A multimedia extravaganza starring Zeke (born January 2005) and his little sister Talia (born December 2006), lovingly put together by their father!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 14:28 4-yr-old epistemology: "Some people don't believe in Rudolph. I DO believe in Rudolph, but I CAN'T believe he has a red nose."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 19:29 Zeke: "I don't believe Santa lives at the North Pole. How could he live in an igloo, with so many toys, a sleigh, and REINDEER?"
Posted via LoudTwitter

Friday, December 25, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 23:04 Zeke told me: "Daddy, my stocking is so nice and clean, Santa wouldn't want to put dirty coal in it." He's genuinely concerned. #fb
Posted via LoudTwitter

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 07:23 Zeke (4) channels Erving Goffman: "Daddy! Pretend you're you, I'm me, and Talia's her." But then: "And pretend we didn't poop on you."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Monday, October 26, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 19:50 Zeke (4), holding a toy: "If I swung this at you and hit you, you would die. But I usually don't swing it at my parents or friends."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A photo of Talia playing outside

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Posted via email from NBR

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Zeke and his friend tackle a dilemma

A few days ago, I overheard the following discussion between Zeke and his best friend K. We were all in the car.

K.: I wish I could have my sister's bed. I want to have my own room and sleep in my own bed. But I also want my mommy to be there with me so I can hug her in the night.
Z.: Hm. Well, you could dream something up. You could (pause) ... you could build a ramp. And if in the night you felt like you wanted a hug, you could (pause) ... you could walk on the ramp and go into your mommy's room and get a hug.
K. Hm.

If you could climb into your head

Tonight Zeke was asking me about why some big trucks have bunks above their cabs. I explained that it was so the drivers could sleep if they were taking long trips. He then wanted to know how the trucks kept driving while their drivers slept. I explained that they didn't. He was, it seems, thinking about the image of a driver climbing up into a bunk above the cab of his truck and looking out those little windows. He thought for a minute and then remarked:

Daddy -- wouldn't it be funny if there was a window in your head, and you could climb up into your head and look out the window? And then your head would be bouncing around with you in it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A little pre-Hallowe'en test run

Talia hasn't really gotten into it much yet.

Posted via email from NBR

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The kids' first day of school

This photo is a little out of date -- from last Monday -- but here it is.

Posted via email from NBR

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What Zeke said at bedtime tonight

Zeke was in fine form at bedtime tonight. He asked me a series of questions, more or less as follows:

  1. What color is your brain? Is it light red? (I said "Gray," and his response was, "Ew!")
  2. Why does your brain have so many cracks in it?
  3. What would happen if I stuck my finger in my brain? Ew.
  4. Why do we need a skull?
  5. How old are these (holding his two favorite stuffed animals)? Not like, "one, two, three, four," but like, "old and shaggy." They're new to me.
  6. Is a dream like a little movie in your head? It's like I have a computer set in my head.
  7. In Greek myths, why does it say that the Earth had babies and they turned into one-eyed Cyclops and Zeus didn't like them?
Also, his favorite bedtime song has changed. It used to be a lullaby ("Hush, Little Baby, Don't Say a Word"). Now it's "Summertime."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 19:42 Zeke, getting out of the bath: "Daddy! I didn't wash my hair. But I DID get out all the toe jam!"
Posted via LoudTwitter

Monday, September 14, 2009

Zeke told a "scary story" in the car tonight

We were driving home after nightfall, and I made some comment about
how we were driving through the dark and it was kind of spooky. Zeke
asked if we wanted him to tell a scary story. Talia and I said yes.
His voice got really low and he began reciting a long, incantatory,
ex tempore poem. All I remember is this:


Storm clouds! Skeletons! And ghost deers!

Point a rock and throw you dead.
Broke you to a flaming


 That's it.

Posted via email from NBR

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 17:43 Zeke says his favorite car is a "Jeepie S." (i.e., a GPS) because they go so fast
Posted via LoudTwitter

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 19:15 Zeke: "Hi! My name's Idiot Diarrhea! And other bad words, too!"
Posted via LoudTwitter

Saturday, June 20, 2009

"Toilet learning" is in progress

Ahem, uploaded 10th June, 2009.

Yes, folks, that is indeed a copy of the New York Review of Books that she's pretending to read.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 20:41 Zeke officially has a Pennsylvania accent. He says "I sawl it" instead of "I saw it"
Posted via LoudTwitter

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 22:55 Zeke: "Can I stay up till lilacs?" Somehow he's confused "lilacs" with "twilight"
Posted via LoudTwitter

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Summer's here, mostly

Well, the annual Dogwood Festival has come and gone, which was a lot of excitement for everyone. Zeke actually stood on the porch, pointed to the rides as they began to set up, and -- being too excited even to form words -- let loose shrieks of pure joy and anticipation. In other news, Talia fell down on the front stairs and knocked two of her front teeth loose. One of them now seems to be turning black, which I guess means the nerve is dead, but so far it doesn't look like it's going to fall out. We're waiting to hear from the dentist. 

Here are a few favorite recent photos in a slideshow format. Click here to see this whole collection on a single page. When you're watching the slideshow (in this post, or in almost any other slideshow or video) look for a little icon like this:  or something similar, here (and usually elsewhere) found in the bottom right corner. If you click that symbol, the slideshow will expand to fill your whole screen. 

Zeke also recently figured out that if you sit on your tricycle at the top of a hill and start pedaling, you can get going pretty fast. So far there have been no accidents. 

Some bon-mots

A couple of recent favorites:

On radical hair:

K. (from next door): Does my hair look radical?
Z.: What does "radical" mean?
K.: It means all messy.
Z.: No, your hair doesn't look radical. It looks like a girl's hair. Kind of... (pointing towards his shoulders) down.
K.: Oh. Okay. Good.

On death and God:
Z.: Daddy, are you going to die?
Me: Well, everything that's alive dies some day. So, yes. Some day I'll die.
Z. (slightly tearful): But I want to stay with you.
Me: Well, hopefully, it won't happen for a very long time. Years and years.
Z.: Well, we die when we tell God we're ready to die. Right?
Me: Uh... who told you that?
Z.: (after a long pause) God.
Me: Um... ah... I see.
I'm still kind of mystified by this one.

On discovering a hidden cache of cookies (hidden by me):
Z.: Daddy, why did you hide the cookies?
Me: Because I didn't want you to ask me for one. Every time you see cookies, you ask for one.
Z.: That's because I'm not allergic to sweets.
He's got a point, I suppose. Not that he's allergic to anything else, either, as far as we know.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 12:21 Zeke: "I'm not scared of flying spices. Like, flying out of the jar. But if they get in your nose, PSSHT! you sneeze."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 21:52 Zeke (age 4) on his first serious carnival ride, the Rainbow: "It tickled my insides, but in a fun way." He loved it.
Posted via LoudTwitter

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 19:56 Talia, playing with a balloon:"If you put a balloon on your head and pop it, it's a hat."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 10:37 Talia (age 2-1/2): "I'm a frog! I'm a frog! I know REALLY how to jump!" ff.im/2BaU0
Posted via LoudTwitter

Bruce Springsteen honors Pete Seeger at his 90th birthday

Pete Seeger turned 90 on Sunday, May 3, 2009, and a huge birthday celebration was held at Madison Square Garden. Bruce Springsteen was one of the headliners. He had this to say about Pete Seeger's legacy.

As Pete and I traveled to Washington for President Obama's inaugural celebration, he told me the -- he told me the entire story of "We Shall Overcome," how it moved from a labor movement song and, with Pete's inspiration, had been adopted by the civil rights movement.
And that day, as we sang "This Land Is Your Land," I looked at Pete. The first black president of the United States was seated to his right. And I thought of -- I thought of the incredible journey that Pete had taken. You know, my own growing up in the '60s, a town scarred by race rioting, made that moment nearly unbelievable. And Pete had thirty extra years of struggle and real activism on his belt. He was so happy that day. It was like, Pete, you outlasted the bastards, man. You just outlasted them. It was so nice. It was so nice.
At rehearsals the day before, it was freezing. It was like fifteen degrees. And Pete was there, he had his flannel shirt on. I said, "Man, you better wear something besides that flannel shirt!" He says, "Yeah, I've got my long johns on under this thing." I said -- and I asked him, I said, "How do you want to approach 'This Land Is Your Land'?" as it'd be near the end of the show. And all he said was, "Well, I know I want to sing all the verses. You know, I want to sing all the ones that Woody wrote, especially the two that get left out, you know, about private property and the relief office." And I thought, of course, you know, that's what Pete's done his whole life: he sings all the verses all the time, especially the ones that we'd like to leave out of our history as a people, you know?
At some point -- at some point, Pete Seeger decided he'd be a walking, singing reminder of all of America's history. He'd be living archive of America's music and conscience, a testament of the power of song and culture to nudge history along, to push American events towards more humane and justified ends. He would have the audacity and the courage to sing in the voice of the people.
Now, despite Pete's somewhat benign grandfatherly appearance, you know, he is a creature of a stubborn, defiant and nasty optimism. He carries -- inside him, he carries a steely toughness that belies that grandfatherly facade, and it won't let him take a step back from the things he believes in.
At ninety, he remains a stealth dagger through the heart of our country's illusions about itself. Pete Seeger still sings all the verses all the time, and he reminds us of our immense failures, as well as shining a light towards our better angels in the horizon, where the country we've imagined and hold dear, we hope, awaits us. And on top of it, he never wears it on his sleeve.... The song that... Tommy Morello and I are about to sing, I wrote it in the mid-’90s... [I]ts last verse is the beautiful speech that Tom Joad whispers to his mother at the end of The Grapes of Wrath. It says, "Wherever there's a cop beating a guy, wherever a hungry newborn baby cries, wherever there's a fight against the blood and the hatred in the air, look for me, Mom. I'll be there." Well, Pete has always been there.

The full text of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," including the two verses Springsteen refers to.
I’ve roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me.
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.
In the squares of the city, under shadow of the steeple
At the relief office, I saw my people
As they stood there hungry, I stood there whistling
This land was made for you and me.
A great high wall there tried to stop me
A great big sign there said private property
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing
That side was made for you and me.

More, including some video, at Democracy Now.

Posted via email from NBR

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Talia in the bath

Talia in the bath, uploaded 2nd May, 2009.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 16:14 Talia made it through the whole night last night without a pacifier. This is a first
Posted via LoudTwitter

Zeke and Talia riding their bikes

Zeke and Talia riding their bikes, uploaded 22nd April, 2009.

Taken late this afternoon. Spring seems to have finally sprung here.

Zeke's first book

Zeke wrote his first "book." You can view it below, or if that doesn't work, follow this link. To make the image larger, click in the little rectangle in the top right of the gray viewing box below (or on the linked page).
Zeke's first book (fingerpaint and dictation)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Zeke's version of Dr. Seuss

Presumably many of my three or four readers will be familiar with Theodore Geisel, b.k.a. Dr. Seuss, and maybe also his well-known graduation present book, Oh, the Places You'll Go. We have a copy of this lying around and Zeke has taken a liking to it. He has been asking to have it read to him a lot. But yesterday he decided to "read" it to Talia. I didn't get it all down, but here's a reasonable chunk of it.

When you're on earth, it's not much fun.
You're on the outside of the earth. You're done.

Oh, let's go, to the places you'll go.
It's in space. In outer space, you know.

You might catch, or you might score,
On the greatest one of all. One hundred. Or.

Except when it's not, there's a game you can't win.

The end.
In the original, there are a lot of pages that begin, "Except when it's not," or "Except when you don't," or things like that. Just in case you're wondering. Also, Zeke has suddenly gotten interested in outer space and asks lots of questions about planets. Someone at preschool must have mentioned the fact that Pluto has been demoted to, what is it now, a planetoid or something, because he has been asking me why Pluto used to be a planet and isn't any more. He wants to know if it shrunk.

At any rate, the first line really made an impression on me. And he definitely has the anapestic tetrameter pretty well down.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Photo: Zeke standing on top of my car

Zeke standing on top of my car, uploaded 18th April, 2009.

I don't think this one really needs any commentary.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 14:02 Zeke: "Daddy! Do you know what jelly is? It's, like, the floppiest jam in the world."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 21:54 Zeke seems to think that croutons are actually called "protons."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The kids made a 'secret hideout' out of pillows and blankets tonight

Posted via Pixelpipe.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 09:58 After we dress Talia, she likes to run around shouting, "Look how PRETTY I are!"
Posted via LoudTwitter

Friday, March 20, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 09:05 Zeke: "Daddy. I want to play a game. But... NO PICKING BOOGERS."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Monday, March 02, 2009

Zeke and his mother planting seeds

Zeke and his mother planting seeds, uploaded 2nd March, 2009.

Today was a snow day. This turned out to be a good activity.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Zeke and Lenny

Zeke and Lenny (collage), uploaded 1st March, 2009.

Lenny is Zeke's new pet, a Madagascar hissing cockroach. Lenny was a present from my old friend Melissa.

What Talia ate this morning before 11 a.m.

One waffle with butter and syrup. Two hard-boiled eggs. One chunk of cheese. One piece of toast with jam. Almost half a pound of mashed sweet potato covered with about a quarter-cup of yoghurt. She's two years old, folks.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Zeke tries on his mother's shades

Zeke tries on his mother's shades, uploaded 22nd February, 2009.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A few recent favorite photos

The photos with the crown are from Talia's birthday. The photos with Zeke and his grandmother are from Christmas. Zeke got a few hand-me-down pink footie pajamas from his friend Carmen and, if he could, would never wear anything else.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Zeke and Talia playing in the snow

Sometimes he really is a very good big brother.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 00:56 Zeke's question for the night: "Daddy, does God feel bad when we get sick?"
Posted via LoudTwitter

No piñata? Make one

One minute of hilarity from Zeke's birthday party last month.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Zeke and Talia brushing teeth

Zeke and Talia brushing teeth, uploaded 5th January, 2009.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Things Zeke asked me today:

  • Why are poisonous snakes in museums? 
  • Why is the bottom of your mouth part of your head?
  • Why don't people just drive one another's cars?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 22:23 Four-year-old theodicy: "Daddy, does everything in our world have an important job?"
Posted via LoudTwitter

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 15:25 Zeke (3), after I warned him about spinning to make himself dizzy: "I LOVE hurting my head. It's FUN. It's, like, terrible but fun."
Posted via LoudTwitter

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Today's updates:

  • 10:59 Zeke: "Bugs poop, you know. Every single day. -- Bugs are pooping RIGHT NOW."
Posted via LoudTwitter