The Fall Reel

23 10 2007

I heard strange sounds dancing at me from the other room this morning at 6:30 am. It was Ian. Odd, he’s not usually so vocal at that hour. When I asked what was up, he mumbled something about the Fall Reel.

I peered in over his shoulder, and there he was, glued to YouTube. On screen his Watchung Hills Ultimate teammates were diving, running, jumping, colliding and rolling for the white disk. He cheered every layout or grab and then said to me that he was in it.

You can see still shots at Dan’s smugmug site. Here’s the video and if you pay attention around 2:40 minutes into it, you’ll see Ian pull in the frisbee over the heads of several opponents.


May Need Remedial Training

16 10 2007

One of my friends posted on my Facebook wall this afternoon “im trying to get the hang of this. May need remedial training.” (I’m leaving the typos in there intentionally to emphasize the “remedial” point.) Another of my friends blogged about her recent Facebook experience…she wasn’t impressed as you can read.

 Of course, we’re all in the “over 40” crowd and growing older. But, we are technically savvy. We work in the high tech industry. We use computers everyday to email, text, IM, and surf. So what’s the deal? What is so compelling for teenagers and college students that is not compelling for us golden oldies?

My teenager is constantly on Facebook. He uses it as a communications tool, although how much he could possibly have to say to anyone that he hasn’t already said in the 500+ text messages per month that he manages to send on his wireless phone?

If only he’d communicate as freely with me. Our conversations are like surfing the Web using a dial up connection. I “download” complex compound questions and he “uploads” monosyllabic answers…go figure.

This leads me to ponder another mystery about my teenager. How is it that he can master the latest computing and personal electronics technology but still can’t manage to operate the washing machine or the dishwasher? Last time I looked that technology was at least 20 years old. Happily, he seems to have added the toaster oven and the microwave to his operational repertoire. At least I know that he won’t starve even if his dishes and his clothing are dirty. (Am I right, people?)

Yes, may need remedial training, indeed.

Happy Mother’s Day

13 05 2007

My apologies to Maya Angelou for including this tribute in its entirety. But, I searched and searched and could not find it in print electronically anywhere. I found one interview with Diane Sawyer where Maya talks about her poem and her thoughts on love and mothering. You can read about that here.

It’s a lovely tribute. Happy Mother’s Day to all who “mother” someone in their lives. 

Mother: A Cradle to Hold Me

It is true
I was created in you.
It is also true
That you were created for me.
I owned your voice.
It was shaped and tuned to soothe me.
Your arms were molded
Into a cradle to hold me, to rock me.
The scent of your body was the air
Perfumed for me to breathe.

During those early, dearest days
I did not dream that you had
A larger life which included me,
Among your other concerns,
For I had a life
Which was only you.

Time passed steadily and drew us apart.
I was unwilling.
I feared if I let you go
You would leave me eternally.
You smiled at my fears, saying
I could not stay in your lap forever
That one day you would have to stand

And where would I be?
You smiled again.
I did not.
Without warning you left me,
But you returned immediately.
You left again and returned,
I admit, quickly.
But relief did not rest with me easily.
You left again, but again returned.
You left again, but again returned.
Each time you reentered my world
You brought assurance.
Slowly I gained confidence.

You thought you knew me,
But I did know you,
You thought you were watching me,
But I did hold you securely in my sight,
Recording every movement,
Memorizing you smiles, tracing your frowns.
In your absence
I rehearsed you,
The way you had of singing
On a breeze,
While a sob lay
At the root of your song.

The way you posed your head
So that the light could caress your face
When you put your fingers on my hand
And your hand on my arm,
I was blessed with a sense of health,
Of strength and very good fortune.

You were always
The heart of happiness to me,
Bringing nougats of glee,
Sweets of open laughter.

I loved you even during the years
When you knew nothing
And I knew everything, I loved you still.
Condescendingly of course,
From my high perch
Of teenage wisdom.
I spoke sharply to you, often
Because you were slow to understand.
I grew older and
Was stunned to find
How much knowledge you had gleaned.
And so quickly.

Mother, I have learned enough now
To know I have learned nearly nothing.
On this day
When mothers are being honored,
Let me thank you
That my selfishness, ignorance, and mockery
Did not bring you to
Discard me like a broken doll
Which had lost its favor.

I thank you that
You still find something in me
To cherish, to admire, and to love.

I thank you, Mother.
I love you.

Horsing Around

30 04 2007

Ian is going horespacking for 10 days this summer with his Boy Scout troop at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. This looks to be one of the coolest adventure trips, and I am sooooo jealous. We thought both of us would go 2 years ago, when the trip was coed because the troop was partnering with a Venture Scout troop, the only coed youth program in the Boy Scouts of America. But Ian didn’t meet the age qualification, so we were shut out. This year, his troop is partnering with another boy scout troop, and they don’t need female chaperones. So Ian – lucky dog – is going, and I’m staying home.

In any event, they’ve begun training with horses to prepare for the trek. Sunday was the first training session. I’m chaperoning in order to learn as much as I can….because next time I’m going along!! And if not, I’m taking myself to a dude ranch or something.

Here are some photos from the Sunday session. We groomed and saddled Jersey, Cody, Diesel, and Chico. They were sooooo cool. I can understand why my friend Barbara rides regularly. I’m already looking forward to our next session.

Diesel is the painted quarter horse with blue eyes. Chico is the dark brown horse Diesel Chico

This is Molly, the crazy barn dog. She was a lot of fun, too. And posed beautifully for this photo…hot dog!


The Ultimate

22 04 2007

Oakwood Friends School Tournament Poughkeepsie NY   I found myself unexpectedly in Poughkeepsie, NY yesterday. What parents won’t do for their kids, right? My cell phone rang around 5 pm on Friday.

 “Mom, can you drive some of us to the JV ultimate tournament tomorrow?” said this urgent, I-need-an-answer-right-now-this-very-minute voice said to me. “Can we fit 3 kids in our car?”

Sure? No problem there Ian. All those “to-dos” on my list will still be there when I get home…where’s the shoemaker’s helper when you need him/her? And so, at 7:30 AM yesterday I find myself road-tripping to Poughkeepsie with 4 already sweaty teenage boys stuffed like sardines into my little Matrix.

 But it was a glorious spring day…warm, sunny, with a cool breeze. I was happy to let the “to-do’s” for another day. The kids played well, losing their first game by a nose and winning their third game handily.

This was actually my first tournament as a spectator, and it was fun. The game is fast paced as the kids race back and forth across the turf. What’s really cool, is that ultimate frisbee, at least at this level, is a game of honor…no referees, no umpires, no whistles, no over-stimulated ranting parents. The kids referee themselves and, surprisingly, very few disputes over calls or play behavior arose. The focus seemed to be on keeping the game moving and winning by simply outperforming the other team…very refreshing!

And, the day was not complete without a great picnic provided by Grace Pak!! How could we possible do anything without weaving it into The Endless Feast??? Thanks so much for the kimchee and the noodles and the red bean rice. It was delicious!

I’ve included a couple of photos from the game, but my camera is really not up to the challenge for landscape photos such as this.

WHRHS Ultimate JV Team

Paybacks are a Beatch

26 03 2007

Ugh! We’re having a bout of a nasty, nasty stomach bug here…well, so far, Ian is having a bout of it. But I think it’s all paybacks for him…seems that he and his buddies connived an extended visit on Saturday after their ultimate practice.

 Using a measure of teenage trickery and deceit…like when asked, “Where’s your dad?” He answers, “Uh, I don’t know. I think he’s at a party.” Or, “What time is your dad coming home?” “Uh, he’ll call me.” …Ian extended an hour or so visit into a 6-hour stay at his friend Wesley’s house. Like, “Ian are you moving in or what?”

 The bad news for Ian, is that Wesley’s mom was sick with a stomach bug last Thursday and Friday. So I’m guessing that he picked up that contagion while hanging out and now is paying the price.

Of course, ultimately, it’s mom who has the lucky chore of fetching this and that and cleaning up the puke and, likely, infecting herself in the process. Pee-yew..the stench of 10-hour partially digested pizza…it’s enough to make you gag even if you’re not feeling ill.

 Oh well, and if I get sick, I’m sure it’s payback for something silly I’ve done, too, and on and on…Hey whatever happened to “Pay It Forward?”