Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wedding Toast to Nicholas and Emily Cofrancesco.

If we’re lucky, we meet people that make our lives better.

The good times better.

The bad times… better than they could be.

I’ve been wallowing in memories of Nicholas as this wedding has approached, remembering the importance, the heart, the impact of this amazing man in my life over the past almost 20 years.

The innumerable wanderings of a shared youth spent in Vermont and NH.

West Leb, Hanover, Manchester (VT and NH), Chester, Weston, Claremont, Woodstock…

Cross country skiing in New York.

Mac World NY, taking rest breaks to set down the swag bags that were cutting into our fingers.

Boston, New Year’s eve, freezing on the wharf.

Wandering an abandoned theme park in Maryland.

Key West. Vegas. San Diego. San Fran. LA. Mississippi. Annapolis. Tahoe.DC.


New Years, Maine, mourning the loss of my brother and raging at the world on a frozen beach. Nicholas, freezing with me, sharing my hurt, and tempering it with champagne, lobster, and artichokes.


Walking on a beach with me and my future wife, the day after she and I shared our first kiss.

I rely on his heart, his perspective, his sense of wonder and incessant drive to find something interesting and fun to do. His willingness to be honest with me, when it’s easy, and not so easy, to share.

My life is and has been better because of him.

And he has found Emily.

Who I do not know as well, but know three important things about:

She makes the world taste better, she has one of the most beautiful, infectious smiles I have ever seen, and she makes Nicholas happy.

We are all better for having these two in our lives.

If you think of the impact they have had on your life, just imagine the amazing world they create for each other.

A toast, to the life Nicholas and Emily will share, and the joy they will radiate to each other and all of us.

Monday, June 14, 2010

rocking kids.

Caspian is walking around the house, hand on a wall still, but cruising. And climbing. Had to put all the little rocking chairs up, since every time we turn our backs he's standing up on them, holding the back, happily rocking back and forth. So at 1 he's great.

Annaliese, at 2.5, is doing arithmetic.

We have a program where, for peeing in the potty, she is rewarded with a gummy bear. For #2, she gets 2 gummy bears.

Yesterday she was explaining this to me, confirming the deal before she went to the bathroom, and a light went on. She said, "if I poop I get two gummy bears and if I pee I get one gummy bear. So if I poop and pee I get 3 gummy bears!"

That's not the deal, it's one or the other, but I was so tickled I agreed. :)

Monday, April 12, 2010


Sitting on the porch on a gorgeous day, working on a laptop, and bored out of my mind.

A lot has happened since I last put anything up here. A trip to Vermont with the two little ones. Just me, and the two little ones. Was lovely, except for the stomach bug that kicked in on the flights north, (puking Annaliese on a puddle jumper) and proceeded to infect everyone we saw. Everyone. And outside of that the kids didn't sleep. Alexe had a lovely week at home decompressing from 2 years of motherhood.

I've been to Florida a couple times for work, Alexe is opening a grocery store May 1, we have another batch of 26 chicks, Caspian is crawling and the sweetest boy in the world, Annaliese is a whole person, full of charm and stories and songs and screams. The lettuce is up in the garden, we ate some home grown strawberries last week, it's spring and everything is growing and blooming and lovely, and I'm stuck in a chair on the porch.

With so much to do before the store opens, the fun stuff now that the floors are done and the lights are up. The assembling shelves and building produce displays and popping in windows and putting copper counter tops up. And the weather is perfect, blue and warm and gentle-wind.

And last week I had sinus surgery, to fix the issues that have had me with a bad sinus infection something like 4 times a year for the past 5 years, and the last bout lasting 5 months straight. And everything was going well, slowly but surely recuperating since the procedure on Tuesday, then I got up for 2 hours yesterday, and have felt like a drained noodle since.

As much as I like to tease alexe about how much she hates me being down and out, and how this negatively impacts her care-taking skills, (hard to nurse-made with a scowl of disapproval on your face,) the truth is I hate it too. Sitting still has almost no appeal for me. I like to do, possibly to an unhealthy degree as some have accused me of being addicted to doing lots and lots of stuff, and they may be right. I get pleasure out of accomplishing, and what most people seem to think of as work, I find really enjoyable. The moments after I finish something and still coast on the feelings of accomplishment are short; I move on to the next thing very quickly.

This may have to do with the time period in my life, the building phase, say, but it might also be a deeply ingrained character trait of me. A personality audit they just did on me at work-work says that's the case.

But it all means, today, that I'm sick of being a noodle, and I want up and out.


oh, but I am very thankful I'm still alive.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Free Will

I've just returned from a kersnooze, an evening out with a friend to watch a film up in Oxford.

A God is angry and will wipe the face of the earth flick, which had a great premise, a great cast, and a terrible director and script. So bad, in fact, that I enjoyed it quite a bit.

The highlight was the conversation I had with my friend in the windy parking lot after the movie.

Recently (the last couple months) I've been pondering the downside of not having free will. (Presupposing, for my devote atheist reader, a God who decided for rather than against free will. Hi John.)

Honestly, I can't find a downside. What if, at the point of a decision, people could identify the correct/best/right choice, and "choose" to make it every time? This would not eliminate hard choices, accidents, and from what I can see, curiosity, and the opportunity to play and explore within our world. Relationships, love, friendship, marriage even, could thrive. "Choose" a spouse, just choose the right one.

The up side would be the elimination of malicious behavior, and possibly, of guilt, greed, and hate. At the least these emotions would be reigned in, and certainly actions based on them would not be as destructive.

The downside, to present my most biased argument, would be no option for war, persecution, abuse, or all the other lovlies we "choose" to exercise as a species.

Which led me to the next question, if free will is such crap, why would God choose that for us? Is our life better for it in a way that I don;t understand, having such an experientially driven perspective?

This is what was in my head, and what I was venting in the parking lot this evening.

To which Jav responded with this argument:

If you have 2 children, (fancy that, I do,) and one grows to be a giving, loving, positive person, the other to a drug addled, angry, even destructive towards other people person, do you love one and not the other? I don't know that this example would have worked for me in the past, but it certainly does now. No, I would not cease to love either.

I might focus my love more towards the child that is hurting those around (pick a pronoun.)

How does this tie back to free will?

Well, if we are offspring of God, His image and whatnot, then free will would not be a choice to bestow on us, it would be a part of our makeup. No choice there for God to make, except possibly that of determining what sort of playground to set up for us. (The universe, laws of physics, our brand of logical linear thought, etc.) Which is an interesting shift from what we often assume, that free will was granted, rather than not taken away.

This answers some questions, and raises a whole lot more. (By answers, I don't mean conclusively, but based on the postulates. Again, for John's sake. :) ) Whether or not God knew how his children would turn out, that their descendants would ravage both the playground and each other, could he love them less? Would he have chosen not to have them? Would he restrict their essence, remove the option to turn out poorly?

Having children is a crap shoot. But I want the best for my kids, and have very little idea of what that means for them now. I may think I know more as they reveal themselves more over time, but who knows. But what stood out to me, and I thank Jav for this new thought, though it baffles me, is that love for our children is a prison. In some ways it is a forfeiture of our own free will.

Two trailing thoughts: 1) Obviously that isn't true for everyone, examples being the craptastic folk who made me want to strip them of their free will in the first place. 2) How is God's free will holding up? What have we done to Him?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Zoo!

We got lost on the way, (no more iphone gps, working with a company blackberry. The usability difference makes me want to scream most of the time.) so fresh out of the car we all look a little zonked.

Annaliese's favorite part of the zoo, the water. The fountain and flowing water at the entrance, the pools and waterfalls in the animal enclosures, she couldn't get enough.
Caspian mostly liked spending the day with us. The new setting was nice, but not as interesting as the familiar smiling faces.

Lunch next to the Lions.

Another visit to the fountain before going to see the zebras.


Places to go, no time for a family photo.
Not pictured are the elephants, the huge rhino, many other animals we did see, and far more we got tired before getting to. Now that we have a family pass for the year though, (Thank you Natalie!) we're looking forward to coming back.

T'was really nice to spend the whole day toodling just the four of us. no work, no projects, just photo opportunities, and a quick stop at Whole Foods because, after a month of not being able to taste (through the holidays!!!) the antibiotics have kicked in, and the world is full of incredible mouth-watering tidbits.