Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Good-bye or Perhaps See You Later

Today is Liam's last day going to Angel Oak Elementary.  He has been going there for two years in a special PIC class.  Before he went into the program, many told us that this school was no good.  That there was all kinds of problems there.

Liam's First Day of School

 The reality is, Liam's teacher for the last two years has been perfect for him and the principal is a fair individual who runs a good school.  The school still has issues but it is the same ones all of the South Carolinian are facing.  Run the school with a budget of magic beans.

So on this day, I congratulate Liam on graduating into his new class next year at Stono Park Elementary, thank the teachers and administration at Angel Oak for taking good care of our son and am thankful for us having such a loving and caring family.  It is a good day.

Monday, May 30, 2011

13 Years Lucky?

Today, Heather and I have been married 13 years.  Through that time, we lived in five (5) different cities, owned four (4) cars, raised three (3) 'precious' children, finished two post graduate degrees and shared (1) mostly happy life.

So what are my rules to a mostly happy marriage?

1. Never argue about the things that don't matter. Want to go out to a movie, spouse A wants to go see X, spouse B wants to go see Y but the important thing isn't the movie, is that you get to spend time together.  Where you do it doesn't matter as much as the fact that you are getting to do it.

2. Learn to accept.  I have learnt to accept that my lovely wife will never be a domestic goddess.  She wasn't when I met her, she wasn't when we married and she will never become that way.   Just like I will never be a social butterfly.  If you didn't know your partner's flaws before marriage, you didn't take the time to really get to know them first.  People are who they are and if you can't accept the other for who they are, you should not have got married to begin with.

3. Remember to love as a couple and live as a individual.  Yes, you need time together but you also need time as an individual.  It is important that you have couples things to do as well as some individual hobbies as well.  It will help you come together but not become bored with one another.

4. Balance is key.  Nothing is that bad, just as nothing is that good.  Keeping on a even keel allows you to keep to the middle path and allows you to see things for what they really are. This approach helps to keep perspective and helps in problem solving.

5. Never listen to these advice columns because every couple is different.  We all have different dynamics going on and what works for one couple may not work for another.  These ideas are what works for us.  I am not even sure Heather agrees with all of them.  So take these ideas for what they are worth.


Memorial Day...

I spend a lot of time studying war.  While I am generally as pacifistic as one comes, I am fascinated by the human condition in relation to war.  I am drawn in by the psychological and sociological pathologies that can lead to such a wave of destruction.  What could take an individual under normal circumstances would never consider harming another and lead to him/her to become a war hero? It is a moral quandary to which I hope I never have to find out if I am capable of.

On this day I remember war and hope for peace.  I wish no soldier ever has to die for his/her country ever again that that we will learn to settle disputes using words not swords.  Is this wish likely to happen?  If the history of human existence is any indicator, perhaps I have a bad case of wishful thinking.  So on this day, I remember those who have fallen, send positive thoughts to the ones in harms way today and dream of a day when this part of humanity has become a bad nightmare.  Perhaps John McCrae said it best:

File:In Flanders fields and other poems, handwritten.png

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Little girl's all grown up...

Last night Robyn competed in a beauty pageant.  I can admit, I am not a big fan of the concept and had been wondering why my smart, tom-boyish daughter would be interested. I think this is the first time, I had ever heard her ask to go dress shopping.  This was the child that less than six months didn't want to wear a dress being part of a bridal party.  So to say I was perplexed at this particular choice to be entered into a beauty pageant would be an understatement.

So upon arriving home last night, I asked her why?  She looked at me and said, 'to say I did it once.'

The whole theme of Touristic is about trying new things and finding ones path.  Her answer to me made total sense in that respect.  In the last six months she has taken her first solo international trip, played soccer on a team and entered a beauty pageant among other things.  She is consistently showing an ability to grow and a willingness to go out of her comfort zone in the search for new experiences.  In that, I could not be more proud as a parent. She is indeed my princess - one that will grow up to be queen of her own domain.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Of Food + Wine

Yesterday I conducted a talk in front of about 150 friends of the BB&T Charleston Food + Wine Festival entitled,The Evolution of the Event.  It was a lot of fun and you can read about it in the Post and Courier here.

Thanks to all of my students who worked on this project in the past, Melinda, Emily, Sharon, Amanda, Pat, Jeremy, Katharine, Jennifer, Elina, Marin, Elaine & Lindsey.  Also, thanks to Bing Pan, Kevin Smith & Frank Hefner.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Of Notes:

Just some quick thoughts:

  1. I always thought it was weird that I teach a wedding planning course but then I see their final projects where they are balancing art, budget & logistics and I think, you know what; this is cool!  The wedding plans they develop for our 'clients' really are marketing plans with a different context.  
  2. Don't you just hate when you get your days mixed up?  I had a presentation on my calendar for today, when it is actually tomorrow.  I guess that is better than the opposite.
  3. On being crabby.  We all have our crabby moments but it is nice when your other half realizes you are perhaps even crabbier than her and gives way.  It was very nice (and appreciated).

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ir's 2:00 AM Again...

This time he decided that this was a good time to wake up.  I have often thought about how much patience it requires to be a parent.  The need to remember to take a step back and breathe (or in my case a yawn).

I do love being a parent but a one week vacation from it would be worth how much to me?  Well, at least I get to go to work in five hours.

Disjointedly yours,


Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Rapture, Armageddon and Parenthood

It is almost 2:00 AM as I write this.  As the slightly askew prediction of the rapture not coming to realization yesterday, I am finding myself kind of wishing it did happen.  As regular readers know Heather and I have three kids, a 13 year old, a four year old and a six month old.  For some undetermined reason both boys who are not much of nappers decided yesterday was a good day to take three or so hour naps in the afternoon and into the evening.  As a result of this, I knew I was going to be in trouble (bedtime was not going to happen at its regular time) but not quite this much.

The six month old fought a hard and well volumed battle using a variety of screeches, temper tantrums techniques that I had not previously known he had in his repertoire.  It took several techniques but around mid-night I prevailed.  The four year old however; he went to ‘bed’ at 9:00 PM and is singing still now at 2:00 AM.  He was good and ‘stayed’ in bed but is not asleep.  Due to his autism, we really cannot go to bed until he does.  He is just constantly singing the same song over and over and over.  It is a battle of attrition his ability to be annoying versus my patience level.  Sadly, as I am exhausted, he is winning so I have retreated to write this post.  Perhaps I can regain the high ground.

I love my boy but he knows what buttons to push in order to get my patience to wane.  I know that getting angry and upset with him really just makes it harder to accomplish my task (getting him to sleep) as I am not thinking properly.  Further, I was just begging and pleading and like with my old college dates, that didn’t work with them either.  I realize I am just looking pathetic. 

I got an idea…hold on!

We have a winner!  By technical knockout in the twentieth minute of the 2:00 AM hour – the winner of the match and half decent parent of the world!  Me!  My knockout punch, I have a presentation to do for the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival on Tuesday morning.  I started to read my speech to him like a story and out cold he went!  Now, does that say something about my talk?  Ah darn!  I now have my mind on this thing.  Good-bye sleep…