Thursday, February 21, 2008

Swedish Victory

At my request, our Swedish friend, Lars, sent me this photo. It was too good to pass up.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Can you hear me now?

“The first duty of love is to listen.” Paul Tillich

“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. Ideas actually begin to grow within us and come to life...When we listen to people there is an alternating current, and this recharges us so that we never get tired of each other...and it is this little creative fountain inside us that begins to spring and cast up new thoughts and unexpected laughter and wisdom. ...Well, it is when people really listen to us, with quiet fascinated attention, that the little fountain begins to work again, to accelerate in the most surprising way.” Brenda Ueland

“If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”
A. A. Milne

I just spent the past few days with my friend Amanda in Munich. The purpose of the trip was to meet baby Franz and to give the new momma a helping hand. (Poppa Aaron is snowed under with work these days but he sure does love little Emily.) While there, I had a lot of time to think about the importance of listening. Amanda is one of those listeners who makes you feel so well known and seen. She asks questions and gives advice but mainly she just listens. (She also has a remarkable memory- friends from home reading this, just know that there's a good chance that she knows your name and story!)
These quotes I found today while enjoying my last day of ski break and thinking more about the topic. I know that I owe many thanks to people who have listened to me well over the years- you've helped me to unfold.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sunday, February 03, 2008

the magnolia state part 2 - or can't a cartoon deer butcher his kin in peace?

Whenever I see cartoon mascots of restaurants that represent the food that one is about to eat (eg, the cartoon pig at the bbq stand, the animated chicken at the fried chicken shack, Charlie canning and selling off his tuna fish cousins, etc), I have to laugh to myself. I mean, why would Cluckers the Chicken so cheerily invite me to a fried-chicken buffet where we'll be chowing down on the fried remains of Ma and Pa Clucker? It's macabre.

That's why, when we made a quick stop at Wilson's to pick up a bag of spicy sausages for the family, we were particularly struck by their cartoon mascot:

True to form, the Deer-Butcher is gleefully parading about with a meat cleaver preparing to butcher his less-fortunate kin. However, if you look to the right, Wilson doesn't even give the Sadist-Butcher-├╝ber-Deer much time to relish his job as a bullet whizzes toward his head. I guess he would have been a fool to suspect less.

Chuckling to ourselves, we wiped the sausage grease from our lips, and headed further South down the highway.

(of course, I have to give due credit to the old SNL skit, "Cluckers Chicken" - Bein dead never tasted so gobnobbledy good!)

Saturday, February 02, 2008


yes, it was that interesting.

the magnolia state, part 2, cont.

the magnolia state, part 1 - or a highway cruise in the backways of the Big River

Usually, interstate drives through Mississippi are just a blur of pine trees broken only by the occasional yellow or blue franchise sign. The back highways from Raymond, MS to Hattiesburg are slower, so the blurs have a chance to take on some character.

After spending Chrismas day in Kacey's Aunt and Uncle's restored antebellum home in Raymond, Mississippi, we started toward Mobile for the second half of Christmas. Feeling our way to the highway using my semi-flawed, but never boring internal GPS, we came across a record shop, perched on the street like a Cracker Barrell in Times Square, chockablock with vintage vinyl and a variety of music paraphernalia.

The shop, run by an old Mississippi hippie and redolent with the Kinks and incense, has been keeping the farmers' sons and daughters stocked with vinyl for the better part of 20 years. We chatted with the owner for a while, found a handful of Stax 45's buried deep in the shelves (Sam and Dave, Booker T and the MGs, and some others) and continued on, following the Soldier's hand toward home.

The back of the Little Big Store, situated in the old train station.

A highway snack, fit for any Southern boy.