GETTING SCHOOLED

August 26, 2008 - Leave a Response

 

   this has been a big week in the hawgood household. for the first time ever, all three of our kids are going off to school, and for my son william that now means all day. he and the girls are whisked off to mercy montessori early in the morning by their mother, and while annelise and gabrielle come home before noon, william doesn’t arrive until the bus drops him off at four. yesterday was the first day of this arrangement, and as i saw him coming down those bus steps and into my arms something occured to me… i’ve been robbed. where are the available hours of afternoon play with william? where is all the time when we sit together, unhurried by schedual, on the big cushy leather chair in the basement and talk about things non-sensical and otherwise? where is the limitless opportunity for an early afternoon round of golf during the week, when there’s no-one else on the course and william and i can play as fast or as slow as we want? no longer in my life, that’s where. why would those people at that school need so much of his time? what could they possibly be doing all day long? how am i expected to go on with such a signifigant chunk of my waking hours in the company of william shaved off from existance? what’s happening here!?! now, i realize that i attended the very same school, but you must understand how my perspective has changed. i certainly have. i’ve also realized how good i had it for a while.  i see the lessons learned from school aren’t only in the classroom, or even on the campus for that matter.  i’d better savor the afternoons i still have with the girls because, no doubt, they’re going to want to be part of this conspiracy soon as well.

ANTWINCIPATION

July 28, 2008 - Leave a Response

 

  i have a friend named allen who has recently found out he’s going to become a father to twins.  having “dabbled in the double” myself, i feel much excitment for all that awaits him from his perfect pair. i decided to construct a list of the “top five best things about being a parent of twins”, and hope it can serve to stoke the fires of excitement for allen and his lovely wife donna.

   #1.  speed. there’s no doubt about it, you’re getting a turbo boost on the family. you have removed one tough nine month period from the landscape, and yet still gotten its benefit. the first time you see your family portrait with the extra people in frame, you’ll realize how fast you’ve gone.

   #2. attention. there’s more of it from everyone. twins immediately arouse people’s curiosity, and they aren’t shy about it. you will answer questions and accept praise about your children simply for the fact that they went through gestation at the same time. people love twins.

  #3. synergy. it might seem counter-intuitive, but twins are easier to take care of than two children of different ages. the bath goes faster, the bedtime story is read to both at the same time, and they share the same schedual. you’ll appreciate this fact for many years to come!

  #4. reference. you have a built-in way to judge levels of independance, courage, and learning. the disparities of these traits will change through the years, and it’s a kick to watch it happening.  the similarity in age is the trick, but the differences between them is where the magic lies.

  #5. stereo. of course it can be overwhelming at time, but having two voices of the same age calling out to you, hearing two sets of similarly-sized feet pattering down the hallway, and holding two of your children in your arms at the same time, and in balance, is an experience only the luckiest of parents gets to have.

      allen, i know you will find truth in each one of these good things. i wish you nothing but luck in your twinventure!

MISSING THE MATE

July 24, 2008 - Leave a Response

 

     one of these days, and i’m certain it won’t be anytime soon, i’m going to start playing chess again. i was never the best player around, but at one point in my life,  i enjoyed that game as much as the sleepy world champion, auftin nodinov, ever did.  envisioning the possible moves, and the tricky business of what response they would bring from the opponet was always a wonderful exercise in “what if”.  the joy of seeing a plan come together on the squares was, in a way, more pleasing than any athletic success. and the wit battle waged with those pillars of attrition could always make my synapses fire. i felt like my mind had gotten a cross-training workout when a game had ended. buffed up for the next cerebral challenge. when you start to think chess, it bleeds over into your approach to problems un-related to the game. social situations, work endeavors, even basic conversations become tinged with a slant of expectation consideration.  “how will this play out?” becomes a dominating question you offer yourself.  i love the way chess pieces move in different ways, just like people. few feelings are better than getting into a place where you can see in your mind the way to certain victory, and the only thing needed to achive it is a purposeful march. alas, my current responsibilities stack too high for the time needed at the board, but i’m planning to get back to that enjoyment. it’s just a few moves away.

IN A HENRY STATE OF MIND

July 14, 2008 - Leave a Response

 

    our venerable former bengal reciever has just seen his court case for assault dismissed. regardless of wether or not justice was served, what could the state of that man’s mind be right now? elation? excitemnet? relif? thanking the stars that may have luckily alligned to get him away from all that the word “guilty” would have meant? if he would have been found guilty, it is more than likely he would have never again played in the nfl. i don’t know how much they pay in canada, but i hear it’s not as much as in the nfl. when you’re suiting up for the vancouver “pack wolves” , not as many folks notice who you are when you walk down your home street…but at least you’re walking down the street, and not to your job in the laundry off cell block “c”. instead of considering all of these realities, henry now has another chance to see for himself a long future of freedom, financial independance, and even fame…and he could accomplish it all in a comparatively short period of time. it could be a new lease on life that few ever get to sign. or there could be another line of thinking. henry could be thinking that “he’s the man”. all that trouble…it was only caused by someone being jealous that “he’s the man”. the fact that he isn’t in jail?… that only proves that “he’s the man”. concern over how he behaves in the future? why would he need to worry about that…”he’s the man!”

   i hope with all my might that chris henry does a buttonhook with his life. i hope he gets poor behavior out of the way of his screaming talent, and sprints back to a good place, just like he was passing a helpless defensive back who couldn’t stay with him. i promise not to cheer for someone in the bengals defense to level him with malice should he one day find himslef facing the team that gave him so much understanding and acceptance. i cheer for henry despite of what he’s done, and becuase of what he could do.  go get ‘em chris! and i’m not talking about the big talkers in the bar crowd.

A BIG SPLASH

June 30, 2008 - Leave a Response

 it was the diving board. that long-nosed patron of thrills had ensared the interest of my 3 year old daughter, annelise.  there she was, walking toward the stairs telling me she planned to go off. all i could think to say was, allright…let’s see you do it. she climbed up and i jumped in the water, positioning myself beneath the edge…ready to catch her if she dared. she got half way down the board and turned back… but her mother climbed the stairs and met her… turning her back, once again towards the water. annelise was emboldened by the assistance (she was now reaching up, holding her mother’s hands and walking forward with her), but when she got close to the ledge the cruel mistress of fear swept across her mind…”i afraid” she said. but the moment had gripped her parents, and as luice lifted annelise just a few inches off her feet, i said “drop her down”. i quickly decended beneath the surface of the water and looked up to see the entry. a rush of bubbles as annelise came barreling down thorugh the surface and into the water… her little feet kicking to get her back up as quickly as she could go… i met her just before she made it to the surface, and lifted her upwards. i looked at her face, the moment we were both above water, and she had a big-eyed, scared look… but as we got closer and closer to the edge of the pool, i could feel the fear was leaving. i kept her lifted so her head was well out of the water as i swam her over, and when we got to the ledge, her mother met her as she was scampering out. by the time lucie lifted annelise up into her arms, she was smiling. when she looked at the diving board she had just gone off of, and realized the feat she had just accomplished, she began to beam. she stopped talking about the fact she had gone off the diving board several hours later. one big right of passage down… many more to come.

ODE TO POLLACK

May 27, 2008 - Leave a Response

 

   i am a huge movie fan.  considering the list of my favorite movies, i realize no one may have been involved with more of them than sydney pollack. i knew his influence before i knew i loved movies. i would listen to my mother talk about how much “the way we were” touched her, and was forced to listen to babs sing about scattered pictures becuase of it.  the first movie my father and i both agreed was fantastic was “tootsie”, and we still quote lines from it to each other when an applicable moment has been reached (ask for one now and i’ll tell you “my mind is a blank”).  i savored my first excellent spy thriller watching “three days of the condor”, and was amazed at the twists in “absence of malice”. in my opinion the best film pollack ever directed is one i haven’t even seen mentioned in the write-ups i’ve read about his career, and that is “the firm”. i identify with at least part of almost every character in that movie, and it is the only example i can think of where a film has been better than the novel on which it was based. it was better becuase pollack brought to it the trait i see running through most, if not all, of his movies…thinking one’s way out of a mess. in the book, mitch mcdeer gets away from the mob becuase he is lucky. in the film, mitch gets away becuase he is smart. 

     the pollack films i know well cover vastly different subject material, but they all make me comfortable in the same way.  there is a visual asthetic that entices and soothes…even when what’s happeneing in the storyline is disturbing.  perhaps he felt that if he could make the viewer comfortable through cinematography, they would more easily be able to suspend disbelif and accept whatever story was being told. i’m just glad that pollack decided to tell stories. if we are a product of our influences, i know my understanding of beauty, romance and intrigue has been formed, at least in some part, becuase of sydney pollack.  

    

THE “AIR” UP THERE

May 22, 2008 - Leave a Response

  i was aboard when the aviation industry reached the height of comfort for travellers, and have ridden all the way down to the ground floor, into which it is currently poised to crash. i started flying four times a year between cincinnati and phoenix in 1976. i was usually alone, or with my sister, and would be escorted to my seat by the flight attendant (they were called something else at that time). she would check on me a minnimum of five times during a flight, and would often bring me special little things to keep me occupied. i remember coloring books, magazines which other flight attendants had in their carry-ons, even once just for fun a styrafoam cup with water and dry ice… smoking throughout the immediate area. i was walked between gates if i had a connection, and the extra pillows and blankets simply poured forth. one time when i was in my early teens i fell asleep and wasn’t woken by anyone when the meal came around. when one of the flight attendants realized i hadn’t eaten, she got an airline check for ten dollars so i could go to a resturant in the terminal and choose whatever i wanted.  it was an absolute world of comfort and luxury which i eased through with enjoyment.

    i recently returned from a flight between the same two cities, and i doubt the difference would have been more stark even if i had been rip van winkle. poked, prodded, hurried, crammed, deprived and tested all had their place during my latest trip.  now, i realize many of the reasons for the differences, and i certainly report a lot of statistics on how much money the airlines are loosing. in fact, i’m not writing about this to point a finger at anyone. i am simply wondering, how much worse can it get?  how bad does it have to be before a significant number of people will say “it’s just not worth it”, and then what will happen? $5,000.00 for a one way ticket? an allocation of 3 ounces of water for each passenger to avoid dehydration? a pre-requsite to obey the “do not speak, motion, or hum while on board” rule? i can hear the attendant now…”would you prefer stockcade or rack mr. hawgood”? i can tell you what i hope. i hope that someone tells this story in reverse someday. that story will describe how luxurious things have gotten in air travel lately, and it will begin by decribing how bad it once was. the first line will be “in the spring of 2008 was when we hit the bottom”.

FLYING: WHERE ARE WE HEADED?

April 24, 2008 - Leave a Response

   i was aboard when the aviation industry reached the height of comfort for travellers, and have ridden all the way down to the ground floor, into which it is currently poised to crash. i started flying four times a year between cincinnati and phoenix in 1976. i was usually alone, or with my sister, and would be escorted to my seat by the flight attendant (they were called something else at that time). she would check on me a minnimum of five times during a flight, and would often bring me special little things to keep me occupied. i remember coloring books, magazines which other flight attendants had in their carry-ons, even once just for fun a styrafoam cup with water and dry ice… smoking throughout the immediate area. i was walked between gates if i had a connection, and the extra pillows and blankets simply poured forth. one time when i was in my early teens i fell asleep and wasn’t woken by anyone when the meal came around. when one of the flight attendants realized i hadn’t eaten, she got an airline check for ten dollars so i could go to a resturant in the terminal and choose whatever i wanted.  it was an absolute world of comfort and luxury which i eased through with enjoyment.

    i recently returned from a flight between the same two cities, and i doubt the difference would have been more stark even if i had been rip van winkle. poked, prodded, hurried, crammed, deprived and tested all had their place during my latest trip.  now, i realize many of the reasons for the differences, and i certainly report a lot of statistics on how much money the airlines are loosing. in fact, i’m not writing about this to point a finger at anyone. i am simply wondering, how much worse can it get?  how bad does it have to be before a significant number of people will say “it’s just not worth it”, and then what will happen? $5,000.00 for a one way ticket? an allocation of 3 ounces of water for each passenger to avoid dehydration? a pre-requsite to obey the “do not speak, motion, or hum while on board” rule? i can hear the attendant now…”would you prefer stockcade or rack mr. hawgood”? i can tell you what i hope. i hope that someone tells this story in reverse someday. that story will describe how luxurious things have gotten in air travel lately, and it will begin by decribing how bad it once was. the first line will be “in the spring of 2008 was when we hit the bottom”.

SPRING ME UP

April 2, 2008 - Leave a Response

  oh my is it nice to see things growing. i have a marsh for a backyard right now, but at least the grass in front is starting to turn green. my neighbors pear tree is already a third of the way bloomed, and the bushes are starting thier journey to full. this was kind of a nasty winter…especially that last shot of eleven inches of snow we got. glad we’ve got that one in the rear view mirror now. i’m sure we’ll get a little cold snap again, but it wont last for long (if it comes at all). i could not be happier to put my sweaters, sweatpants and jeans up for another 7 or 8 months, and break out the shorts… it’ll be no time untill we’re swimming! but before i get ahead of myself, i’ll make sure to try and enjoy the georgeous explosion of color that’s about to sweep across our fair area. i’ve got a dogwood in my front yard, and when IT blooms, i’ll stare at its white majesty for as long as it lasts. better get my mower and string trimmer ready… call me polyana, here comes the spring!!!

A FEW THOUGHTS ON SOME CURRENT EVENTS

March 18, 2008 - Leave a Response

are there a whole lot of things happening in our country right now, or am i just paying more attention these days? i am fascinated with the way the race for the democratic nomination for president has progressed. this is turning into an nba game. you see the lead change hands alot, and it might seem like one team is going to pull away…but you get the sneaking suspicion it’s going to come down to a last second shot no matter what else happens. good thing florida and michigan moved their primaries up in the calendar so they could “matter”. is that ironic?
and how about all of these famous people and their naughty trysts? my goodness! the governors alone could fill up a season of scripts on peyton place. the question which keeps coming to my mind is how do they find the time? some of these people have jobs which i KNOW are demanding at least 60 hours out of each week. do these people ever sleep?
of course the economy is interesting right now. did somebody just buy one of our major banks for pocket change? how does that happen? i don’t know that much about “liquidity”, but i really don’t feel that good about hearing a bank has no money. i thought that was the one thing you could definitely find there.
maybe if we put a campaign manager with a sordid past in charge of the federal reserve this could all work out well. what do you think?

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