Inglourious Federation Basterds

As a lifelong Star Trek fan, I’ve enjoyed a long tradition and it’s time to revisit it today.  The tradition goes like this:  I look at the current state of Star Trek and say, “Paramount can’t possibly screw this up any worse than they have!”  And Paramount responds, “Wanna BET?”

Now they’ve outdone themselves, tapping Quentin Tarantino (!) to direct the next Trek movie and erase any lingering vestiges of what the property once represented.  But at least we get this awesome fan trailer, which is likely as close as I’ll get to seeing the film:

Jason Is Seven!?

I always seem to start these posts off with a phrase like “impossible as it seems…” but doggone it, it really is hard to comprehend how your kids can go so quickly from tiny little newborns to…well, in Jason’s case, seven years old!

jp_pwd10I still remember the surprise I felt the  morning of April 15, 2003, when Laura told me it was time to go the hospital (three weeks ahead of schedule)  and how we dropped our tax return in the mailbox on our way out.  And of course I remember what a bundle of nerves I was, convinced I was going to humiliate myself by passing out in the delivery room, only to end up being thrilled by the whole experience and getting really into it.  And I remember Jason, lying quietly under a warming lamp seconds after being born, checking out his new surroundings with a serious stare and giving the first glimpse at what we’d come to know as his inquisitive, analytical brain.  (I’m thinking, “Cool, he’s not a screamer” while the nurse is taking points off his APGAR score).   And then his eyes locked on mine, as if to say, “You! This is all your fault!”

It occurs to me this blog began pretty much when he did, with a post to share the results of our first ultrasound with friends and family.   Over the years, I’ve tried to use this space to record Jason’s adventures, sayings and accomplishments, but I haven’t been nearly as good about it as I intended.

Suffice to say Jason’s made me a very proud Dad since the day he got here.  He’s a sweet kid with a big heart and lots of love and patience for his little brother and sister.  He’s got a great mind and a goofy sense of humor, and naturally he’s terribly handsome.  In the last year, I’ve particularly enjoyed watching him blossom as a Cub Scout, showing good manners and respect to his leaders and fellow scouts and tackling his various badge requirements with real dedication and effort.

Happy birthday, Jason, and thanks for showing up early that mid-April morning in 2003 to kick off seven years of good luck for Mommy and me.  We’re looking forward to the next seven just as much.

Happy Birthday, Grace!

grace_at_11Well, our little girl turns 1 today. It hardly seems like a whole year since she squinted up at me with those baby blues under the bright light of the warmer in the delivery room, clutching desperately to my index finger and wailing away. I have to confess I had some trepidations about adding a third kid to the line-up, and no idea how to take care of a little girl, but the moment she grabbed my finger, she wrapped me around hers.

Grace is standing on her own now, and loves to walk around the house with one hand holding Mommy’s or Daddy’s. Pretty soon she’ll be letting go and walking on her own. We’d hoped maybe she’d hit that milestone this past weekend, with Grandma visiting from Ohio, but unless she does it for us today as a birthday present, I guess we’ll have to wait a bit longer.

Jason wants to see Grace blow out a candle today, but I told him she hasn’t yet figured out how to blow. The closest she comes is when she points at pictures or toys of Winnie the Pooh and says “Puhh!” Jason’s plan is to hold a Pooh toy near the candle and get her to say his name to blow it out.

Happy Birthday, Gracie. It’s been a great first year; can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for us in the next one.

Best. Video. Ever.

No, seriously. Might as well lock down Youtube now and call it quits.

In this video, we finally understand the secret behind William Shatner’s…erm…unique speech patterns. Obviously he hears music the rest of us aren’t privy to.

Watch as The Shat reveals Captain Kirk’s true love. Having proven himself too much man for any woman, Kirk unleashes his manly charms on a mountain. That’s right, a mountain.


ge-cruisinIt’s hard to believe that a mere three weeks or so back, Grace could only rock back and forth on her hands and knees and hint at crawling. Today she’s speeding all over the place and inserting herself into any number of nooks and crannies…from which she’s then unable to extricate herself, naturally. She’s also able to stand straight up with one hand on a piece of furniture or other object to steady herself, and more than once, she’s let go with both hands to pick up an object, with predictable results. Over the weekend we visited Nana and Big Daddy in Chase City, and Grace added stair climbing to her repertoire, crawling up the same four carpeted steps Scott first learned to climb on.

Scott meanwhile is teaching himself to read and is currently figuring out vowels. It’s always hard to tell where we are with Scott because if you ask him a direct question he’ll plead ignorance:

“What are the vowels, Scott?”
“I don’t know”
“Well, how do you spell your name?”
“Which of those letters is the vowel?”
“Okay, so then O must be one of the vowels, right?”
“I don’t know.”

Last night I took Jason to VCU for “Astronomy Night” and we learned some fun stuff about the planets, nebulae, pulsars, black holes and the lot. The auditorium was filled with homeschooled kids from Jason’s age on up into early teens, and whenever the presenter threw out questions about space and physics they piped up enthusiastically, usually with the right answers. Weird as it can be living with a kid with Jason’s brain, it was even more surreal being in a room full of them. Of course, much of the fun for Jason was just being out and about past his usual bedtime. Hopefully it made up for the night before, when he had a bad dream: Apparently there was an election (for what, I don’t know) and Jason received only 327 votes to Scott’s 916. Devastating.

Recently Jason was explaining to me how fast he could run around the yard and I told him maybe he could be in the Olympics when he grew up and he said, “Yes, and I’ll take my kid to see me in the Olympics. And I’ll buy him popcorn and drinks.” That would be very nice, I said. “Yes,” he answered solemnly, “I’m going to be nice when I grow up.”