Monthly Archives: February 2011

Another Blog You Would Enjoy

Every once in a while, I just want to point you to the list of blogs over to the right. I don’t put TONS of links up there, but I usually put up links to blogs and sites I don’t want to forget or lose track of. This blog is written by my friend Claire who is doing some very interesting things with her life.

When we saw Claire recently, she told us about her next gig. Apparently the guy who was interviewing her spent quite a bit of time elucidating every negative that comes with the job. It’s going to be very, very cold in the mountains in Utah. She said the boots she purchased at REI had tags that asked “Are you going to the South Pole?” or something equally appealing. The cold is only part of the fun to come.

I know I’m way too much of a comfort loving person to enjoy the notion of living out of a backpack and spending my days sitting still in a bird blind waiting for the next grouse to come flying by. But, I admire the work that Claire and Justin are doing, and I wanted to share it with you.

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Ultimate Mom!

No, this is not one of those blogs where I talk about my awesome mothering skills.

Remember the term “Soccer Mom?” It has come into standard usage, and the image of a mom driving her kids to soccer practice and games in a mini-van is pretty much what pops up, isn’t it? I had to look it up though, just to see where it did come from, because I know my mom was not a soccer mom. She was a band mom, a swimming mom, and a working mom. And we didn’t have mini-vans when I was a kid. I suppose she might have been the ultimate seventies version of a soccer mom, though. She drove a Ford LTD station wagon…golden with wooden side panels.

The phrase soccer mom broadly refers to a middle-class suburban woman who spends a significant amount of her time transporting her school-age children to their sporting events or other activities. Indices of American magazines and newspapers show relatively little usage of the term until a 1995 Denver city council election. It came into widespread use during the 1996 United States presidential election

But, I digress.

My eight year old son took soccer lessons for a while and seemed to sort of like it, but not so much that he complained when I suggest we drop them. He loves Tae Kwon Do and, as it turns out, he really loves playing Ultimate. You might immediately ask, “Does Laurie mean Ultimate Frisbee?” since that is what the game was originally called.

A little wikipedia searching explains that the word “Frisbee” is copyrighted, and therefore, the game is now simply called “Ultimate” especially since the Frisbee Disc is not the only one in play. So, I have a son who is begging and pleading to play Ultimate. The school team plays on Friday afternoons, and the volunteer coach seems to be a really nice guy. I have to say “thanks” to him for bringing this game into my son’s life. One nice thing about this team is there are other parents involved, and we’ll get some carpooling set up so I’m not going to be crazy with driving all the time. But, I’ll do my share when it comes to game carpooling and the like. What else can I do?

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Mon Dieux, Cousteau, I Thought You Were All Mine

The man with the familiar red hat.

Last night I joined about a bajillion other people in Benaroya Hall to hear Jean-Michel Cousteau, Jacques-Yves’ oldest son, speak for the National Geographic Live series we attend every year. The NGL speakers tend to be world famous explorers who share their exploits with those of us who are too chicken or too sane to do what they do.

I’m not going to do a review of the event last night. This is more about where my mind wandered during the presentation which, after all, wasn’t full of new content as far as I was concerned. No, this is about the fact that, even though I’m forty-something, I’m still finding small childhood dreams and fantasies can still be shattered. That’s right. All this time, I thought that Jacques Cousteau was my personal friend and buddy. When I was growing up, I waited eagerly for his specials to come on the television so he could come into MY living room. Not yours. Mine. He came to share his special world with me.

As Jean-Michel spoke about his father last night, it became abundantly clear that Jacques Cousteau was cheating on me with millions of others. For years, I thought my obsession with the idea of scuba diving, underwater exploration and my original intention of becoming a marine biologist was my pipe-dream. Not everyone else’s, too. (Imagine a big, heaving sigh.)

It shouldn’t be such a surprise that so many people have fond memories and abiding affection for the Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau. Perhaps there was something about the way it was presented that made him see so personable. Maybe it was that I was born in 1966 and the show was part of my early childhood and my memories about it are all warped. I don’t know, but there is this fondness and warmness that goes very deep for me.

It is rather ironic that I don’t enjoy eating seafood or fish. And I don’t particularly like the smell of the ocean. Nor do I like being wet and cold. I would have failed miserably living a life like his, so it’s for the best that I’m not a marine biologist. I do believe my continued sense of awe and appreciation for the beautiful creatures of the ocean are firmly rooted by those early years of watching him on television. And, now I realize, it’s probably the same for a lot of you.

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