september 2016

9.6.16
We spent the Saturday of the holiday weekend the way we usually do: walking to Decatur to check out the annual book festival, where they close down the main downtown street and have book sellers, presses, and authors hawking their wares.

It seems like it gets a little smaller each year, but Will had a great time. He got another festival t-shirt that he got to help screen print himself (same setup they had last year), and he got his usual lunch-in-a-hat from one of the food vendors (it's grilled cheese, chips, and a drink, with the food coming in a colorful plastic hat that he wears for about two minutes and then promptly puts into his closet once we get home). It's great to do these things now that he can walk the whole way and back himself without complaining—we still play little games with him to keep him motivated, but he's really pretty good about keeping up and not complaining, even when it's hot.

We met one of my college roommates, Jonathan, and his family down there—they live in Decatur, and even though he and I have gotten together every two or three months since we moved to Atlanta for a beer or a movie, I had never met his kids, and I hadn't seen his wife for 25 years (she also went to our college and they were dating when we were seniors).

I went with Jonathan and his family to see a speaker named John Willis, an astrobiologist who recently published a book about his field called All These Worlds Are Yours: The Scientific Search for Alien Life (the title taken, of course, from 2010, one of the most underrated sci fi films of all time). Most of his talk focused on the search for evidence of simple forms of life on other planets, particularly those within our own solar system because that's what most astrobiologists spend their time on, but he did talk a little about SETI and the search for intelligent life. The book seemed like a survey meant to introduce the main areas of inquiry and techniques to the layman, so some of it I already felt pretty familiar with, but he was a good speaker, and I might pick this one up the next time I'm in the mood for some science-oriented non-fiction.

Will fell asleep for two hours after we walked back home and then stayed up late, unable to go back to sleep after dinner and his normal bedtime routine, but no matter—it was the first day of a three day weekend, and he could afford to get off schedule a little bit.


9.7.16
On Sunday afternoon, we took Will to his first Cub Scout meeting. Our den leader is the mother of a boy who was in Will's class last year, and we've gotten to know her pretty well. She's the right amount of creative/playful and strict, so we feel good about how she'll run things for Will's den. It's about twelve boys total (including her son, of course), and surprisingly everyone showed up for the kickoff meeting even though it was a holiday weekend.

It took a little while for them to warm up to one another—most of them knew at least one other person in the den, but no one knew all of the others—but she had some good games and get-to-know-you cooperative exercises for them to do together, and pretty soon they were playing just as you would imagine a dozen first grade boys would. They learned the basic Cub Scout rules, did a scavenger hunt, and practiced for a short skit they're going to do at the big pack meeting later this week, and then had some regular goof off time in the backyard.

I have mixed feelings about him doing Cub Scouts—I was made to do it as a boy, and while I didn'ty typically hate it, it wasn't really my thing either, and my father could never really participate with me in it because he was living a couple of hours away at that point (although he did get really into the Pinewood Derby carmaking, pretty much designing and decorating the cars himself, although there was one year when he let me pick the paint color). Most I remember one year when I must have been around 10 or so when my birthday coincided with the big annual jamboree weekend, so I spent that day camping and doing outdoorsy stuff (again, not really my thing) with a bunch of people I barely knew instead of having cake and presents and a party with my friends and family. So that didn't really endear me to the Scounts either.

If this were five or ten years ago, I don't think we'd be doing Scouts—I was pretty disappointed that it took them so long as an organization to let women and gay men officially be part of their organization and to let openly gay boys be part of the Scouts, but they seem to have finally joined the 21st century. There are still some things in their handbook and rules that are exclusionary, particularly around religion, but Will seems to be really enjoying it, and there are some good lessons and skills he can learn, so for now I'm content to let him participate, especially given the den leader we have.


9.8.16
On Monday, the official holiday, we took it easy in the morning before joining a couple of other families for an afternoon swim at Emory's outdoor pool located on a satellite campus. We joined for the summer, and Monday was the last day we could use the pass.

It's remarkable how much Will has progressed with swimming this summer, especially given that we've only had two or three lessons—it's just been regular exposure to a pool (especially my sister's pool), more confidence from Will, and something just clicking and him realizing he doesn't need floaties anymore.

For this visit, we even went into the very deep diving end of the pool (because they woudn't let him practice diving in the four foot section of the pool), but he spent a lot of time playing in the smaller pool with his friends.

After the pool, we all went home and got changed before heading over to one of the other family's houses for dinner. Their little girl was in pre-K with Will and played soccer with him for a few seasons, but I've gotten to know the dad pretty well, so hopefully we'll keep up the relationship even though Will and their daughter go to different schools now and don't have any activities in common. They served make-it-yourself tacos and pie for dessert. Will was as usual the ringleader of games with the other kids, but they all seemed to have a pretty good time together (two little girls that are Will's age and the younger brother of one of the girls).


9.9.16
UGA got rid of longtime coach Mark Richt and hired Alabama defensive coordinator (and former UGA player) Kirby Smart in the offseason in hopes of becoming more disciplined with a stronger identity, but on Saturday's game against UNC in the Georgia Dome, they looked like the same team I've been watching for the past few seasons since I moved to Atlanta.

They ended up winning by riding star running back Nick Chubb for over 200 yards and two touchdowns, but the lead went back and forth all game, they had several moments where they lost their way offensively and defensively (most notably with their quarterback situation—they seemed to switch almost every series between top national prospect and freshman Jacob Eason and veteran player and senior Greyson Lambert), and the win was in doubt until the very end. A very typical Georgia game, but not what I think Smart was hoping for for his first game on a national stage with this team.

UGA always gets tons of talent, but they never seem to be able to leverage it to create consistency—I've very rarely seen them get an easy win, even when they're playing a team that isn't ranked and who is on their schedule just so they can have a dominating win. Smart was supposed to bring some of that near-pro Alabama approach to the team, and while it's just been one game so far, and while I acknowledge that it may take a couple of years for his approach to be felt top to bottom in this organization, there is little evidence that anything he's done since being hired late last year has influenced the culture and character of the team.

They're always exciting to watch, but not always in a good way, and that same inconsistency crossed with (sometimes accidental) brilliance was on dispaly in the win over UNC. It will be interesting to see how their week 2 game against an unranked Nicholls State.


9.12.16
We had another busy weekend, especially on Saturday. The morning started out with a race down near the Georgia Dome that ended with you running through the same tunnel that the Atlanta Falcons players run through when they are taking the field at the beginning of the game, and then all the post-race stuff was just on the field, so you could walk around wherever you wanted, take pictures, etc.

I ran the 5K and finished about 15 minutes before Julie and Will finished the one mile (they started about 45 minutes after I did), so I kept my eye on the big video board to see if I could take a video of Will crossing the finish line (they had a camera feed of the finish line that they were broadcasting). Luckily he was wearing a rainbow tie dye t-shirt, so he was pretty easy to pick out in the crowd of people emerging from the tunnel, so I got a great video of him (including his excited reaction when he saw himself on the giant video screen right after he crossed the finish line).

Later that day Julie took Will to see the organ in Spivey Hall at Clayton State University. They got to hear a short concert from the organist but also got a behind-the-scenes tour from the electrical engineer who keeps the thing running, who Will was completely fascinated with. The guy liked Will so much that he gave him one of the buttons from the organ (obviously not one right from the organ, but a spare one).

We had a little bit of downtime when they got home before we headed out for our evening adventure: dinner at Ponce City Market and watching the annual Lantern Parade on the BeltLine.


9.13.16
We were supposed to meet our friends Connie and Jeff and their son Noah at Ponce City Market to have dinner before heading out to the BeltLine to watch the Lantern Parade at 7, but they were a little late getting there and the place was a lot more crowded than we expected.

In addition, Connie thought she lost her wedding and engagement rings somewhere in the food hall, so she and Jeff were frantically searching for those (she later found them at home on her bathroom sink without ever remembering that she took them off, which she almost never does). So Julie and I handled the kids and waited in lines at separate places until one of us got close to the front and then picked up food for everyone in the group.

Julie's line was shorter, so as soon as she got to the ordering station, I bailed on my line and went to find a table, and luckily found a big one upstairs with exactly as many seats as we needed. Julie showed up with the food 10 minutes later, and Connie and Jeff shortly after that, so all in all things worked out pretty well—it's always chaos and long lines at Ponce City Market, but we could have had a much worse outcome given how crowded it was (weekend evening plus a big event directly adjacent to the market).

After dinner we went out to the BeltLine and again got lucky—we found a place on the stairs where the kids could see everything and we could stand behind them and see as well. The parade was probably about halfway over when we first started watching, and we stayed for about an hour before we decided that it was after 10 and we didn't really want to put any more time on the parking meter.

Will had a great time watching, and he seemed interested in participating, so given the very fluid nature of the event (as long as you have a lantern, you can join in whenever you want on the parade route, and you can also leave anytime you want—and I have a feeling the lanterns-only rule gets signficantly relaxed towards the end of the parade), we might get a couple of lanterns next year and do half the route or something (it starts at Krog Street Market, follows the BeltLine up past Ponce City Market and then ends when the paved portion of the Eastside BeltLine currently ends below Piedmont Park).

It was a really fun evening despite some of the early hiccups, and I'm glad Connie and Jeff reminded us of it a couple of days beforehand—usually we end up seeing posters for it the week after it takes place and have always regretted not having it on the calendar.


9.14.16
The Ravens played their first game of the season on Sunday, and although it wasn't a decisive win—13-7—it was still a win, and it was the kind of game that they lost all too often last year.

The defense, which had some serious problems last year, was especially strong, only allowing 160 total yards for the Bills, and you could see glimmers of an emerging pass offense, which we'll need in order to take advantage of teams who are playing us expecting us to run a lot (which we undoubtedly will as long as we're not too far behind)—new free agent receiver Mike Wallace caught a long pass from Flacco and ran it in for a 66 yard touchdown, and Breshad Perriman, our first round pick from 2015 who missed all of his first season with an ACL sprain that later turned out to be a small tear, also caught a 35 yard pass. All in all, Flacco completed passes to ten different targets, showing how many potential outlets he has.

This is the first they've won the first game of the season since their 2012 Super Bowl season, and although there's still a long way to go before we get to that point, all of our injured starters from last year were on the field and making plays, and our free agents and rookies were also making contributions. There were still plenty of mistakes that shouldn't have been made, including some that could have turned the game around if Buffalo had been able to take advantage, but unlike most of last season, the defense was able to keep containment and limit the damage.

This team is one that you always have to take one game at a time, but with a much more favorable schedule in terms of both quality of the competition and location/start time (all of our games through November 6 take place at 1:00 p.m. Eastern, we only have one game that's not played in the Eastern time zone, and we only have three games that aren't at 1:00, compared to last year when four of our first five games took place on the west coast), they could really go on a run during the first half of the season and put themselves in a position to compete for a playoff spot despite a second half to their season that looks much tougher than the first (at least at this point in the season based on last year's records).

Next week is an away game in Cleveland, a team that we regularly beat but almost never beat easily. This will be a real test for this team: it's a game that they can't lose if they want to have a shot at the playoffs and potentially the AFC North crown.


9.15.16
UGA played their second game against unranked Nicholls State, and although they once again came away with the win, they did everything in their power to screw it up. They only won by two points, and the outcome of the game was in doubt until the very end. As I've said many times before, this team is always entertaining, but man do they make you want to pull your hair out sometimes (and always several times a game).

The positives were that rookie quarterback Jacob Eason and third year receiver Isiah McKenzie seem like they're developing some real chemisty which should nicely balance the punishing run game with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and the defense showed some flashes of brilliance that show what they could become if they could stay focused and consistent for the entire game.

Next week is an away game at Missouri, and it will also be their first SEC game. We might find out who this team really is during that game: you have to believe that they'll need to be hitting on all cylinders to beat an SEC foe (even a currently unranked one) in their house, and if they can come away with a dominating performance, they could set the tone for themselves going into the tougest part of their schedule.


9.16.16
Will got his first report card yesterday, and he did so great—he got an A in all the subjects with letter grades, he got a P in all the Pass/Fail subjects, and he got an S (the highest rank) in all of his behavior/conduct evaluations. I couldn't be more proud of him, especially because I know how hard he's worked to get better at his behavior in class and his focus on academics.

He's really embraced doing his homework this year (I think it's ridiculous to have any homework before at least fourth grade, but he usually knocks his out in aftercare these days instead of turning it into a half hour or more screaming/crying battle at home), and thanks to a lot more positive feedback from his first grade teacher—who is strict and very organized but also takes the time to note when the kids do something good—he's also improved a lot on the talking/focus issues that dogged him most of last year with his previous teacher.

We don't want to put too much pressure on him academically at this point, so we don't make a big deal about grades as long as he's trying and doing his best to learn the material, but he seems to have really decided that he wants to do well this year—he cried when he missed one answer on one of his weekly spelling tests and got a 90 instead of his typical 100.

I'm definitely very proud of him, and I would love it if he continued to get these marks, but I have a feeling if he slips he's going to be much harder on himself than we will be. But he does seem to genuinely enjoy both the academic and the social parts of school this year, so hopefully he'll continue to do well without stressing himself out too much.


9.19.16
Our big outing over the weekend was a Saturday trip to Turner Field to see our last game in that stadium before the team moves to a new (and completely unnecessary) stadium next season.

I had initially thought about splurging on some field level seats behind home plate because they were running about half their face value on StubHub, but then we decided to go with our friends Connie and Jeff (and their son and his cousin), so we needed a bigger block of seats. I wasn't able to find any for a good price at field level, but we did find some a few rows back in the upper deck directly behind home plate, which gave us a great view of the field on a beautiful day for baseball.

They are definitely scaling back operations—on the upper deck, the food options were basically limted to hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn, and pizza—nothing fried and nothing that couldn't be left warming for a long time, which hasn't been the case in the past.

Will has always wanted to be shown on the big scoreboard, so he dances like crazy in between innings when they're panning around the crowd, and he finally got his wish this game, appearing alongside Jeff and Connie's son for a few seconds right before the next inning started. I wasn't quick enough to get a picture of it with my phone, and for some reason they didn't show any replays of this game so I could see if they were featured as part of the television broadcast coming back from commercials, but it was cool that it finally happened for him. He danced even more enthusiastically the rest of the game hoping for another chance to be featured on the big screen.

The only other game we've been to see this season was the heartbreaking extra innings loss on opening day, which set the tone for this miserable season. It seemed like we were in for another loss very early on when the first batter for the Nationals hit a solo home run, but the Braves came back to take even things up in their half of the first inning and then took the lead in the third and never relinquished it.

I'm still angry about this stadium move—there's no way I'm ever going to see a game there except on the weekends because it's smack in the middle of what is already the worst spot for rush hour traffic in Atlanta and there are no public transportation options to get to the stadium, and there's nothing at all wrong with the current stadium, which is only 20 years old. That stadium will always be the first place where Will saw a Braves game, which was also the last time I saw Chipper Jones play and the only game that Will ever saw Chipper play in.

But at least it's not going to be torn down and turned into condos or an office park or something—it will be revamped to serve as the home for Georgia State's football team, which hopefully means that the parking lot where you can still see the original wall that Hank Aaron hit a home run over to break Babe Ruth's all-time record will also be preserved.


9.20.16
The Ravens game against Cleveland epitomized the worst and best parts of being a Ravens fan: after going down 20-0 in the first eight minutes of the game thanks to the Browns' opening drive where they converted three third downs, an 85 yard touchdown run on Cleveland's next possession, and an interception that led to another touchdown drive, the Ravens slowly clawed their way back, starting with a blocked extra point attempt that the Ravens special teams unit ran back for Baltimore's first two points.

Cleveland wouldn't score again, and those two points (which actually created a three point swing in the game since the Browns didn't get that extra point) would prove pivotal: instead of a 23-21 score on the final drive, the score instead was 25-20, which forced the Browns to go for a touchdown instead of a field goal to win the game. The Ravens intercepted the ball with only seconds remaining, and sealed their victory after a quarterback sneak to move of the ball out of the endzone and prevent a safety.

So yes, it really sucked to go down 20-0 nothing to a team that has the real potential to lose every game this season, but it was thrilling to watch the Ravens come back from that deficit (the second biggest comeback in team history) and to know that they have the grit not to give up even against very long odds. Both the defense and the offense stepped up to do their parts in winning that game, and I'm sure both units learned a lot that will hopefully carry through to the rest of the season.

They obviously can't afford to have these kinds of games very often if they want to have a winning record and a shot to return to the playoffs after last year's brutal 5-11 season during which they lost nine of their games by a single score (interestingly, they have won both of their games this season by a single score). It's one thing to do this against a team like the Browns, but in the second half of the season, they're going to be facing the Steelers, the Bengals, and the Patriots, who won't make the same mistakes and give the Ravens the same opportunities to come back from a deficit. And even though Flacco led several great drives, getting stronger as the game progressed, he also threw two interceptions, something that he's too good and too experienced for.

Next week is the Jaguars, another team that we traditionally have very close games with no matter how poorly they're playing that season (last year's game was technically a loss, but because of a blown call by the officials, which the league confirmed the following day, the Ravens were denied what should have been a victory). This is a game that the Ravens have got to win—the first half of their season is much easier on paper than the second, and they need to rack up as many wins as possible as a stockpile against what will likely be more losses at the end of the season.


9.21.16
On Saturday Georgia played their first SEC game of the season against Missouri, and although they came out on top again, it was just as sloppy and ramshackle as their other two games this season. The running game still isn't there despite the presence of several talented backs, rookie QB Jacob Eason is going to be the star everyone expects but probably not this season, and the defense still has some kinks to work out as well.

This is the worst 3-0 team I've seen in a long time, and despite their relatively strong ranking and flawless record, I expect that there are going to be some pretty rough games for them this season. There's always a chance that it could somehow all magically come together, but their three wins so far have a lot to do with luck and raw talent, traits that likely won't carry them through the season in the SEC.

Next year could be a great season, though—with their strong recruiting class and Eason with a full year under his belt, along with a second year for the system to have settled down under a new heach coach, they could be something spectacular.


9.22.16
Finally finished watching the second season of Gotham just as the third season is about to start, and I have to say this is probably my favorite scripted program on network television. The casting is bang-on, and the intertwining origin stories of so many heroes and villains from the Batman universe are becoming more complex and nuanced the longer we get to spend with these characters.

There was a marked move away from the police angle this season, where the majority of the character development and plot points took place within a more traditional storytelling context of a police investigation and/or organized crime families, but Jim Gordon remains a central character and the mob influence still has influence over the storylines. We're not quite into camp territory yet, but the storylines definitely got a lot more weird and a little less gritty as the characters became more cartoonish and the plot elements more fantastical.

Curious to see what happens with the next season—if they continue to push towards the outlandish, I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to hang with the show even as much as I've enjoyed it so far, but I don't see them pulling back to the strict police/mob context either. Hopefully they'll find a decent balance and we won't be overloaded with characters like Hugo Strange, who was fun to watch for about his first five scenes and then became a real distraction.


9.23.16
One more week til we leave for a weeklong vacation to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, which happened over the summer. I've got a lot to wrap up at work before we go so that I'm not tempted to check email, etc. while we're away (I'm going to take my phone and iPad, but I'm going to disconnect my work email accounts), but with some overtime this weekend I should be able to get everything done.

I really, really need this break. It has been a rough year at work—a lot of change at the executive level and a lot of mixed signals about our future direction, and I've been so busy with travel and conferences that I feel like I'm less connected with the day-to-day in a year when that should be my primary focus.

Hopefully a week away (the longest Julie and I have ever spent away from Will, separately or together, and the longest vacation the two of us have taken together since our 10th anniversary) will recharge my batteries and give me the fresh perspective and renewed energy that I need to make it through the rest of this year.


9.26.16
The Ravens are perfect after three games, and have already won 60% as many games as they did the entire 2015 season, but Sunday's game against Jacksonville was just as fraught with issues as their other two games have been. The offense was slow to start, Flacco had multiple interceptions, and the running game was non-existent.

They haven't been 3-0 since 2006, and they sit alone atop the AFC North. The good news: the defense is playing pretty well (despite a few critical mistakes) and look a lot more like a classic Ravens defense, harrassing quarterbacks, stopping the run, and generating turnovers (they've essentially ended both of the last two games by getting interceptions on the final drives from opposing teams), and special teams continues to shine (a blocked punt which led to a field goal turned out to be the difference in the score in Sunday's game).

The bad news: the running game is beyond awful, the three teams we've beaten have a combined 1-8 record, and each of the games has been decided by less than a touchdown (13 points total between the three games). They clearly haven't been challenged by a quality opponent yet, and we could see what have been recoverable mistakes so far turn into advantages by the other team that put the game out of reach when we make those mistakes against better teams.

Still, three wins is three wins in this league, and although their competition gets a lot tougher later in the season, if they get enough wins in the first half, they could still content for the playoffs even if they only go .500 in November and December. I'd like to think that they're going to figure it all out, find a way into the playoffs, and then light it up on the big stage (which is what happened in 2012 when they won the Super Bowl), but realistically, I'd be happy for a winning season and a sense of forward progress going into next year.


9.27.16
Well, the wheels finally fell off the ramshackle, out of control roller coaster that has been the UGA football season so far, and they got destroyed by Ole Miss 45-14. And that score makes it sound even closer than it actually was: at one point it was 45-0, and Mississippi took a 31-0 lead into halftime.

Nothing was working: the defense couldn't stop the Rebels, the kicker missed yet another field goal, the running game still can't find a rhythm, and the wide receivers made several key drops that could have made a real difference in the game. Basically everything that could have gone wrong did, and all the potential issues that Georgia has hinted at in their previous games this season all became real issues at the same time in the same game, leading to a catastrophic blowout.

It will be interesting to see what happens from here with the rest of this season. With another loss they will almost certainly vanish permanently from the top 25, and there could be more massive blowouts in store for them. Best case scenario, they return to being the highly entertaining but highly frustrating team that we saw in the first three games, showing flashes of a potentially great team that could come to fruiting next season. But after even a single game like the one on Saturday, it's hard to imagine them being in contention for the SEC title, much less the national crown.


9.28.16
I finally finished watching the most recent season of Game of Thrones, and I have to say, I think I enjoyed this one more than almost any season except the first one, where the thrill of seeing the books brought to life was still fresh.

There were a lot of loose ends tied up in this one, the main characters were for the most part engaged with action instead of preparing for action, and it seems like the remaining episodes of the show (which could number as few as 14 spread across two seasons) will be non-stop action leading to the final resolution of the story. We already saw some of that in the final episode, where almost every player took some decisive action to take control of their fates instead of plotting and planning and relying on others.

I don't like Cersei, and I don't think I'm supposed to like her, but I like her better being true to her awful self than skulking around and bemoaning her fate, and we certainly got a return to that character as we approached the end of the season. And as much fun as it was watching Arya train with the Faceless Men, it's going to be even more fun watching her go rogue and come for everyone on her revenge list.

I'm still bummed that the books have fallen behind the show, and I now fear that the books will never be finished by their original author because staying out in front of the show was one of his prime motivators over the past few years, but at least there's a good chance that the remaining episodes will all be as exciting as this season for the same reason that this season was so thrilling: because even those of us who have read the books had no idea what was going to happen next.


9.29.16
After I finished Game of Thrones, I also got around to watching the first episode of the most recent half-season of The Walking Dead (which aired way back in February and which I need to catch up on soon because a new season will start next month). And let me tell you, that episode was BONKERS, in mostly a good way (I'm assuming that I'm not spoiling any details for anyone since these episodes are now more than six months old).

Some of the deaths were pointless (particularly Sam and his mom—Sam's death was one of the cruelest and just plain meanest deaths that the writers have given us for a character who didn't deserve to die), and some removed characters who we knew were going to be taken out at some point (because one of the more reliable elements of this show is that the bad guys always get what's coming to them eventually). I also think it was a little over the top to have Daryl save the day with a bazooka twice in the same episode, but it was definitely fun.

The episode ended on a relatively high note considering the carnage, but that will almost certainly not last very long, especially with the briefly-referenced Negan still waiting to be introduced to the audience through some conflict with the main group. There are so many psychological ups and downs with this show and so much constant change among the cast members and the threats to the group that it starts to take a toll after a while—I feel like at this point they could do a half season where the characters all got along with each other and worked on growing cucumbers and I'd be okay with it.

The intensity is so high so much of the time that I don't feel like we get to see any real character development because all we see is people in life-or-death situations reacting to those situations and either living or dying, but even the ones who live get no time to recover and reflect and show us something other than what we already know about them. No one is really given a chance to change at this point, which means we're watching an action movie instead of a character-driven drama that just happens to be set in a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested wasteland.

If the first episode is any indication, this half season is going to be the most insane so far, and that's a pretty high bar to get over after six and a half seasons. I just hope somewhere in whatever complicated mess is about to unfold, we start to get some sense of a conclusion or closure. Not necessarily a happy ending for our group of favorites, or even one or two from that group, but at least the belief that there will be a happy ending for someone in this world at some point in the future. Because the world as we see it right now is pretty bleak.


9.30.16
I won't be posting for a while because tomorrow Julie and I are leaving on a trip to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary (which happened in June of this year). This is the first vacation we've taken without Will since he was born, and it will also be by far the longest we've been away from him (either individually or as a couple).

We're leaving him with my parents at our house, so his routine will be minimally interrupted, but it's still a little weird for us. We're really looking forward to our trip and to having some time away from work and our other daily responsibilities, but we're going to miss him a lot.

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