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G&L made Thanksgiving awesome

As soon as this stops happening, I can write my blog.

You know, Beatrix here just said 'tongue' for the first time, sitting with me and looking at ourselves in the computer.

BB turned one and a half years old last Friday. Happy half birthday, little climber.

She's out of the baby phase. Never sits still, but cute as a wittw button. Climbing up on everything she can, laughing, talking, taking it all in.

She and Lucy are, the vast majority of the time, very well-behaved, something I don't express too much on this blog. No time like the present?

Over Thanksgiving, the four of us spent two nights at my aunt Laurie and uncle Guy's house. The rest of the idiot kids, Ian, Savannah, and Jared, made themselves somewhat present. But Guy and Laurie stuck around and were really accommodating to us.

My kids behaved perfectly the entire time. They were so excited to be at G&L's huge house. They got a big kick out of the smooth, wooden spiral staircase, and all the rooms to go into and explore, upstairs and down. Lots of room to wander.

Lucy did get a little homesick there, during bedtime the first night. I remembered feeling like that as a kid. The rest of the time they were totally comfortable. Lucy had been looking forward to going there for two weeks beforehand--talked about it every day.

"Dad! In a few weeks, we're gon' go to Fanksgiving!"

"That's right Lucy, we are!"

"Yeah, at Guy and Lourie's house."

Lucy and BB are old enough now that I could actually sit back and let them run free, which is so unbelievably awesome. G&L played babysitter when necessary. Jared hung out with Lucy in his room for like, an hour. It was crazy. He was ready to dump her off on us when I went up to check on them, though. I even got a little homework done.

Ian brought some dumbass friend who talked too much, and didn't attempt to bond with his nieces at all. Great job.

Point is, Lucy is getting old enough to make lasting relationships and bond with her older family members. Totally heartwarming and all that. Aunt Lourie had lots of toys out for Lucy--Polly Pockets, mainly. Those PP toys are a big attraction for her, as well as this VHS tape of these twins calling themselves Gemini, from Ann Arbor. It's a live taping of one of their shows, with a bunch of kids and old ppl in the audience. They sing a song about Zingerman's. But more importantly, the one where they go, "Just one more." Lucy felt right at home up there.

Beatrix had lots of fun walking in circles in the kitchen and living room, around the table and the couches, laughing at Linden, the elderly golden retriever.

So we left for Bellingham Thursday around 1:30. From the time we arrived until yesterday (Sat) morning, Megan and I did little else than sit around, watch tv, drink wine, talk with everyone, and eat a bunch of awesome food.

Guy and Lourie loved seeing the little ones, too. It was totally apparent, they both spent time playing with both of my kids. Lourie made sure both kids were happy. She even started us on what I hope will be a tradition of making hand turkeys, by tracing their hands on construction paper and cutting out the outlines.

Little vacations like that work wonders for us parents. Wish I had more family around to take on my kids more often!


Fleshing Out My Assignments

It's hard to concentrate at school when there are females flipping their hair around all the time and playing with it when I'm trying to do boring homework! How am I supposed to keep my eyes on my boring old readings?

I'm here in Suzzallo Undergraduate Library at the University of Washington. Got Jimmy John's delivered to me, as is my usual food of choice around here. Beach club, #12.

I have to start doing a literature review for the final project in my "Effects of Mass Communication" class. The assignment--to put together a sociological research proposal, looking at media effects in some way. Keep in mind, no actual research will take place--we're just supposed to write the proposal. It's a lot of work.

The question I choose to address is this: How do minorities, African-Americans and Hispanics specifically, in the U.S., react to stereotypical depictions of members of their race in television and movies?

We need to use something like eight other published works which are in line with the topic we're choosing. Research methodologies must be nailed down--I'm thinking of a triangulated approach, using field and panel study methods, possibly with a survey thrown in.

(writing this is helping me think about what I'm gonna write on the final product)

Now, all aspects of what I will ask people, what I will have them, watch, and basically all that will happen during the interviews, I have to fill in. For the field study part, I'm thinking--get in the household with minority families while the tv is on. Get some real reactions, in the moment. For the panel studies, I'll want, as far as my thinking is going right now, three groups of people--one of African-Americans, one of Hispanics, and one of whites--and have them watch something, and then comment on it. Maybe give them questionnaires or just ask them all. Also record their reactions while viewing. Maybe save questionnaires for a survey? What am I gonna ask on the survey?

Obviously I've got a lot to think about. And this is just one class! I'm taking three. However, I've got about three weeks to get it done, which is enough time. I've got a presentation about public relations in Egypt to do in my PR class, and a research paper about a SCOTUS case and how it enforces Charles Mills' racial contract.