September 2006

Margaret tagged me with some book questions, so here it goes:

Fact or fiction? 80% fiction and 20% fact, although I abhor True Crime.
One book that

…changed your life: None. For whatever reason, I’m entertained or educated, but I can’t say any book has changed my life.

…you’ve read more than once: Whoa, I have to pick just one? Well, the first book I saw when I looked up was The Onion Girl, by Charles De Lint. He’s a good story-teller, is creative, and seems to do good research before writing.

…you’d want on a desert island: US Army Survival Manual: FM 21-76 Hey, it’s all about survival.

…made you laugh: Cryptonomicron by Neal Stephenson. It had that dry, self-depreciating humor that always makes me laugh. If you thought The Thomas Crown Affair was funny, you’ll like this book.

…made you cry: Wellll…it was more of a blurring than tearing, but The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay was very moving the first time I read it.

…you wish had never been written: Boo…hiss. This is like asking what book I’d like to ban. Banning books is for losers. I’ll pass on this one.

…you wish had been written: Whew, a hard one. I wish C.S. Lewis had written a story, from Christ’s perspective, about the passion and resurrection.

…that is empowering me: The Millionaire Next Door by Dr. Stanley and Dr. Danko. Capitalist though I am, this is less a book about avarictic consumption, and more about living simply.

…you’re currently reading: Building Harlequin’s Moon by Larry Niven and Brenda Cooper.

…you’ve been meaning to read: I’ll take American History for 2, Alex. Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville and The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton.

Being a big party pooper, I’m going to resist any urges to tag others.


Love is like pi – natural, irrational, and very important.

– Lisa Hoffman

In comments in the previous post, my beloved sister is looking for categories to give out prizes for.  I’d like to come up with many categories so if you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments.  What I have so far:

  • Closest (grand prize, one name only)
  • Most creative (may be multiple winners)
  • Zaniest
  • ‘Hi, my parents are hippies!’
  • Most Alaskan
  • Best use of a 1960’s pop song the parents have never heard of
  • Best meaning (must have been provided on card)
  • Favorite (as selected by me and the Mrs., there may be multiple winners)
  • Most likely to have been used in the 1800’s
  • Least likely to be pronounced by a teacher correctly
  • Most likely to require after-school judo classes (think: A Boy Named Sue)
  • Cheeziest (we love y’all, but some of the names are just oozing cheese-whiz)
  • Most likely to be used if we didn’t already have names picked out

It’s been a while since I’ve tossed some names up on the blog, so here you go:

Girl / Boy
McKenszie Ann / Michael John
Lindsey Denay / Joe Juneau (J.J.)
Misty Dawn / Midnight Sun
– / Dillan Zale
Isabelle / Sylvester


  • Always keep a sense of humor!
  • Go with what works for your family.
  • Dillan – Welsh origin, means: Born near the sea. Zale – Greek origin, means: Power of the sea. Best wishes.
  • Oh! So exciting I can barely contain myself.

Sorry for the extended hiatus. The Mrs. and I took a well deserved and long overdue vacation. Since the peanut will be arriving in 3 months or so, we figured this was our last chance to travel by ourselves for the next few years. So to relax, we went to Las Vegas. It was an educational experience.

We’ve been to Vegas twice. Once on our honeymoon and once when we moved from the Northwest to the East Coast. Both times we went for one reason and one reason only – Cirque du Soleil. We saw O when it was the only show there and fell in love with the costumes, acrobatics, and jaw-dropping sets. Our next trip was to see Mystere and it was very enjoyable as well. If you’ve come this far and have no idea what I’m writing about, do yourself a favor and see a Cirque show. Trust me.

This time, being as we don’t see many trips to Vegas in our future, we saw every new Cirque show – three of them. Zumanity is Cirque’s ‘adults only’ show, Love is the history of the Beatles set to their music, and Ka is a story of separated twins with martial arts inspired acrobatics. We came in with high expectations and left a little disappointed.

Zumanity is Cirque’s burlesque show – not much plot, few clothes, and some twisted humor. It was the funniest of the three shows we saw, as long as you can appreciate some adult humor.

Love was a huge letdown. We were expecting Cirque-style excitement set to Beatles music. This was a shortened Beatles concert with Cirque costumes. I imagine that if you grew up with the Beatles and have memories tied to their songs, it’s a good show. The music was good, but that’s about all we took from it. It’s the first Cirque show that the Mrs. or I could be in – the others are too acrobatically or contortionally involved for us to even think about attempting. In this one, we could have been one of the umbrella twirlers.

Ka is perhaps the future of Cirque, for better or worse. In previous shows we’ve seen, there is a plot but it’s very loose and so hard to follow. That doesn’t detract from the show because of the acrobatics. Ka however has a much more coherent plot at the expense of the jaw-dropping-heart-pounding acts. Ka seemed to be more theatre than circus. There were two acts that the Mrs. and I thought met our expectations – 1) a fight scene on a nearly vertical stage that, just to make things interesting, it also rotating. 2) a guy on top of a 15′ hamster wheel that’s rotating on a spinning arm 90′ off the floor – jumping rope, sumersaulting, and other insanities without one of those nice safety harnesses some of the other people get. I guess he drew the short straw. My heart was in my throat with some of the things he was doing.

I’d recommend Zumanity and Ka to anyone going to Vegas, but only see Love if you’re into the Beatles. We have now seen all the Las Vegas Cirque shows and probably won’t go back unless another one crops up.

Also on this trip we indulged ourselves with a massage. Not one of those aqua massage booths you find in airports, but a true spa experience that included herbal teas, white bathrobes, and soft music. I was surprised that I could relax while being rubbed by a woman who wasn’t my wife…while naked under a towel. I was also surprised that my favorite part was getting my knee-caps massaged. Really, it was the best part. (The Mrs. is dying of laughter right now. – Ed). The only time I wasn’t relaxed was when the masseuse grabbed my wrist to massage my hand. For some reason I tensed up. The same thing happened to the Mrs. during her special prenatal massage. I wonder where that reaction comes from?

Like I said, this trip was educational.