Thursday, September 30, 2010

Disney comes through again!

We are Disney freaks.  We'd had a few very successful and enjoyable trips to Disney World, both with and without kids.  We had bought some Disney stock (DIS).  I had bought some Marvel Entertainment (MVL) stock a long time ago and last year Disney decided to buy the whole company, giving me a nice ten-fold increase on my original investment.  We now own a bigger buttload (relative term ...) of Disney stock.  We have some friends who are even more avid Disney freaks than we are, and at their urging/hounding/incessant suggestions, we joined the Disney Vacation Club, just like them.  It ain't cheap, but we get top notch somewhat pre-paid vacations in incredible lodgings and second-to-none customer service for the next 50 years.

We just went to WDW last week for our second annual family trip.  We stayed at Kidani Village at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.  Our two bedroom suite had three full bathrooms.  When we opened the curtains and went out on our deck we saw (mostly) a very nice replica of African wilderness.  Between our room view and those of the surrounding hallways and such, we saw zebras, giraffes, wildebeest, warthogs, okapi (looks like a Dr. Seuss rendition of a combination of a donkey, horse and zebra), nyala (look sort of like striped deer), storks, cranes, vultures, and numerous other birds.  It was wonderful.

Why don't we care about our pants?

It's raining today.  Raining hard.  We're s'posed to get ... I don't know ... several feet of rain in just a few hours.  OK, a few inches anyway.  So I came to work this morning and had grabbed only my keys, wallet, phone, and umbrella.  Parked the car.  Made sure to stow away my keys and wallet in my pockets, leaving both hands free (unusual, since I usually carry lunch, a book or two, and who-knows-what-else), grabbed my umbrella, got out of the car and locked it.  Began walking toward my building, rain coming down fast and from everywhere (mostly above).  And then a thought came to me that I have thunk (a wordicle!) quite a bit about:
I'm doing my damndest to cover my topside--head, shirt, arms--but evidently, aside from doing my best to dodge puddles, I don't care how wet my pants get from the rain.
Why is that?

Monday, September 13, 2010

"I don't get what you're saying"

OK, so it's been a while.  But my son, Li'l D, said something to me the other day that was just so mature, it stopped me in my tracks.

Li'l D is six.  OK ... six and a half.  He and I were playing with his marble game, one of those (very high quality and therefore pretty expensive) marble run sets where you set up lots of tall sculptures with tracks and holes and whirligigs and such, and then drop lots of marbles down the chute and watch them go.  It was fun.  He had built a large one on his own in the basement, and then I came over and for an hour he and I made bunches of improvements, many of which necessitated some very intricate and precise movements as we shifted pieces around, carefully working together so as to not wreck the entire thing by making it plummet to earth.  After we were done with the bulk of the rebuild, and after 5-10 minutes of him dumping hundreds upon hundreds of marbles down the chute (which is pretty loud---try dropping hundreds of glass marbles onto a piece of 3/4" thick plywood and see how long you last ...), I was studying the few pieces we had left and realized that we could indeed use them all with two more minor mods.  So I stopped the cacophony of marbles and said to him, "If we move this one over here and then shift these pieces to there and then place those on top of this and then ..."  It was then that he said, very plainly and simply:
"Daddy, I don't get what you are saying."
Very subtle, but for a six year old, I think this is absolutely amazing.  He literally stopped me in my tracks.  I sat there for a few seconds collecting myself.  I then told him that that was an incredibly grown-up thing he did.  Rather than just sit there and hear what I was saying and pretend to understand, he really wanted to fully follow what I was saying, know the details of the plan and be part of it.  He had to admit to himself (though this wasn't a conscious decision) that he didn't understand what I was saying and that he'd have to tell me so.  I was incredibly proud of him.  And I told him so several times afterward.  I also continued explaining my plan, but in a much slower and simpler manner.