Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fatherhood, Natural and Assumed

Regardless of whether it has gone out of fashion in today’s society, deep in the heart of every man is a desire to protect his loved ones. To make sure that they feel safe when you’re around, like the calming presence of a strong lion protecting the rest of the pride. Though I’m sure that this instinct is there with boys as well, the strong conviction I have to protect my daughter is greater than nearly anything I’ve felt in my life. It isn’t a feeling that has to be worked up, it’s just there, like cement, daring someone to move it.

I found this quote today and immediately knew the author's heart. He's correct that the instinct to protect is also present with boys, however it is different. The instinct to protect your son is usually tempered by a desire for him to learn and adapt. What I mean is that you want to keep your son safe enough. With daughters, fathers are much more willing to explain what could have happened in complete safety, rather than letting them actually fall and then rescue them.

What I find even more amazing though is that the instinct to protect a daughter is not at all biological. My daughters are not mine biologically. But I know of no possible way that my desire to protect them could be any more absolute. And as the quote says... There was no learning curve to ramp up... One day my oldest called me daddy and the desire to protect fell like a ton of bricks.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

10 Things I Love: Relaxation Edition

10.The way a hardback book feels in your hand.

9. Watching my wife and daughter get ready in our single 10 square foot bathroom. (Oddly it doesn't seem to relax them the same way.)

8. Schmoozing with George. George is the owner of my favorite restaurant, he's 30 years my senior, Italian, and amazing. English is, I believe, his 12th language. There's nothing quite like listening to an Italian yell in German at an American football game that's on a Japanese TV.

7. Earl Grey tea.

6. My pipe. Especially with Sherlock tobacco. An unfinished Savinelli that my wife gave me. Just holding it relaxes me. Much to my youngest daughter's amusement, I have a tendency to carry it wherever I go even though I rarely smoke away from home.

5. The weight of my dog's chin on my knee when she needs her ears scratched. We have 5 dogs... That makes me tired just typing it... But Bella is the queen. Full Blood Boxer goodness and the sweetest dog to ever live.

4. A snifter of after work scotch. Especially Glennfiddich. You remember the old Calgon commercials? That's what my 5:07pm cocktail does for me. I stand in the living room, still in my suit, wafting the bouquet of my ambrosia while 5 dogs explain in full synchronized expressive dance how they missed our family all day, my wife and daughter prepare for whatever their evening's mischief will be, and my wife tells me about her day... not in rapid succession but at the exact same time. A guy with ADD has to have chemical assistance or the scene would make me pass out from sheer number of stimuli.

3. Working in the garden.When you work with technology and people who don't know how to right click all day... Dirt is very calming.

2. Enjoying the dinner my wife prepared with friends. The equation is simple. The event can never be announced before 5:45pm on the same night of the event. I will be sent to the local market for any necessities while C cooks. At least two visitors will arrive. There will be much wine, more talk, and my wife perfecting the whole gala in her amazing grace.

1. The 10 minutes of whispering with my wife in bed before I fall asleep each night.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Awkward Family Photos

And I thought my flared corduroy pants were difficult to explain.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Of Note...

This month's British GQ brings us:
  • A humorous op-ed piece called The bonfire of the pieties by Dylan Jones.
  • For most of us, an introduction to indie rocker Natasha Khan.
  • Several solid fashion pictorials.
  • And a nice synopsis of James Gandolfini's lastest project.
Its worth mentioning that I did not find the piece on January Jones particularly mesmerizing but it accomplished its purpose.... which was to justify the cover photo. However I will point out that this is an excellent example of what makes the British edition of the magazine much more interesting to me. Their cover ... however sexually motivated is of a 31 year old actress who can actually act and is known more for her beauty and talent than her nightlife escapades. Last month they had an interview with Eva Green. The Americans have had Lindsay Lohan twice in as many years, Megan Fox and J. Aniston. And while the latter is older and a capable actress, her placement on the cover was completely based on tormenting her ex-husband. Note to the editors: Leave the faces of the moment to Maxim and show us the characters that are actually interesting.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A good example of why life should imitate art and not vice versa

This video reminds me of the first week of knowing the woman that would become my wife... And it reminds me that I still feel like this.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

4 Argument's You Can't Use Against Gay Marriage.

Marriage is defined as between a man and a woman.

Definitions are not rules. They aren't laws. A definition is a description of what a word means at the time the description is written. It is in and of itself amoral. It is the consensus of what speakers of the language mean when they use the word. Therefore unless we clarify what type of definition we're referring to (legal, scientific, etc.) the definition changes as quickly as our usage. So what the word is documented as meaning cannot be an argument against change. The fact that the definition would have to change is not persuasive in any way since they'll print a new edition of the dictionary next year if the definition of marriage evolves or not.

Secondly, we only disallow marriages based on gender. Any other infraction of the definition of marriage in society today does not lead to a politically required banning of or end to a marriage.

Adultery does not affect an immediate divorce in any state... the partner must file for it. If two people define their marriage as open (meaning they are free to be sexually active outside the marriage) then we still allow them to marry. Even though a monogamous homosexual relationship is probably much closer to the traditional definition of marriage.

If we say gay marriage is acceptable, then next we'll say that (enter awful sounding sexual act usually involving childern or animals) is ok.

This argument is wrong for two reasons. First its an argument based on the slippery slope fallacy. Simply, that one action without a doubt will lead to a secondary action which in turn will lead to another. In its purest form the fallacy is called the Armageddon argument, where whatever action someone is arguing against will without fail lead to the end of the world, whether literally or figuratively. For an argument to retain any validity it must make a direct causal connection between the primary action and the caused effect. The argument that gay marriage will lead to inter species marriage is my personal favorite. Heterosexual marriage has been around for some time, but a man marrying a female horse I'm fairly sure is still illegal. The point is this. The only place there is a similarity between gay marriage and these deplorable actions that opponents bring up is their own distaste for the actions themselves. There is no logical reason why gay marriage would lead to any other type of contract that doesn't specifically have to do with homosexuality.

Secondly, this argument sometimes finds an audience because of a general misunderstanding of homosexuality. There is no direct tie between homosexuality and actions that we would consider unacceptable or sexually deviant. Pedophilia is as horrifying to the homosexual as it is to the heterosexual. The basic core of homosexual or heterosexual marriage is love, commitment, and consent between two people.

The Bible says that its wrong.

If people don't believe in the Bible then this is just a stupid argument. You're presupposing that something gives you credibility that doesn't and it just makes you look dumb. Even if you can completely prove that the whole Bible undeniably condemns homosexuality (which is doubtful) then all you've proven is that your opponent disagrees with the Bible and thwarted your own ability to use that text as a source of wisdom or inspiration on any other subject. Think of it this way... If you think the Bible is a moral compass and I argue that something is wrong because the Koran says so, is that really helpful?

The Happy Argument

Version 1 Gay marriages aren't happy. I know of one that is... argument over.

Version 2 Most Gay marriages aren't happy. Most heterosexual marriages aren't happy... next?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Anthony Hare

This morning's internet monitoring turned up an interesting Canadian illustrator named Anthony Hare. His work is published all over and has a definite New Yorker quality to it. His flickr account is here. And below are a few of my favorites.

Quote of the Day

No doubt, if we Americans spent as much time reading, studying, and thoughtfully reflecting as the British, we would be every bit as intelligent, literary and articulate as them. But we have better things to do, such as getting more money, and calling in our votes for America's Sexiest Food-Obsessed Midgets, and keeping the world safe from democracy.
George Suanders excerpt from The Braindead Megaphone

Friday, May 1, 2009

Why you should drink espresso.

My trip to the coffee store this morning proved inspirational to the following list while I drove to work.

  1. It's cheaper than a venti non-fat mochachino with a shot of caramel... a double espresso is always less than three bucks. Save two dollars a morning times three mornings a week times one year and you could buy this.
  2. It's what you want... you drink coffee for the caffiene. Anything added is fluff.
  3. You get to be a purist. No greater way to start the day than a knowing smile from a barista, the third hardest group of people to impress (after IRS Agents and prospective mothers-in-law).
  4. It's more consistent. Every pour of espresso is certainly different but when you add the barista, three other ingredients, and the morning rush to your coffee who knows what your going to end up with in the cup. First thing in the morning is not the time for surprises.
  5. It's faster. During rush, baristas tend to have every espresso machine pouring at any given time its possible. If all they have to do is pour yours in a cup, you'll usually be in your car by the time the two guys before you get their coffee.
  6. It's cleaner. Ever drop a venti mocha valencia in your car? My five year old could carry the 2 to 4 ounces of liquid in that espresso container on a roller coaster and not spill it.
  7. It's healthier. Its the drink you get now, minus the sugar and fat.