Sunday, December 18, 2016

Turns out, this post is more or less a Christmas letter

It has become increasingly apparent to me over time that I must write in the mornings, before the world has begun to claw away at me. On Sundays there are first pancakes to be made and eaten, newspaper to be read, sometimes tennis to be played and/or and AA meeting to be attended, and by the time all that's done it's already noon and the mindset to write has passed. Which is why my hit rate is better on Saturdays than Sundays.

Even today, on the way to my desk I had to fend off myriad chores, piles of laundry to be laundered, bed to be made, stacks of magazines to be weeded through, etc. At the very least I did not look at Facebook or email.

For the blog is, for me, by now, quite clearly my interface to the ages, the mediation between the present, the past, and the future, when I can come back and view this stuff.

This will be another interesting Christmas.  Various family members have varying health and other challenges. I won't go into them here, out of respect for their privacy. Us, when you get right down to it, we are fine. What are our challenges now? I will catalog them only for the sake of posterity.

After her bus was insanely late and she and her friend arrived at school right when testing was started, so she was stressed out and crying, Natalie got a disappointing score on her PSAT and won't be a National Merit Semifinalist.  Had they taken her SAT scores from sophomore year, she totally would have been, so we were pretty confident that she would be. It's not a big deal, but is only emblematic of the fact that we are entering into the crunch time of the college application process and we on the one hand want the absolute best for her, but on the other are trying to minimize our participation in the national psychosis around where you go to college. And it's hard with us having gone to pretty fancy places. We want her to do well without losing sleep or joy. And knowing that she has our love always, no matter what.  She continues to do debate and mock trial and generally works her ass off while rarely getting cranky. We don't worry about her doing drugs or alcohol.  What's not to like? I do wish more boys would show appreciation for how pretty she is, but I have seen from others from my high school days that there appears to be little correlation between being "popular" in high school and happiness later in life.

Graham is playing ultimate frisbee, which is awesome, he just hasn't figured out how to integrate himself into offense. Which I totally get. Offense can be profoundly confusing because you have to think ahead of the other team on your feet and be creative. I think I probably gravitated towards defense for this reason, it is more or less rules-based. You learn what you are supposed to do and do it.  Also, his room is an absolute wreck and has teen boy smell, but at least it's less bad in the winter. I have mentioned his comb and you know where we are in Star Trek, so you're up to date there.

Mary over the last week has gotten more active politically, having spent a couple of days up in Raleigh protesting the Republicans "special sessions" during which they went out of their way to cut the legs off of Governor-elect Roy Cooper. Fuckers. She seems energized by this, which is all good.

She continues to push us further in the direction of a plant-based diet. Sometimes it sucks. Not rarely I eat some lentils for dinner and then drift off to sleep thinking that maybe I'll get myself a biscuit from Sunrise the next day.... I almost never do.  In the end, I know that she is doing the right thing both environmentally and from a health perspective, and that every time I eat a plant-based meal I cultivate an appreciation for it.

Me, I keep plugging away at building my business, having switched firms in the middle of the year, right around our big trip over the pond. That was stressful, and building a business is not easy. Managing other people's money is also not easy. I obsess a little. But I have been sleeping fine, partly because I keep exercising. I've been playing more tennis recently.

OK. I've been blogging long enough, time to get ready for Granny and David to come over later. There is much tidying to be done, and it's better if I am proactive about it rather than waiting for Mary to come ask me.

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