Friday, April 15, 2011

Playing catch

Desi and I just caught 32 in a row. New record!

Spring has sprung, bigtime

Ok, so 57 isn't that warm. But it's 4:11 am as I type this. And check out those egg yolks on Mon-Wed. Yeah baby. Spring has meant a lot of hanging out...side.

(Note: The kid on the right is not flipping the bird. He's holding a PB&J. Though he is aware that said gesture is rude.)

What with all this warmth, we have been playing catch a couple times a week. And when I say "we," that's all 4 of us. Sarah still prefers to use a softball, which is neither here nor there. Even Emmett, historically resistant or indifferent to baseball, seems to enjoy Tee-wiffle. Maybe he is picking up on the fact that Daddy loves baseball and will always play ball with whoever wants to. Whereas "doggie" (in which someone has to crawl around like a dog) or Twister hurt Daddy's aging body. Sundays are Desi's little League day. Last week was "skills assessment," or as I like to call it, "Do you know which base is the first one?" (They all did.) I am coaching a team of 6 or 7 lovable misfits. If I can get Sarah to film next Sunday, expect a video containing multiple wild throws after each at-bat. Crazy stuff!

As for SAS baseball, we start spring training in 2 days. I am back on the varsity coaching squad now. I will have the special duty of keeping score during games in the fall. I figure to do that most effectively, I might need an iPad 2. Are ya with me, people!?

Not to mention online fantasy baseball. My first time playing. Quite hard to limit the hours I spend researching how my pitchers perform versus certain teams or scouring the stats for a new backup outfielder. I think it's good I wasn't playing this in my 20s. I might never have gotten married. Girls expect you to shower and stuff.

How's the learning of Chinese going, you say? Well, after 2 years of visiting the local retirement center as part of the school's Community Service club, I just learned 2 days ago how to say "retirement center." Jin lao yuan. Literally, it's respected elders garden, which I think is rather neat. I also learned to say "healthy food" and "junk food." I made a point to learn those because our new nanny seems to be bribing the boys with lots of sweets. She makes cookies as soon as the previous batch runs out. They've got her working hard to please them, the little twerps.

In other "news"...

I'm about to finish my online training for online teaching. In the fall, I will teach Intro to Philosophy online to a couple dozen students at schools around the US. I teach one less course here to compensate, but I suspect that, at least the first time around, online teaching will take more time than an f2f class. (That's face to face, for you n00bs). ((that's newbies, for the uninitiated)) I'm excited to get to do something that will likely become the norm, at least if ed reforms go the way I hope they do.

Some pics from our walk around the part of Shanghai near our dentist's office. The boys had appointments last week, then we hit the mall to get some birthday gifts. Two parties this weekend--both are drop-offs! Daddy get a massage, maybe...

They LOVE that public art. This performance piece reflects man's internal tension. Torn between love and hate, huh? DEEP.

This pose outside Toys-R-Us says it all.

At lunch, D contemplates. Soon thereafter, he got a haircut. Enjoy the shaggy look now, 'cause it's gone.

Time or me to go finish David Sedaris' "When You are Engulfed in Flames." Then a little Ken Burns' Baseball. (I'm on the 1930s episode). Gotta love waking up early and having a quiet house to myself.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lefty's center-field gap

You'll excuse the baseball metaphor, won't you? It's Opening Week.

Top tooth #2 finally fell out. At lunch yesterday, while he was eating noodles.

In other news, warm weather means lots of playing catch after school. Even lil Emmers has gotten into the action, after years of apparent disinterest. I tell ya, nothing warms this father's heart than the words "Wanna play catch?" Especially because my kids use the proper verb. Not like East Coasters who say "have a catch." No, no, no--you HAVE a cold, you HAVE a beer. You PLAY catch.
This concludes today's American English lesson.

Go Cardinals.