Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Keeping My Day Job

I cut Grant's hair yesterday. I started with this -

And ended with this -

I know, he doesn't look very happy in that shot. Perhaps it's related to this -

Clippers, they just aren't as easy to use as you would think.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Baby - Still in Japan

Man 16 days is a LONG time!

Tonight I talked to Audrey and I asked her, "What's new?"

She said, "Everything!"

Duh, when you're in a foreign country everything is new.

Today she and her grandma took the train into Tokyo. Audrey said it was just a bunch of adults and her and they were all staring at her. I was trying to figure out why that would be but she quickly explained - it was because Japanese kids aren't on vacation right now so people are looking at Audrey and wondering why she isn't in school.

At least, this is her interpretation of things.

She also learned how to say the Japanese alphabet. With a darn good pronunciation.

Pretty soon Japanese is no longer going to be a secret language for Buddy and me.

Just for fun, this is one of my favorite pictures of Audrey. She was just 4 hours old but look at that smile!

Monday, January 25, 2010

My Baby in Japan

When Audrey was 2-1/2 years old her baby brother went in for a surgery on his spine and our friends Trisha and Kevin offered to let Audrey stay overnight with them, allowing Buddy and me to focus solely on Grant.

As we made our way from Stanford Children's Hospital to San Jose, where Trisha and Kevin and their two kids lived, I explained to Audrey that she was going to be there for "a long time" but I promised to come back and get her.

I was nervous about leaving her alone overnight, and I find when you're stressed about one kid going in for major surgery, it's always nice to stress about the emotional well-being of the other child as well. Don't you agree?

I went back the next day to get her and when she heard my voice she came out into the living room, one hand propped on her chubby little hip, and proclaimed, "Hmm! You said you were going to be gone a *long* time!"

Well, now at age nine Miss Priss is in Japan for 16 days visiting her grandma and grandpa.

We talk every night and she tells me about her adventures. Apparently her grandma told her that she should dress neat and clean every day because other people will judge you based on your appearance. Audrey told me that night on the phone, "I don't think that's right!" I reminded her that when she's staying with her grandma she should go along with what grandma wants her to do, and when she gets home we can go back to our ragtag ways.

But inside I was so proud that she has her own opinions, even about something as simple as whether people will judge you based on your appearance.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Search Engine Battles

Did you hear the news today that Google is considering pulling out of China?

Google's Beijing office happens to be right across from my office and this afternoon people had put flowers on the Google sign like it was a memorial.

Reporters from around the world were there.

I think it's cool that Google is taking a stand. But I'm afraid that if Google makes good on this threat to pull out of China, China will forget about them in the time it takes to say "baidu".

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beijing Subway Line 13, Monday, 7:37 a.m.

It was packed, I mean packed.

In fact for several minutes I didn't even realize there was a small kid, probably five or six years old, standing next to me. The poor little guy barely came up to my hip. It's hard enough putting up with the crowds when you're eye to eye with them but imagine being surrounded by a wall of black trench coats and you can't see over them. And with each stop the trench coats keep pressing in around you, tighter and tighter.

One very kind man offered his seat to the little boy but his mom declined, saying they were getting off soon anyway.

Eventually, the inevitable happened.

The tumor-like crowds, the thick air, it was all too much for him. The little boy told his mom he felt sick and that he was going to throw up.

Anything that came up out of that little boy's stomach was never going to hit the floor, I can tell you that for sure. We were one solid unit of Packed People on that train.

And you know how throwing up can have that viral effect on everyone? I was trying hard not to think about that.

I was focusing instead on the goodness of the man who offered his seat to the little boy. I was grateful that people do things like that. I was glad to know that if it was my son, someone would show him compassion and consideration. I was proud to call Beijing home, a place where such selfless acts are not unusual.

Goodness. Gratitude. Compassion. Consideration. Selflessness.

By meditating on these good things, I managed to keep that little boy from throwing up, at least until I got to my stop.

And I can't confirm this, but I think I sustained him until he got to his destination.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Let's Start a Trend

I need all the sisters out there to unite on this new trend I have in mind.

In our lifetime, we have seen the ascent of ripped jeans and distressed furniture.

Can we make CHIPPED NAILS fashionable?

I think we can.