in a perfect world of yancies: November 2012

30 November 2012

Onward to December!

I can't believe it's already the end of November! And yet here we are... So, how about a couple of gems from the end of the month.

First, Franklin impressed the lunch crowd at Volunteer Park Cafe when he helped me polish off the Wild Boar Chili. Pete got this great photo halfway through:
Sour Cream at VPC
For the record, most of the sour cream I offered did actually end up in his mouth...

The end of the week also means another chart from daycare. I won't quote it all here, but the entry from Thursday 29 November is pretty good:
  • Today's Meals
    • 8:15: mango, tortilla, and cheese
    • 11:30: cheese pizza, mixed veggies, and banana
    • 2:15: banana
  • Activities
    • Franklin had a great day today! He really enjoyed visiting the Sisters and staff [at St. Joseph Residence]. He was also happy playing around the room with toys. He says “mama” and “dada”—and smiles. He is so cute!

All right reader. Have a great weekend. See you in December!

27 November 2012

A Wonderful Watershed Weekend

So glad that Franklin's Nana and Papa Hughes came to visit for Thanksgiving! So thankful, even :)
Rattlesnake Ledge
Sunday found us up atop Rattlesnake Ledge. A great hike, and some surprisingly great weather.

One of the cooler things about the hike is that even though it's like 30 miles from the city, it's on land owned by the City of Seattle and managed, I believe, by Seattle Public Utilities. That's because it's right on the border of the 90,000+ acre Cedar River Watershed, the main source of drinking water for Seattle. I've seen plenty of "no trespassing" signs before, but never ones that marked land set aside for over 100 years in order to protect a resource as precious as municipal water. No wonder Franklin likes drinking our water so much!

View from below, at Rattlesnake Lake:
Rattlesnake Ledge from Below
Good bit of a climb: about four miles roundtrip and 1,000 feet of elevation gain. I tracked our progress on my phone; here's a link in case you'd like to take a look.

But you know you've picked the right hike when folks look this happy when all is said and done:
With Nana Under Rattlesnake Ledge
Behind them, of course, is another view of the top of the trail. Definitely have to return soon, and maybe take a look at the Education Center!

As for the rest of the visit, we didn't get too many turkey photos, but we enjoyed some great food; the highlight was the sweet potato gratin we made following a recipe from How To Cook Everything. Delicious! Probably a fair amount of the credit goes to the super tasty sweet potatoes from Central Co-op, but in any case, yum!

Franklin also received some nice new clothes from his grandparents:
Nice New Clothes!

All in all a great visit. Hope to see you again soon!
Franklin with Nana and Papa

Family Photo

20 November 2012

Lucid, Inescapable Rhythms

Been the kind of month what'll make a head spin. Mostly good times, but boy have they been whirring by!

Here's a rundown of just this past weekend:

Friday and Saturday I was at the Seattle U Workshop on Plato's Sophist that I mentioned recently. Long days, big ideas, and some great opportunities to sit and talk with some great scholars who I've been reading for years.

My talk seemed to go well, and I hope to keep up with these new contacts and get even more feedback so that I'll be able to get the thing published eventually. In the meantime, I've posted my handout for your reading pleasure. Still hungry for more? The Phil. Dept. actually posted a handful of the papers on their website. I'd just ask that you not quote or cite mine, since it's just a draft at this point. But if you do read it, I'd love to hear what you think!

Big thanks to Emily and Franklin for keeping an eye on each other while I was pursuing elusive truths all day!

Then on Sunday, we attended a wonderful baby shower in the afternoon and met up with some friends for dinner at Queen Sheba that evening. [UPDATE April 15, 2014: here's a new link to the official Queen Sheba website.] Aside from the surprise of a couple of spicy bites, I think it's safe to say that Franklin now likes Ethiopian food. And can you blame him? Yum!

Yesterday, we took that awesome little guy in for his nine-month appointment. Can't believe he's gotten so old so quickly! And of course everything looked good.

So, today I'm trying to catch my breath.

Actually had time to catch up on some music too. Absolutely love the new Mynabirds video:

So, as for the song itself, I'm not a huge fan of Sartre, but it is definitely charming that the refrain comes from an unsourced quote of his.

And I didn't notice it until I watched the video this morning, but I'm pretty sure that line about seeing a blackbird a thousand ways must be a reference to this great Wallace Stevens poem.

For what it's worth, I like VIII best of all:

I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.


That poem—and that stanza—now always makes me think of the time that Emily took me to see the contemporary classical ensemble eighth blackbird at the Lied Center at the University of Kansas. Seems like a lifetime ago, but I don't expect to ever forget the striking impression they made on me. Of course, we had to buy their CD on the way out!

In this spirit of creative association, let's close with a recent video of theirs:

Happy Thanksgiving, reader!

13 November 2012

What's Past Is Prologue

Franklin is really enjoying his new mobile lifestyle:

In a related story, we were looking through Emily's baby book the other day, and I think we've located the source of Franklin's awesome smile:
Mimi in the Sandbox
This is Emily at just about the same age as our handsome youngster.

So, I just couldn't resist using that Shakespeare quote for the title on this post.

Perhaps you remember it from our visit to DC back in '07:
At the National Archives.

Okay, that's all I've got. Back to Plato!

08 November 2012

School Photos

Class Photo
As if there weren't enough good news this week, we now have our prints from Franklin's school picture day!

Okay, and in anticipation of a question from Grandma Christine, he's wearing his KEXP Elephant T.

And of course, you can get one for yourself: donate here :)

Here are our other favorites:
Baby Room Class Photo
Class photo with most of the baby room. Let's see, going clockwise from the left, that's Theo; Franklin's teacher Mulu, who is holding Quinn; Charlene, holding the other Quinn; Karin, holding Enzo; Veronica; Franklin (woo!); and Claire.

Emily's favorite outtake:
Hands in Mouth
By the way, we've also gathered all of these in a set on Flickr.

Leaning & Smiling
Have a great weekend, reader!

06 November 2012


UPDATE: How about that victory speech? Oh, you weren't still up at like 2am Eastern? Guess that's one nice thing about living on the west coast... Anyway, here you go:

Great night for the US!

All kinds of interesting statewide results here in Washington and beyond, but for now, how about a shot of the cupcakes we took to the election party:

and Yay!

04 November 2012

Food Before Thought

Chilly weather and fading light provide great accompaniment in the kitchen, so we've been staying in and trying out all kinds of new recipes lately. From a list that's into double digits at this point, I present our family's two consensus favorites:

First, from the New York Times, Chicken Thighs with Delicata Squash:
(Thanks to the Times for the beautiful photo. And the recipe!)

Amazingly flavorful dish, and Franklin seemed really like it, especially the squash. And how could he not? Fresh sage? Maple syrup? Roasted and caramelized lemon wedges? Yum!

The Times also posted this great little video, which is worth watching even if you'd never come near a chicken thigh:

Note, though, that chicken thighs are delicious, so you should probably try some soon ;)

The little guy's other favorite, which Emily and I liked pretty well (though it could have used a little more zazz): Broccoli Cream Pesto from Smitten Kitchen:
(Photo courtesy of Smitten Kitchen.)

Now every now and then, Franklin's food travels a circuitous route from spoon to lips to floor and then at last to tummy. I'm probably oversimplifying the science here, but this totally fascinating New Yorker story about the importance of the human "microbiome" has me at least a little reassured that that path may not be cause for too much concern.

Lots and lots of interesting stuff there. Unfortunately it's behind their pay wall, but if you want to borrow my copy, reader, just let me know.

In the meantime, here's one great bit:

By the time a child can crawl, he has been blanketed by an enormous, unseen cloud of microorganisms—a hundred trillion or more. They are bacteria, mostly, but also viruses and fungi (including a variety of yeasts), and they come at us from all directions: other people, food, furniture, clothing, cars, buildings, trees, pets, even the air we breathe. They congregate in our digestive systems and our mouths, fill the space between our teeth, cover our skin, and line our throats. We are inhabited by as many as ten thousand bacterial species; these cells outnumber those which we consider our own by ten to one, and weigh, all told, about three pounds—the same as our brain. Together, they are referred to as our microbiome—and they play such a crucial role in our lives that scientists... have begun to reconsider what it means to be human.

Such a great read. Seriously, let me know if you want my copy.

In other ongoing attempts to understand ourselves, the Seattle U Philosophy Department put together this poster for their upcoming workshop on the Sophist:
Sophist Poster
Not sure how many of those names you recognize, reader, but let's just say I'm the only one on there who hasn't published multiple books. So, no pressure, right? In fact, I should probably go finish my paper and stop all this blogging!

Okay, before I go, you've almost certainly seen this before, but here's another look at Franklin in his Halloween costume:
Happy Haloween!