't feel any different than I did was in 25. I still stay up ridiculously late and can still handle the lack of sleep pretty well.

One of the stranger things for me is that I always figured I wouldn't live to be that old. Don't know why, just always had the feeling 70 was about as old as I was going to get. I am now halfway there. I definitely am re-evaluating that idea. I have a lot to do and 35 years isn't really enough time.

I am getting to be more of a pacifist in my old age. One view that has completely changed in the last ten years or so is my view on the death penalty. When I was young, I was entirely in favor of it. Then I decided that I'm not against the idea, just our government's execution of the idea. Now I am fully against it. I just have found this intense respect for life, all life, as I've gotten older. Having kids probably helped that along. But it's not so much that I have respect for an individual killer's life, but the very concept of life itself. It's an amazing thing to create life, create a conscious being with thoughts and feelings, and we should never de-value that by destroying any life, even those who have shown no respect for life.

I see all this war that fills the world and it exhausts me to think about it. I understand why people go to war, why they feel it's necessary to do so, and I can absolutely see that point of view. At the same time, I wonder why we can't figure out a better way to work things out. Of course, we're dealing with terrorists who are willing to sacrifice their own lives to kill us, so it's hard to imagine any way to "work things out".

When I was a kid in the 70s and 80s, there was the Cold War. We were hoping the Russians loved their children, too, so World War III wouldn't happen. Then in the 90s we lived through a time when we didn't feel threatened. We emerged from a long dark tunnel and the sun was shining. And then September 11 put out our sun and it hasn't shined since.

I asked Sharon tonight what good is going on in the world. All I see is fighting and anger and sadness. She came up with a list of three or four different groups that are bringing a little bit of sun. Doctors without Borders was one. But all of the examples seemed small to me compared to Civil War in Iraq, the Lebanon - Israel War, and the constant threat of terrorism not to mention the government's slow and constant destruction of our American ideals. This is why I haven't blogged about politics or current events much lately. It's all too depressing.

So I say to hell with the messed up world. I'm going to focus on my little piece of it here in Iowa, with my wonderful wife who loves me and my two shining girls who brighten my darkest day.



I think turning 35 is making me moody, too.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

First comes love...

2006-07 is turning into the year of the wedding. We've got two weddings in back to back weekends in September. And we just found out last night that there's a wedding on the horizon for an old college friend who's marrying the girl he had a crush on in high school. So 06-07 (I think in school years now that I'm working at a college) is the year of the wedding. And you know what that means...

2007-08 will be the year of the baby.

Speaking of babies, I met my niece Nora last Saturday. She's a cutie. I got plenty of babytime and discovered holding, burping and feeding a baby are bicycle skills - you never forget how to do it. Hanging out with that little munchkin made me realize just how big my kids are. Sammi is the "baby" in our family, but she's definitely no baby! Rachel was fascinated by Nora. She held her, fed her and played with her as much as you can with a two month old baby. For her part, Nora seemed very interested in Rachel. I look forward to three or so years from now, when Rachel will be leading her younger sister and cousin in some game she has devised.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Horse heads and so much more

It's tough to relate to kids because it's hard to remember what you did when you were six, let alone how you felt inside. But I try. Last night, Rachel was treated to a very fun visit from Mateo and Mary. She was absolutely thrilled to see them and had a great time playing with them.

(Sidenote: Mary (not Mateo suprisingly enough) came up with the idea of putting Rachel's hobby horse under the blanket on the bed and then allowing an unsuspecting person to lift the blanket and scream a la The Godfather. I imagine in about fifteen years Rachel will see that movie and suddenly understand the reference to this soon-to-be-favorite childhood game. And then, of course, she will finally realize how crazy her parents and our friends really are.)

Anyway, the problem came after they left. Rachel was just devastated because she knows they live far away and she won't see them again for a long time. Now as an adult I have the emotional fortitude to deal with not seeing friends for a long time, but Rachel is just a little kid and this was the absolute-worst-thing-in-the-entire-world and lead to racking sobs for a half hour. Sharon came up with the excellent idea of writing M & M a letter to which Rachel said, "And can I send them a picture?" So in the end, things are going to be okay. And we all agreed that it was far better to have M & M visit for a little while than not at all.

As a parent, of course, you don't want your kids to be upset, to cry, to feel sad. Intellectually, you know it's a part of growing up. Understanding and accepting that life doesn't always work exactly the way you want it to is an important lesson. But it still tears you up to see your child so upset.

I suppose this is just a long way of saying, it's hard being a dad.

However, it's also more than worth it. For instance, this morning I came upstairs to discover my girls snuggling together on the couch. Big sister Rachel had her arm around her little sister as they watched a cartoon together. It was a moment that I wish I could have frozen forever.

And that's why it's great being a dad.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I could...

Sharon asked me if I'm ever going to blog again. The answer is well, sure. But the fact is I don't have anything interesting to say. Or rather I have topics in my head but they're not very well-formed.

I could write about Rock Star Supernova, which isn't as good Rock Star INXS, but is still enjoyable because every night there is at least one stand out performance. Did you catch Ryan's amazing rendition of Losing My Religion on Tuesday? All of the contestants are amazingly talented, but I don't find it as satisfying as last year's show because I don't enjoy as much of the music they're choosing.

I could write about Big Brother, which has Evil Dr. Will back for the All Star season. He's as funny and as good of a manipulator as he ever was. You would think he'd been evicted by now, but the morons keep letting him screw with their heads. I wouldn't be surprised if he actually won the whole thing.

I could write about the Black Dog playwriting group I am part of. We've had two meetings so far and I've really enjoyed reading the plays and sharing my own work. We have a very good mix of people who have smart insights into writing and drama.

I could write about my girls. Rachel is going to kindergarten in just a few weeks. I can't believe how big she is. Sammi is also getting bigger every day and is so smart and talkative. Rachel mostly learned how to swim last week while we were on vacation. She still needs more practice, but she's reached that comfort stage in the water and can swim a few strokes before her head ducks underwater.

Or I could just wait until I have more to say.

My Survivor blog has the latest news and speculation as well as some spoiling about the show.
About Me

Name: Matt
Location: Coralville, IA
I am a Dad and a Husband. An Actor. An Administrator. A Hiker. A Writer. Probably a bunch of other things too. Read my blog and you'll find out more.
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

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