July 24, 2008

A new rant: Forget Progress

Tme for a new rant. This has been bubbling up for too long and I need to let some of it out, here. So, away we go.

I reject “progress” and I reject “progressive thought” and, while I am at it, I reject “change”.

I choose old, tired, shopworn, out of fashion, boring, conservative, modes of thought and behavior.

I am not persuaded that progress in social thought or behavior has brought enough good with the bad.

I reject the notions:

*that sexual promiscuity is without consequence, either physical or emotional;

*that tattoos are acceptable on anyone not a veteran;

*that television should be my guide in choosing my own personal behavior;

*that music that calls woman bitches is socially redeeming and valuable protest music;

*that we should not be permitted to make value judgments;

*that the Left is correct in failing to protest the position of gays or women in the Islamic world;

*that no one on the Left appears to seriously recognize the significant cognitive dissonance in wearing t-shirts like, “Gays for Palestine”;

*that children’s literature should be filled with teaching moments to glorify and reinforce diversity;

*that some abstract notion of statistically tracked racial diversity is valuable while diversity of opinion is not important;

*that “Unity” (yes, Sen. Obama, I’m talking to you) is ipso facto valuable and not, in fact, a fascist concept designed to stifle debate and freedom of expression;

*that someone’s “hurt feelings” is more important than my right to freedom of speech and, maybe more importantly, freedom AFTER speech;

*that parents abdicate their responsibilities to give their children moral guidance and instead transfer that responsibility to a school where such things are decided by a committee and implemented by books designed to meet the California market;

*that self-esteem is built by endless and meaningless praise, instead of struggle and accomplishment;

*that some banks are too big to fail (I just hope mine is not among them);

*that it is never appropriate to use your fists to settle an argument;

*that a nuclear Iran is a neutral force on the world stage (please, how can anyone seriously believe this?); and, finally (for now),

*I reject the notion that the United States is not the single greatest force for good among world actors today.

So, if you disagree, leave me alone in my quiet corner where my children don’t watch television, are not permitted near a computer, and have to read or go outside and run around to play elaborate made up games. I promise you that my kids will be ready to help pick up the pieces after you mess up our society.

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July 22, 2008

No backwards dives

Don't let the dear little idiots do any backwards dives off diving boards, ok? Unless, of course, you enjoy spending Saturday nights in the emergency room and hanging out with plastic surgeons.

The Boy Child went off the diving board Saturday night in a backwards dive and smashed his face on the board. I took him to the emergency room for a 3 hour visit where the plastic surgeon put 3 layers of stiches in the deep cut (down to the muscle) on his chin (2 cm wide). He has to be kept fairly still for 2 weeks until the stitches come out -- no swimming or sports.

He was very brave. I was, perhaps, a bit less brave (but not so he noticed).

The real hero was the Girl Child, one mother who witnessed the incident recounted to me. She told me that while everyone froze, the Girl Child who was in the water immediately went to the Boy Child who himself was struggling to swim (and not really managing it) and propped him up as she propelled him to the side of the pool. I was so proud of her for coming to his rescue. This is what you hope your child will do but you cannot be sure until she is tested. The life guard pulled the Boy Child out but I am certain that the Girl Child materially contributed to the rescue.

It was a long weekend.

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July 15, 2008

Playing catch up

I have been busier than a differently abled decorative wall covering installation customer service associate.

I have been, in some cases, fending off calls from head hunters who want to move me from my current firm, and, in other cases, succumbing to their blandishments, entreaties, and probable outrageous overstatements and agreeing to meet with some people. It has been an interesting experience, actually. Law is a business, don’t forget. But the fact is that most lawyers are terrible businessmen. So, discussing a potential business combination with another lawyer is actually a bit of a frustrating experience. This is why lawyers (like me, not to brag) who have any kind of decent head for business are really loved by their clients.

I don’t even know how to catch up on all that has gone on of late, so I am not sure that I should even try to compose a connected, related post that flows, chronologically, from topic to topic or event to event. Instead, maybe I just throw it out there as best as I can recall.

* * *

I had the Girl Child (7.5 now) into the city with me on Friday last. We played hooky from camp and work, respectively. She needed the time away from life and I wanted to have a father/daughter day for just the two of us. We had lunch and breakfast in the city and I took her to the Museum of Natural History to see the Horse Exhibit where she stumped the docent when she asked why the chestnut was not marked on the large model of the horse they had put up.

Highlights of the day include her telling me that the lions in front of the Main Branch of the New York Public Library were named: “Attitude and Fortitude”. Much better names for NY Lions than Patience and Fortitude.

We also talked about weddings and I asked why girls seemed to spend so much time and energy on a wedding, thinking, somehow, that a great wedding was a guaranty for life happiness. I asked her since she was a girl, I told her, and more likely to be able to explain it to me. She put down her fork and said: “Pappa, I think it is because of the movies. You know, like Cinderella. The girls see these movies and want to be just like the girls in the movies and marry princes. That’s why I think it is.” She is much smarter than I am.

* * *

I signed up for the Fall to coach the Boy Child’s Soccer team. I played in high school for a very good program and I expect I remember how to do it. I am so glad I can spend this kind of time with him. There are no do-overs, are there?

* * *

I played in a huge 32 team tennis tournament this weekend with a friend. We made it to the finals in our bracket where we lost. Much sun, much beer, much tennis over both Saturday and Sunday, much trash talking (in a nice way), and way too much fun.

The Girl Child swung by at one point to watch and then went to have lunch with another family. The other family has a daughter the same age as the Girl Child. She asked the Girl Child where I was and was told, “playing tennis”. The other girl offered up that her father plays tennis, too, to which the GC (not at all competitive) responded: “is he any good”?

* * *

We are in countdown mode for the trip to Norway. Leaving at the beginning of August. Right when a deal I am intimately involved in and which could have a huge financial impact on my family, is about to get hot. Timing, at the moment, looks quite bad. I may end up being excused from this trip as I cannot possibly be 9 hours out of common time zones from the board president if this thing goes live. I couldn’t stand it; not after working on this for 4 years. I have to be involved in the take down at the end. At least, I desperately hope that there is going to be a take down at the end. Please. Please. Please.

This is the source of no small amount of stress. Even more stress than contemplating changing law firms.

* * *

I have left out so much. But that said, I would prefer not to sacrifice acceptable on the alter of perfection and so, with that, I publish.

Nice to be back, y’all (not that I think anyone is actually going to be reading this after all this time).

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