Lil' Genghis, future world leader Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers

Monday, August 27, 2007

Didn't last long enough

What a week! Uncle Rod finally came to meet his niece/goddaughter and we did a bunch of cool stuff, from shopping to eating some fine hibachi food to seeing the Blue Man Group, where we got fully splattered with some banana-smelling goo. Now he's en route back to Aunt Melissa and we're just stopping by to post links to the pics and videos he made. There ya go:

Pictures are found here.

Vids here.

Monday, August 20, 2007

And in video too!


Yum!, originally uploaded by tunana72.

Sweet potatoes!
Next step: green peas ~ more fun messes!

New food, new uncle

mom is readying some photos and videos from Lil' Genghis' early experiments with vaguely solid food from jars. Short story: She likes the sweet potatoes, and her mother is still laughing at the cute mess she makes.

dad, meanwhile, is getting ready for Uncle Rodrigo's visit. We realize that, since he is leaving Norway he'll feel out of place in the gun-shy United States. So maybe we could take him to one of dad's favoritist spots, a place his younger sister is enthusiastic about seeing. Then again, his younger sister, Aunt Piu, has bigger cojones than him, soo ... hrm. Yeah.

So we could go for a peaceful little walk in the park-like setting that mom, dad and Isabella enjoyed last month.

We could also take him to one of the bedrock foundations of the local economy, for example.

Or we could take him to a local establishment for some tastes of Norway.

Other ideas? We'd love to hear 'em. =)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The clock is ticking!

Dear Reader is always screaming for more baby photos, so we'll have to offer this one just in from Grandma Biziza's apartamento:

From left to right, we've got Aunt Piu, Cousin Ana Cecilia, and Uncle Robinho. It shouldn't be long now until we see photos of the couple ... exhausted ... but even happier. =)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Remembering Dick Arikian

dad says:
The world lost a prince today.

You always knew when Dick Arikian was around. He had a way of making himself know. Maybe it was the sound of joking coming from around the corner. Sometimes it was a coworker yelling out, "Security!" More often, it was the sound of Dick's laughter -- a big, booming laugh, which carried like a cannon shot -- that let you know he was already lighting up the day of someone around him.

Dick collapsed this morning with a heart attack. His son Mark and his wife, Jean, were with him. He was 76. He was a damned good man.

He was a product of Taunton, Mass., a sometimes gritty, sometimes struggling former mill city. Those dark days rarely protruded into Dick's view of the world. There was always something to laugh at, someone to share a joke with. There was also always someone he could mentor and help.

Beyond his amazing personality, he was one of the most helpful guys the world has ever known. Somethings weren't his forte -- oh, could he get angry at a computer like you wouldn't believe -- but he was a multitalented guy and one of the most knowledgable people you could ever meet. It wasn't until I read his obituary this afternoon that I'd known he'd been an instructor for much of his six years in the U.S. Air Force. It seems to make sense. He was a teacher, a learner and a helper, all at once.

He also wasn't a slacker. He worked hard constantly -- even when he was playing. He was loyal to his card games, more than could be described. He also had, depending on how you counted, retired some three times but just kept coming back. He was like a bad penny, as the expression goes, except he somehow made people happy on his return haunts. He had a long list of community deeds, too -- all going to show you that he just wouldn't stop working and wouldn't stop trying to help.

Among his retirements he counted work as a newspaper photographer, work as a television camera man, and a career with the Taunton Fire Department, where he ended up as a lieutenant. People matched Dick's judgment with their lives. It's hard to think of someone more deserving of such trust.

I remember one morning I was on my way to interview the valedictorian and salutatorian at Taunton High School when I heard about a house fire nearby on Broadway. I think Dick Arikian was already there. The fire seemed pretty insubstantial; no flames were visible and light puffs of hazy smoke drifting up from the house, slowly. A half-dozen firefighters seemed to be going into the house and out of the house with no sense of urgency. Dick took pictures of them working. He relaxed and chatted for a while -- you could count on him for an easy conversation as much as you could count on hearing that big laugh.

I think he glanced over at the house and said, simply, "It's over." I thought he meant the fire. He meant the house.

It took a few minutes and then seemed to happen all at once. Sheets of flame were engulfing every room, giving each window seemingly a look into hell. The homeowner was reaching for her just-rescued cat when she looked behind the firefighter holding the cat and stopped in shock, noticing that all of a sudden a quiet little smoky thing had turned into a roiling inferno. Dick knew his work.

He also knew people. Me and mom ran into him one morning around the corner at Tooey's. It was a place particular to Taunton: Odd, friendly and somehow weird-but-familiar in its offering of baked beans with most breakfast plates. It was the perfect place to run into Dick. mom had never met him before, but seemed to instantly like him. Neither of us had a clue that he'd paid the waitress for our bill behind our backs before he left. It was just another little offering of help from a man known for always helping. He made another friend.

It's odd: You can search the Internet for a man who worked several jobs for 50 years and find few references to Dick Arikian. A man who contributed so much, who helped so much, who did so much, who made such a mark on the town he'd just about always called home -- has little of a mark on this big mess of computers we call the Internet. That, somehow, is fitting, too. He never trusted the computers. Never liked 'em. Didn't have much use for 'em. He liked people.

Of the few references to Dick, most point to pictures he took of Taunton itself. He loved the city, and the people of the city loved him back. It was love, and it was well deserved.


Dear Reader,

We're sorry. We're sorry. We're sorry. It's not that Lil' Genghis hasn't been doing some pretty cool stuff -- you should see her roll now! -- or that we don't care about you guys*. We've just been crazily, nightmarishly busy.

So, let's start by saying, er, that everything and everyone is just fine, with one awful exception -- see the newer post than this.

In the last two weeks, boydog turned 5 years old, which is, er, 5 years old in dog and people years. Time is only relative if your brother-in-law is in town ... which will soon happen here.

We decided we didn't like being blackmailed by that last prospective landlord, who mentioned $30,000 per year gambling losses and then debated whether he could follow state law in making the place safe for Isabella.

Just in the last week, we signed a contract for another place (newer construction, big backyard, room for the little lady's first nursery); got a $3,300+ repair estimate for dad's car; sold that car for $50 ... with a full tank of gas; spent five hours in the emergency room after a doctor wanted to double-check that our little lady wasn't sick; had some stressful days at our jobs; and lost a beloved friend.

Anyway, everyone and everything's just fine, with that one last awful exception. mom has gotten a couple naps after some awful nights; Lil' Genghis is responding to treatment for a sinus infection; dad should be getting a new car. Grandpa John is coming into town to hang out with his granddaughter so mom and dad can pack their stuff for the move.

Anyway, thanks for reading! One camera's out for repair and the other's floating around -- we'll try to get some new pictures up soon. We have some cute pictures of boydog hanging out on top of some books we were surplusing. =)

mom and dad

*not counting Uncle Rodrigo